Work Rehabilitation Services at the UVM Medical Center
Work Rehabilitation services are focused on improving the function and capabilities of injured workers and returning them to their previous level of work safely and efficiently. These services are available to injured workers wherever they are in the recovery process, and include:
- Worksite and Ergonomic Evaluations
- Individualized Physical Therapy Treatment
- Individualized Occupational Therapy Treatment
- Multidisciplinary Programs such as Work Hardening and Work Conditioning
- Functional Capacity Evaluations
How Work Rehabilitation Works
Work Rehabilitation utilizes special equipment and techniques in order to simulate the patient’s work environment. It is generally more intensive than traditional therapy, with multi-hour sessions 3-5 days per week. This intensity and duration help to simulate the strength and endurance necessary to improve tolerance for a work environment.
Work Rehabilitation also includes education on symptom management and re-injury prevention to help patients avoid further work-related injuries.
About Our Work Rehab Program
Worksite and Ergonomic Evaluations
Individualized Physical Therapy (PT) and Occupational Therapy (OT) Treatment
These evaluations are used by employers, to assess and minimize the risks associated with musculoskeletal and overuse injuries in the workplace. Recommendations on ergonomic equipment, workspace alterations, and gentle stretching exercises are provided.
Our Physical and Occupational Therapists provide high quality care for patients with both work and non-work related injuries. Available equipment at our site includes a BTE Primus for work simulation activities, three lifting stations, cardiovascular equipment, universal and free weights, and an exercise studio.
Work Hardening and Work Conditioning
An interdisciplinary Evaluation is performed to determine if an individual is appropriate for Work Hardening or Work Conditioning. This evaluation includes Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Psychology. We develop individualized goals with our patients related to their current functional status and target job or occupation.
Work Hardening is a multi-disciplinary (PT,OT and Psychology), intensive, job-focused rehabilitation program for injured workers who may be recovering from a major injury or surgery and/or have been out of work for an extended period of time. This program is 4 hours per day, 5 days per week, for 4 weeks.
The program includes:
- Occupational Therapy – job simulation tasks such as lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, etc.
- Physical Therapy – full body strengthening, flexibility, and cardiovascular endurance
- Psychology – pain management strategies, cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, etc.
Work Conditioning is a multidisciplinary (OT and PT) program that is beneficial for injured workers who have fewer barriers to return to work or are currently working light duty or part time This program is 2 hours per day, 3 days per week, for 4 weeks. In both the Work Hardening and Work Conditioning Programs, patients are educated on body mechanics, preventing re-injury, symptom management, and home exercise programs. As part of a proactive return to work plan the interdisciplinary team regularly communicates progress updates to case managers and referring providers.
Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCEs)
FCEs are used to compare an injured worker’s current functional tolerances with their target job, or for employment planning for a new/different job when returning to their pre-injury position is unlikely. Objective testing during the 3-4 hour evaluation assesses the following areas:
- Cardiovascular Fitness
- Material Handling such as lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying
- Positional tolerances such as sitting, standing, and bending>
- Dexterity and Fine Motor Skills
- Reliability of Pain and Disability Reports
- Physical Effort
About Work Rehab Staff
Our program includes physical therapy, occupational therapy and psychology services. The staff is committed to high quality service delivery and consistently brings the latest in evaluation and treatment planning to this service. Our experienced therapists are specially trained in work rehabilitation and have a depth of skills in general orthopedics, pain management and neurologic rehab.
Please call our clinic to arrange an evaluation. In most cases you will need a referral from your doctor before scheduling an appointment
Certain Work Rehabilitation programs may not be covered by insurers other than Workman’s Compensation, however self-pay or patient financial assistance may be available.
For an appointment call contact us:
Fanny Allen Campus
792 College Parkway
Colchester, VT 05446