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Work. 2014;48(4):557-66. doi: 10.3233/WOR-141915.

Return-to-work coordinators' resourcefulness and the provision of suitable duties for nurses with injuries.

Author information

  • 1School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia.
  • 2School of Education, Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia.
  • 3School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There is little health specific literature on returning nurses with injuries to work despite the high incidence of injuries and the workforce shortages of these professionals.

OBJECTIVE:

To identify enabling factors and barriers to return-to-work for nurses with injuries from the perspective of return-to-work coordinators.

PARTICIPANTS:

Workplace return-to-workcoordinators employed in a health or disability facility who had worked on a rehabilitation case with a nurse with injuries in the past 12 months in New South Wales (NSW), Australia.

METHOD:

Five focus groups were conducted with 25 return-to-work coordinators from 14 different organisations, representing different health sectors (aged, disability, public and private hospital and community health) in metropolitan and rural areas of NSW, Australia.

RESULTS:

This study reports findings specifically relating to the provision of suitable duties for nurses with injuries. Four key themes were identified: suitable duties; supernumerary positions; nurse specialisation and tailoring of return-to-work plans.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study identified that return-to-work coordinators were resourceful and innovative in their approach to the provision of suitable duties for nurses with injuries and highlighted the importance of including clinical duties in any return-to-work program and of tailoring the return-to-work to the nurses' work and personal circumstances.

KEYWORDS:

Suitable duties; health sector; qualitative; workplace based return-to-work

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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