What Is Occupational Medicine?First, let’s briefly discuss what occupational medicine is. As the name implies occupational medicine is an area of medicine that deals with a patient’s occupational life. It helps ensure that the work environment is safe and non-toxic for employees. It also considers the patient’s work responsibilities when determining treatment and rehabilitation options. Finally, it carefully ensures that patients are fully able to return to their work duties when it is time and that they do not unintentionally compromise their recovery by attempting to perform duties they are not yet able to perform. In short occupational medicine, or occ-med as it is sometimes called, is designed to optimize a patient’s treatment and recovery to best meet the needs of both their personal and professional lifestyles.
Is Occupational Medicine an Important Part of Treatment?Depending on a patient’s work responsibilities and overall lifestyle, occupational medicine can be an extremely important part of treatment and recovery. After all, most people spend forty hours or more per week at work, making it one of the largest aspects of their lives. A person’s occupation is also crucial for providing the financial security and stability they need for themselves and their families. It is thus imperative that medical treatment and work needs integrate smoothly to ensure that the patient’s life is disrupted as little as possible.
Occupational medicine also helps determine when a sick or injured employee is ready and able to safely return to work. Naturally this varies considerably from patient to patient and job to job. Occupational medicine provides a tailored medical experience that is optimized to meet the healthcare needs of the individual patient.
There is also evidence that a good occupational medicine program can help reduce or eliminate the number of OSHA reportable and recordable events. This benefits employers by helping them stay compliant while also benefiting employees by helping them stay safe and health while at work.