Anthony Millman- Treating Health Practitioner Achievement - LifeCare Footscray Physiotherapy
Treating health practitioner achievement - 2012 Awards
LifeCare Physiotherapists are highly trained to assess and diagnose physical conditions, then plan and administer treatment programs to restore function to the highest possible level. LifeCare Physiotherapists also work in partnership with Doctors and other health professionals to ensure the best possible treatment and care.
Tony is an Occupational Physiotherapist and Manipulative Physiotherapist with 40 years clinical experience with both pre and post employment treatment of injured workers
How do you assist an injured worker back to work?
As an Occupational Physiotherapist and Manipulative Physiotherapist with 40 years clinical experience with both pre and post employment my treatment of injured workers takes on a Sports Medicine Module
I have had experience with Onsite Consultancy of various industries, with development of early intervention programs and rehabilitation of acute & chronic back pain on site.
I have developed an Early Intervention Program with employers receiving same day to next day treatment availability with return to work and alternative duty schedules to empower the worker to return to pre injury duties as soon as is practical and safe.
I believe that the key to the management of these quite specific injuries is to have a good understanding of the biomechanics involved in the injury and the ergonomics involved by each individual patient.
As a matter of course I have visited the sites to have a better understanding of the job requirements of the biomechanical, bio physiologically and ergonomic perspective.
With this in mind I have developed a series of Pre Employment Musculoskeletal Tests to rate the applicants suitability to the task for which they are to be employed areas of potential risk are yellow flagged.
Describe what you do differently in the way you manage return to work compared to other treating health practitioners to achieve better outcomes?
Each new injury is discussed with both the worker and the employer with the ultimate goal of returning the patient to work as soon as is safe.
I engage the patient fully in their recovery process & I discuss the treatments available, the approximate timeline and the outcome expectations which are feasible to the injury and the job to which they are to be returned, wether this is to pre injury or alternate duties.
I take careful notice of the patients history and injurious activity together with a past history of the injured area and the patients injury history overall.
I discuss with the employer, feasibility of returning the patient to work on a restricted or alternate basis as early as possible, thus engaging the employer in the rehab process.
I liaise closely with the treating medical practitioner when there is one involved.
I believe it is important to have a first hand understanding of the employers business, the expectation of the patient in returning to pre injury status and any ongoing measures they may need undertake to remain symptom free or to self manage chronic conditions.
Provide an example of a great return to work outcome or initiative you've achieved/developed?
A 55 year old tanker driver who duties are to load, transport and unload fuel at service stations within the outer metro and near country areas.
The patient sustained the injury whilst unloading a heavy hose from the tanker and dragging it across a slippery driveway of a service station.
The patient was deemed Unfit by the company doctor and off work for two reasons
A) The patient was unable to sit/walk for more than 15 minutes without increased pain requiring movement and heavy painkillers
B) As a matter of course the employer would not accept a Return to Work process on light or alternative duties for returning to tanker driver duties the patient had to be deemed fully fit and there was no prospect of modified duties.
I have had the opportunity of visiting a tanker site and acquainting myself with the physical modes of unloading hoses.
With this knowledge in mind I had a better understanding of the patient’s issues in returning to work and returning to pre injury status.
As his improvement with manual therapy got to the stage where he would be able to return to a modified duty I discussed with the employer a program by which the patient could return to tanker driver duties on a restricted basis.
This involved convincing the employer that the patient could do alternative duties such as driving a utility to inspect/supervise the activities of a temporary tanker driver with a limit initially of 1 hour drive at a time.
As the workers condition improved with time and the transfer of the patient from manual therapy to a strengthening program within the gym an exercises regime was tailored for this patient to regain strength and endurance with specific exercises designed to mimic the activities of dragging, pushing and pulling heavy hoses.
Over a three week period the patient increased power, endurance and general fitness and would return to tanker driving as soon as a slot was available for his employer.
From discussions with the employer they have mentioned that in this case the outcome of return to work has been quite different to what the employer has experienced in the past where each patient has had a lost time injury as there were no alternative duties obviously available.
By introducing a regime of a lighter vehicle whilst his strengthening progressed was new to this employer.
What’s the secret to success of your return to work initiative and/or as a treating health practitioner?
Focus on early intervention, return to work and rehabilitation of acute and chronic conditions (especially back) in consultation with workers and employers on site.
WorkSite attendance to gain a better understanding of biomechanical, bio physiological and ergonomic needs of work practices
Encouraging worker and employer to participate in the rehabilitation process
Gaining better understanding of worker's issues pre and post return to work and modifying treatment and duties accordingly
Where possible please provide information that will support your entry, this could include return to work results.
Please contact workers and employer for testimonial
The publishing of entries on the WorkSafe Awards website and or/the granting of an award does not constitute any endorsement by WorkSafe Victoria of a product, method or service, or the occupational health and safety performance of the workplace. Monthly Champions must undergo expert review to progress through to the stringent validation and judging process and can only progress to the next stage of entry once WorkSafe are satisfied that the entry/entrant has met the relevant award category criteria and terms and condition of entry.