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What is Your Role?
As an employee, you have an important part to play to ensure your return to work process is smooth and successful!
Throughout MyGuide: Concussion, you have learned about self-management strategies such as sleep hygiene, brain breaks, and pain management. These strategies can help you to function as best as possible when you are at work. Keep them in mind as you review the following slides.
Provide the Necessary Information
While your employer has a Duty to Accommodate, they can only do so with the necessary documentation. You need to make sure your doctor understands your job and your symptoms thoroughly so they can make strong and effective recommendations for job accommodations. You are then responsible for providing a doctor’s note to your employer to make accommodations possible.
When it comes to returning to work or staying at work, communication is key! Often your employer and coworkers want to help, but they don’t know what you need unless you tell them. Concussion is an invisible injury and each person experiences it differently.
Try to connect regularly with your manager during your return to work. Perhaps you can schedule a brief weekly check-in to ask, “What is going well?”, “What still needs work?” and “What do I need.”
Self-Management at Work
Not all job accommodations are formal. You may have the flexibility to make some changes yourself. For example, you can use good self-management strategies such as doing more challenging tasks when feeling most rested, writing down verbal information, and keeping a to-do list.
Review the Cognitive Function (Thinking Skills) section for ideas on strategies to simplify your job demands.
It is helpful to develop "scripts" for difficult topics you think may come up at work. Having a script may help you feel more prepared and remember what you want to say. The following are examples:
“I’m following my doctor’s Gradual Return to Work Plan to build up my work stamina on a gradual basis, so I can’t work extra hours this week.”
“I still have some restrictions for certain job tasks, but I hope to continue increasing my work duties over the next several weeks.”
Now, take a moment to think about a scenario at work, or a likely interaction with your coworker, and write a 1-2 sentence script.