When an injury happens, the first concern is pain and physical health. That is a natural response to trauma, but many people lose sight of the need to consider how life will change because of an accident. Injuries come with a host of financial and psychological artifacts that accompany the pain. Medical treatment should be the first priority, but not the only one. When an injury happens on the job, consider all the factors including rehabilitation and counseling.
The Effect of Trauma on Psychological Well-being
The physical injury comes unexpectedly and that can leave some mental scars, as well as physical ones. Post-traumatic stress syndrome is a condition associated with war and abuse, but it takes many forms. It is a reaction to extreme stressors and injury on the job certainly qualifies.
Consider the case of a 32-year-old man working at a food manufacturing site. His hands suffered full-thickness burns when trapped in a hot sealing machine. Burns such as this are traumatic to see. The hands would lose mobility, the skin would slough off over time – this form of an accident would be extremely stressful for the victim.
This medical staff realized how debilitating this truly was for him – not just physically, but emotionally, as well. They evaluated his mental status and arraigned for psychological counseling to work alongside physical rehabilitation programs.
Without proper care, PTSD can lead to a major depressive disorder, drug addiction, and financial ruin. It is critical when filing claims with an employer that the focus is, not only on the cost of physical treatment and downtime but on the need for psychological care too.
What about Rehabilitation?
Rehabilitation is a process that can refer to both the physical and mental facets of a traumatic event. Rehabilitation starts almost immediately in most trauma scenarios. Unused muscles will atrophy without it. There may be surgeries necessary to reconstruct an injured limb or grafting of skin for burns
Physical therapy includes regaining mobility or learning to adjust to a change even after a victim spends months healing. In some cases, the brain must retrain itself to walk and talk, for example. It is a process that can take anywhere from months to years. The financial burden includes rehabilitation facilities, medical care, and continued at-home therapy.
Psychological rehabilitation involves cognitive behavioral therapy that focuses on managing anxiety. Some patients become paranoid about further accidents and unable to function even at the most basic level.
The real problem with work-related accidents is thinking you might not be hurt. The first thought that goes through the mind is financial. How will you support your family if you are critically injured? It is not uncommon to dismiss a trauma because of this concern. Anxiety during the event can mask a major injury and make it seem minor.
Report any accident that occurs on the job. This will initiate a claim that covers future treatments. If the injury turns out to be more serious than first believed, the employee will have the financial support necessary to seek help. Incident reports should cover the potential for long-term rehabilitation, both mental and physical, so if the need arises, the money is there. Early claims mean one less thing to worry about as you heal.