I turn off my alarm and jump into my runners to get an early walk-in before breakfast. After the brisk walk, I take my time to cook breakfast and prepare for my day in the office.
I change into work smart casual clothes and double-check I have my company phone and laptop ready for the day. Packing this all into the car, I add in my gym gear and start the commute down the highway.
I arrive at the APM offices in Nerang and quickly make a coffee whilst I start up my computer. The first hour of my day allows me to check emails and prepare for my appointments. I finish up any admin tasks from the day before my first client arrives.
My first client for the day arrives – it’s a pre-employment (PE) medical appointment, which is where we assess the functional and physical capacity of an individual, based on the requirements of the role they intend to carry out with their employer. I introduce myself and lead the client to our PE room to get started with the assessment. Today we will complete a drug/alcohol screen, audio, visual and physical assessments. The client is going for a role in a food company as a factory operator, and the results of these assessments will determine if he can complete the role safely. Fortunately, the client performed well in all the criteria of each assessment, and I sign them off as suitable for the role. I take a quick break before heading back to the desk to finalise my records for this case.
Sitting back down at my desk I get a call from an insurance case manager to discuss the recent medical report for one of our clients. We review the next steps of the claim, and they ask if I can book in to attend the worker’s next review with their GP. After noting the details of our conversation for this case on our system, I write a new return to work plan for the client.
The office bell rings. It’s another client who has arrived for our next appointment. They came in to conduct an initial host assessment, which is an appointment that reviews the aspects of an injury and suitable temporary employment options for the worker to undertake if they are not able to return to their original employer immediately.
We discuss the client’s qualifications, work experience and the details of their lower back injury. After the completion of our session, I summarise my plan to the client, which includes contacting their physiotherapist and start looking for a ‘host placement’. A host placement is a temporary work trial designed to offer suitable duties for a worker to rebuild their physical capacity and resilience. I schedule a session to make some phone calls next week to search for a relevant employer for a host placement, which will be a temporary volunteer job for the client to re-build their working tolerance.
After the appointment, I join a scheduled meeting with one of my regional managers to conduct several strategic case reviews (SCRs) for my files. An SCR is an analysis conducted with a more experienced consultant to discuss strategies for the progression of the case and the client’s goals. We have a quick review of four Workcover Queensland files before my lunch break.
I take my lunch to a local park where I can get some sun and take some time to relax. I try to clear my mind of thoughts that remain from the morning’s work and take a quick walk around the park back to the office.
After returning to my desk, I come back to the return-to-work plan that I started earlier in the day and complete the report to send off to the employer, worker and doctor. I make a few quick phone calls to one of my clients to obtain an update on their medical treatment.
I join a facilitated peer support session with several of my colleagues. The topic being discussed today is the importance of case notes. These sessions are helpful for the development of my skills as a consultant and give everyone an opportunity to share and learn how to write effective clinical case notes.
I grab a quick coffee for the end-of-day admin and open a report that I had scheduled into my calendar. My Department of Veteran’s Affairs clients require quarterly progress reports, so I make a start on one that is due early next week. I take my time to detail the medical, psycho-social and vocational aspects of the client’s progress in the past months before sending it to my manager for review.
I have a quick catch-up with my manager about the progress of my day. She usually checks in on me most days to ensure I have a balanced caseload and that I have all the guidance I need.
I jump back in my car just parked outside the office to get back on the highway up to my local gym. I use this time to listen to podcasts and books whilst trying to beat the peak-hour traffic.
Arriving at my gym, I clear my head to start a good strength workout to ‘practice what I preach’. I finish off my session with a quick run and head back home for dinner.
After getting home I reflect on the day and start to wind down, ready to wake up tomorrow and see what the new day brings.