Vocational Rehabilitational Intervention
Referral to a vocational rehabilitational counselor may come early
after injury or at some later time. Early referral may not be appropriate
if the client is not yet in a position to face vocational issues. Although
some medical stability may have been achieved, it must be determined if
functional stability is sufficient to begin addressing vicational
concerns. The IRI Study Group sets out four factors for the vocational
rehabilitation rehabilitation professional to consider.
Client's Ability to Participate.
- The client must be awake, alert, oriented, out of posttrauma amnesia
(i.e., able to remember ongoing events from day to day), able to
understand what happened to him or her, and prepared to take an active
part in realistically planning for the future.
Stage of Improvement.
- The first 6 to 12 months after injury are often characterized by
steady, spontaneous improvement. Physical, cognitive, and behavioral
changes are so rapid that evaluation is often useless for determining
eventual vocational potential. Wait until this early phase of marked
change is complete before attemptin to evaluate the client for indications
of ultimate potential. Keep close to the client, monitoring progress, but
defer evaluation until the rate of change slows.
Approopriateness of Services.
- The vocational rehabilitation counselor is often asked to purchase
services that sare not directly related to vocational concerns. If
intervention begins too early, services that are more medical in nature
may be requested. The practitioner needs to evaluate the appropriateness
of such requests.
Alternate Sources of Funding.
- The astute vocational rehabilitation counselor will become aware of
alternate funding sources to recommend when requests for services do not
seem specific to the process of vocational rehabilitation.
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