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Returning to work with a traumatic brain injury

When people receive a traumatic brain injury, it can make it difficult for them to return to work and engage in the same activities that they did prior to becoming injured. Many studies have looked at the rate at which people are able to return to work following a traumatic brain injury, as well as how productive and successful they are at what they do. From mild brain injuries to severe trauma, any type of injury that affects the brain can make it hard to participate in workplace activities, daily tasks and social engagements.

One study published by the U.S. National Institute of Health found that just over 40 percent of people who received a traumatic brain injury went back to work two years after the incident occurred. In a number of these cases, injured workers had to change jobs because they were no longer able to perform the same tasks that they did prior to becoming injured.

If brain trauma patients are able to go back to work, employers may make special accommodations in order to increase the productivity of injured employees. Brainline.org stated that employers can boost productivity by doing the following:

  •          Increase employee concentration by reducing distractions, cleaning up clutter, improve lighting and allow use of sound machines or noise eliminators.
  •          Provide diagrams, notes and posters of various steps and/or procedures the employee needs to know.
  •          Make to-do lists, schedule regular meetings and send frequent reminders about upcoming deadlines.

Since brain trauma symptoms vary depending on what part of the brain was injured and how severe the injury was, employers can customize the worker’s space to meet his or her needs. 

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