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Vocational Rehabilitation Case Studies

These case studies reflect some of the return to work outcomes of clients who have worked with the NZ Spinal Trust’s vocational rehabilitation service. Some were newly injured clients who experienced our early intervention ‘preventative model’ whilst other clients were community based who had experienced their injury many years prior to engaging with our ‘restorative model’ of vocational rehabilitation. Every effort was made to ensure accuracy of details at the time of posting but some, may be subject to change

Amy Glassford

Current Occupation:
Social Worker, Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury DHB
Impairment Level:
T4
Occupation pre-Injury/Illness:
Student

Amy

Ray Stagg

Current Occupation:
Sales Administration
What do you do?
Sell glass and service sales contracts for Pilkington Glass
Impairment Level:
T6 Incomplete
Occupation pre-injury/Illness:
Self-employed glazier
Why did you get back to work?
To pay the bills, social reasons, and to be productive.
Tips for getting back to work:
Use your networks.

Brendan Uncles

Current Occupation:
Brent Smith Trailer Ltd – Engineering hand
What do you do?
Assist around the workshop with equipment maintenance, light engineering work
Impairment Level:
T7 Incomplete Para
Occupation pre-Injury/Illness:
Brent Smith Trailer Ltd – Engineering hand
Why did you want to get back to work?
I have my whole life ahead of me and I’m keen to work because that is what living a normal life is all about.
Tips for getting back to work:
Patience, persistence and keep in contact with your employer.

Jason Duncan

Current Occupation:
Total Stock Crates Fielding Ltd – welder
What do you do?
Assist with the welding and building of stock crates
Impairment Level:
L3 Incomplete Para
Occupation pre-Injury/Illness:
Total Stock Crates Fielding Ltd – welder
Why did you want to get back to work?
I felt valued in my work, I enjoyed the team I worked with and enjoyed the job
Tips for getting back to work:
Maintain a good relationship with your employer during your inpatient stay.

Abby Gaines

Current Occupation:
Barista
What do you do?
Make great coffee of course!!
Impairment Level:
L5 Incomplete Para
Occupation pre-Injury/Illness:
Barista
Why did you want to get back to work?
To earn money, to meet people and to be independent.

Hunter Darry

Current Occupation:
Sales Manager for Donaghys Industries Ltd.

What do you do?
Impairment Level:
C3 Incomplete
Occupation pre-Injury/Illness:
Sales Manager
Why did you want to get back to work?
It’s what I do and it provides a focus and balance to life.
Tips for getting back to work:
Continue good communication with your employer.

Hunter

Chris Ham

Current Occupation:
Owner/Manager, Telecommunications Business, Blenheim
What do you do?
Selling phones and phone systems. Designing technology solutions and managing a team of 8 sales and technical staff.
Impairment Level:
C5/6
Occupation pre-Injury/Illness:
Clerk in a car spare parts department
Why did you want to get back to work?
I enjoy dealing with people and I saw no reason that I couldn’t do at least some of my old job. Also there were things I wanted to have and that I wanted to do and I knew I needed money to do them.
Tips for getting back to work:
You need to kick yourself up the bum to get started because no one else is going to do it for you.
I was guaranteed work by my old boss so that got me back into work pretty quickly.
When it came to setting up my own business it wasn’t really any different for me as for anyone else, able-bodied or not.

Andy Hawker

Current Occupation:
Software Test Manager,
Jade Development Centre,
Christchurch.
What do you actually do?
Testing the latest versions of the ‘Jade’ enterprise application development environment prior to full market release. Also writing many applications using ‘Jade’ to test all aspects of the system.
Impairment Level:
C6/7
Occupation pre-Injury/Illness:
Factory Worker
Why did you want to get back to work?
I always had worked and I had also often considered going to university but was unable to. So when I had my accident along with my lifestyle change I had to do a career re-think. I took the accident and subsequent recovery as an opportunity to actually do it and go to university. This was the only way to ensure that I could rejoin the workforce without having to start from the bottom.
Tips for getting back to work:
Don’t be afraid to stand out at University/Polytech. Be proactive and ‘memorable’ to your lecturers/teachers and they could be very helpful in your job search. It’s all about whom you know and who knows you. The broader your personal networks and profile the better. It doesn’t guarantee you a job but it may mean you get to know about them first. In other words to get you the proverbial “foot (or wheel) in the door”.

Brendan Sheehan

Current Occupation:
Civil Engineer,
Meridian Energy,
Christchurch
What do you actually do?
Specialist dam engineer managing the safety of all existing Meridian Energy dams.
Impairment Level:
T9/10
Occupation pre-Injury/Illness:
Engineering Cadet
Why did you want to get back to work?
I never considered not working. I was able to go back to my existing employer which helped a lot.
Tips for getting back to work:
Continuing my studies as an inpatient showed motivation and initiative which are the attitudes that employers are always looking for.
Any workplace alterations that may be required should be discussed up front with employers and use made of ACC or Workbridge funding to

Brendan