Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists are healthcare professionals who use activities with specific goals to help people of all ages, prevent, reduce or overcome effects of disabilities.

We aim to maximize our patients’ functions and quality of life. The Occupational Therapy department consists of 39 occupational therapists, including therapists with specialist training to support the medical specialties in the hospital. Our team of occupational therapists aim to provide high standards of service to patients with diverse needs. We are also actively involved in research and development activities to provide evidence-based practices.

We provide clinical rehabilitation services to inpatients and outpatients. One of the largest occupational therapy departments in Singapore, we offer services in areas such as:

  • Upper limb and hand rehabilitation
  • Work rehabilitation and ergonomics services
  • Specialized evaluation services
  • Occupational health and ergonomic services
  • Lymphodema management rehabilitation
  • Geriatric rehabilitation
  • Neurological rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics rehabilitation
  • Psychiatry rehabilitation
  • Mindfit

7 Principles for Successful Return To Work

 

  • Strategies For Employees 
  • Strategies For Healthcare Professionals 

Work is an important role for many of us.

 

When one suffers an injury or a medical condition and is unable to return to work (RTW), this may affect one’s health and financial situation. At the same time, workforce manpower and productivity may be compromised at the workplace.

Employers have a big part to play in helping injured / ill workers RTW. Successful RTW makes good business sense as it reduces time and cost of training replacement workers and retains experienced workers. This guide is based on the Seven principles of Successful Return to Work developed by the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) (2007, rev 2014). These principles have been found to have positive impact on duration and costs of work disability.

Principle 1: Make early contact with the worker

If possible, contact the worker within the first 2 weeks of the injury or illness. This contact made with goodwill and concern helps the worker to feel connected to his/her workplace.

 

Principle 2: Arrange someone to coordinate RTW

The worker may feel lost after his/her injury or illness. It is useful to assign someone in the company to follow up and assist him/her during the RTW process.

 

Principle 3: With the worker’s consent, communicate with healthcare professionals about workplace demands

This helps the healthcare professionals to better estimate when the worker is fit to RTW. Ask for a referral to an Occupational Therapist if you need assistance to address RTW issues.

 

Principle 4: Offer modified work (or work accommodation) to facilitate early RTW

Early RTW with appropriate work accommodations keeps the worker engaged in his/her role and facilitates his/her rehabilitation. Work accommodations can be as simple as rearranging the workstation or adjusting the work hours.

Principle 5: Ensure the worker’s RTW plan do not disadvantage co-workers

Involve and seek support from co-workers in the planning and implementation of the RTW process of the worker to gain cooperation.

Principle 6: Train supervisors in work disability prevent ion and RTW planning

Learning about work injury management, ergonomics, and work accommodations helps supervisors to problem solve RTW issues.

Principle 7: Encourage a strong commitment to health and safety in the workplace

Research shows that investment of company resources RTW policies/disability management interventions and commitment to RTW are associated with good RTW outcomes.

Work is an important role for many of us.

 

When one suffers an injury or a medical condition and is unable to return to work (RTW), this may affect one’s health and financial situation. At the same time, workforce manpower and productivity may be compromised at the workplace.

There is increasing evidence that work is good for an injured worker's health and well-being. Healthcare professionals can facilitate and support the injured/ ill workers to RTW as soon as it is medically safe to do so, to reap the health benefits of work. This guide is based on the Seven principles of Successful Return to Work developed by the Institute for Work & Health (IWH)(2007, rev 2014). These principles have been found to have positive impact on duration and costs of work disability.

Principle 1: The employer makes early contact with the injured/ ill worker.
Principle 2: Someone has the responsibility to coordinate RTW.
Principle 3: Employers and health care professionals communicate with each other about the workplace demands, with the worker's consent.
Principle 4: Employer offers modified work (or work accommodation) to facilitate early RTW.
Principle 5: RTW plan supports the returning worker without disadvantaging co-workers.
Principle 6: Supervisors are t rained in work disability prevent ion and RTW planning.
Principle 7: The workplace has a strong commitment to health and safety in the workplace.

What Healthcare Professionals Can Do To Facilitate The 7 Principles

  • Talk about RTW with the injured/ill worker early in the recovery process. Emphasise to worker the health benefits of work and that RTW is an important part of recovery.
  • Communicate with other healthcare professionals, worker and employer on worker's fitness to RTW. Involve an Occupational THerapist in the team to facilitate communication with the employer and follow up with RTW issues and concerns.
  • Focus on what the worker can do, rather than what they cannot do. The worker does not need to be 100% well to RTW as long as their functional ability matches the job demands.
  • Establisg timeline to set up an expectation of recovery time and date to RTW for worker. This can hekp the injured/ill worker towards the RTW goal.
 

For enquiries or more information, please contact
Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Department of Occupational Therapy
Tel: 6889 4848 Fax: 6889 4856
Email: occupational_therapy@ttsh.com.sg