Vocational Rehabilitation Makes Obtaining a Job a Reality

From writing a resume and performing well in an interview to learning new skills and collaborating with colleagues, finding and maintaining a new job can be an extremely challenging and stressful process for anyone. But for people who have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), landing a job is exponentially more difficult.

Why Does a TBI Survivor Need Help Finding and Securing a Job?

During recovery and rehabilitation after a TBI, a survivor must devote herself to restoring the functions and abilities she lost as a result of the injury. When a skill can’t be regained, the patient must learn a new way of operating. This rehabilitation process is frustrating, frightening, and often painful. The skills in question can range from communication abilities to bathing independently to controlling anger. Each TBI survivor must work past different struggles. Once substantial independence has been achieved and the TBI patient is ready to return to the workforce, she often needs ongoing rehabilitation to maintain results and apply her newfound independence to the career world.

In addition to overcoming their own struggles, TBI survivors often face discrimination in the workforce due to poor social understanding of the implications of traumatic brain injuries. When a TBI survivor has courageously conquered so many obstacles to enter the workforce, it’s demoralizing and discouraging to face misconceptions and biased treatment.

What Services Does Vocational Rehabilitation Provide?

Vocational rehabilitation exists for the specific purpose of helping those with disabilities overcome barriers in order to obtain, retain, and/or return to employment. It’s often a collaborative effort between recovery therapists, employment advisers, and career counselors. The professionals work with the TBI survivor to help her in every step required to once again become gainfully employed. This begins with learning to independently manage health conditions. If psychosocial interventions are necessary to help the patient overcome remaining effects of a traumatic brain injury, vocational rehabilitation can provide those services as well.

Once the survivor’s health and self-management have been obtained, the rehabilitative professionals will help the survivor choose a career direction, analyze job possibilities, and utilize placement services for potential job opportunities. Interviewing skills, proper attire, and appropriate behavior are all reviewed and suitable support is provided. If a potential job requires certain health clearances or evaluations, the rehabilitation services will provide those services or help the survivor find them. It’s also possible that vocational rehabilitation can extend into on-the-job training and coaching.

The vocational rehabilitation service is customized to the TBI survivor and works flexibly to accommodate the survivor’s needs in order to help her find a keep a job. This is an enormous step in the path to permanent independence after a traumatic brain injury.