Who really has all the pieces of the puzzle?

I’ve worked in pain management for quite a while now, and longer in work rehabilitation, and seen the process from almost all sides.  For ages I thought that, as the health provider working with the person in the workplace itself, I had most of the pieces of the return to work puzzle.  I mean, I did have access to the medical information, progress reports from other health providers, I spoke with and met with the employer, the compensation agent or funder, and worked with the person…but I’ve revised my ideas since my own rehabilitation.

I’ve realised that the only person who has all the pieces of the puzzle is the person who is returning to work. This person is the only one who has been at every health care meeting, treatment session, and progress report.  This person is also the only one who has met with the employer, been a the at-work rehabilitation meetings, and been in ongoing contact with the compensation agent or funder.

I think the importance of this fact may not be made clear to the person very often – it certainly wasn’t made clear to me during my rehabilitation. Although I should have known, I didn’t – even with all my experience! (more…)