OH Appt

Hi. Hope this sunny day finds you all ok.

Have an Occupational health meeting tomorrow as I have been signed off work for 3 months now. I work as a Senior special needs teaching assistant , train moving and handling, fire warden and assist with behaviour when required. My role is very stressful as I manage around 35 staff on a daily basis.

Was just wondering if anyone has any advice about what I need to know prior to the appointment. I have to travel an hour to get there then find the place! Can feel my stress levels rising already! Many thanks in advance x

8 Replies

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  • My occy health were wonderful! Tell them about your struggles ie getting up dressed bathing pain emotional problems. Write a list before u go. Tell them of any other medical problems.

    My occy health was the one who supported me through the whole sickness, return to work and eventual retirement on a pension, she couldn't have done enough yo help me, so ask for their help, tell them how you are and I bet it will really help you xxx

    Let us know what they say. Ps I had one year off work before we had to try return etc! CAB are also brilliant for support and help x

  • Hi Allanah. Wasn't sure if i should mention how i struggle at home as the appointment is primarily about work but will do thanks. Its difficult as im not one for saying how it really is in case people feel that i am "putting it on". Guess i really need to get past that! Can't believe it took you a year to get back to work. That's a long time although i never thought initially that i would be off work this long neither. My husband is concerned that i won't be going back full stop but im trying to be positive although it does make it very stressful.

    Thanks for the advice, i will let you know how i get on x

  • I am a university teacher and I have just returned to work after being signed off for 2 months. I am due to see OH tomorrow but that was part of a regular scheduled appointment. My OH have also been wonderful. When I was first diagnosed, the OH doctor and nurse came to my office and carried out a workstation assessment. I am now the proud owner of a customised posturite chair, footrest, penguin mouse, and adjustable desk so that I can stand and type or lower it to desk height to sit. They made recommendations to my management about workload such as one of my roles was very physically demanding teaching nurses how to breakaway from aggressive holds, which with joint and tendon problems was a no go.

    Prep for your appointment:

    1. Make a list of all your signs and symptoms, I.e., joints, fatigue, any issues with medication side effects, how it has affected you in your day to day activities and how it is impacting you at work (this will help them look for reasonable adjustments to enable you to continue working and ease the pressure - they can look at workload and ways to minimise your stress and fatigue issues, etc)

    2. Make List of all your medications, even ones that have been stopped or replaced, and if medication has been increased or decreased. Again a good OH department will be aware of the RA drugs and side effects and the need for time off for blood tests and Rheumy appointments. Let them know if there have been any issues with being allowed to attend apps as this is a reasonable adjustment under the Equality 2010 Act (includes old disability discrimination act).

    3. As you are returning from long term sick, they will want to assess what they need to do to make your transition back to work less stressful, such as a phased return, reduced workload or more sedentary roles and any other adjustments that may support you. If you haven't had a workstation assessment, ask them if they would do this.

    I hope your meeting goes OK, remember OH's aim is to support you to transition back to work after being away for some time and to look at what reasonable adjustments can help you to stay in work (you are a very valuable asset). RA is a disability under the Equality 2010 Act and your work place are duty bound to make reasonable adjustments to enable you to stay in work. Please do let us know how you get on.

  • Thanks for the great advice Braecoon. I have done a list of meds and issues that affect me. I just pray that my OH is a great at yours has been! Will let you know how i get on later x

  • Back from my appt. Took a few notes, asked me about what I struggle with at home and what meds im on. Would like to see me in 6 weeks time. Could have said all if that over the phone!

  • That's good!!! They are following you up and if they are coming to you they realise you are struggling. Now put it out of your mind and rest as much as you can !!

  • I am glad that it was not an ordeal. Sounds as if it was 'minimalist' in all sense of the word. They will report back to your manger/employer so they do have to see you face to face, but at least they are going to follow you up.

    I' m back from my appointment (lasted one hour) but a lot had happened to me in 2 months, plus additional health problems such as skin lesion on eyelid which maybe skin cancer. Because I'm on a 2 week washout period from the DMARDs, the OH wants to see me a month after I start methotrexate injections. She discussed what would be in the report to my manager and that I was not fit to do management of aggression training at the moment, so a very thorough interview.

  • Sorry to hear about your other health problems. Sounds like you have been through the mill abit! Do you mind me asking why you have stopped taking your DMARD'S?

    mine wants to see me in 6 weeks hopefully after some improvement with the mtx as only been taking it 4 weeks atm

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