Though there is “bad press” wherever you go regarding workers compensation, as a vocational rehabilitation counselor I believe that I have the best clients, ever. Injured workers come to vocational rehabilitation counselors in hope to find help, a possible job, some training if possible and a chance for a new start. I wanted to tell you about one of our clients who shall be named Ms. M. She came as a hand injured worker who no longer could work in the busy world of food and beverage restaurant business. She had limited education but graduated from high school in the Philippines and went to classes when she came to Hawaii. Because she couldn’t lift too much anymore and chop “too much” she was asked to see Vocational Management Consultants for vocational rehabilitation services.
She was timid and shy but got to know the staff as she learned how to navigate the Internet to find out where the jobs were and found out that she truly had to obtain more skills on the computer. She was open to the training, was concerned that she might not be able to handle the classes but was willing to try. She had the “smarts” for the classes and her plan was devised, signed and approved. She started clerical training so that she could broaden the fields that she was looking for work in and to allow her to apply for work on-line. She was asked if she would consider a volunteer site at the Governor’s office and though quite concerned at whether she could handle the work, she was introduced to the Volunteer Coordinator and she worked there for a couple of months as clerical support while looking for work. Not only did it give her a look at what others do, it gave her confidence in herself.
She found work in a part-time as a light pantry helper and was approved by her doctor to return to that position as she reported that the work was not “heavy” for her and the load was “stable” and not too busy. She indicated that she would stay at this position. After 60 days the case was closed. This was over a year ago.
Ms. M however contacted this counselor recently and told VMC that she was “able to pursue another career”. She opened her own small business at her home as a licensed child caretaker. Ms. M is now working with children and enjoying the work. She stated that she was “grateful” to our vocational rehabilitation services for helping her and encouraging her to be confident in herself. So Ms. M didn’t let the workers compensation system define her. We are grateful for that.
"Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed"