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Success Story: A Tailored Plan for an Employee With Cancer
No two employees are the same. The same can be said about cancer diagnoses.
For employees fighting cancer, the accommodations and support each employee may need will vary greatly based on his or her unique medical condition, treatment plan and numerous other factors. That’s why Workplace PossibilitiesSM consultants carefully evaluate each employee’s individual situation before helping them embark on a return-to-work plan.
A Bumpy Road to Recovery
A customer service representative learned she would need invasive surgery after being diagnosed with bone cancer in her leg. While necessary to rid her body of the cancer, the procedure involved removing tissue from the employee’s hip to her knee. The aggressive treatment would make for a slow recovery.
Following the surgery, the employee experienced muscle and nerve damage that affected her ability to walk or climb stairs unassisted. She underwent physical therapy for several months and did home exercises as well. She wore a compression stocking and experienced stiffness and pain if she stayed in one position for too long. She worried about how these potential barriers could prevent her from resuming her customer service role.
To help start her return to work, the employee sought the counsel of her company’s health and wellness coordinator, a registered nurse. The employee was concerned that her post-surgery ambulatory limitations could prevent her from returning to work.
A Tailored Solution
The nurse contacted a Workplace Possibilities consultant for support. After speaking with the employee and arranging an ergonomic assessment of her workspace, the consultant recommended a course of action that would gradually bring the employee back to work — a tailored solution to address the employee’s specific needs.
For the first two weeks, the employee worked a part-time schedule, taking brief walks throughout the day to reduce her pain and stiffness. Meanwhile, the consultant facilitated an installation of ergonomic equipment in the employee’s workspace. A sit/stand desk was installed to accommodate the employee’s physical requirements while removing her need for frequent breaks.
Thanks in part to her new workspace, the employee resumed a full-time schedule. The Workplace Possibilities consultant took the time to develop a plan that addressed the employee’s condition, which helped her to successfully ease back into her role.
Providing Personalized Support
An employee has the best chance of returning to work following a disability when his or her unique needs are addressed. A Workplace Possibilities consultant can help your organization offer personalized accommodations and support designed to bring an employee back to work as quickly, and as safely, as possible.