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Occupational Health - what to expect?

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by antoniou, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. Hi all,
    I've been referred to Occupational Health after being signed off for a week just before the end of term with stress. I've got an appontment for the start of the new term and was just wondering what kind of things they ask, what to expect, etc?
    Thanks in advance.
  2. I went recently and was really worried about it but came away feeling really positive and that they were there to help not make anything worse. I felt like the woman I saw really understood my condition, more than the head.
    I went on my own in the end, just be honest, as they are there to help.
  3. giraffe

    giraffe New commenter

    I had a positive experience last year.
    Remember that they are employed by your school and are there ultimately to protect their interests. They are not your doctor and you shouldn't share any information with them that isn't relevant to the case in question.
    Some ask for access to your full medical records and that should be refused.
    Speak to your GP about it if you have concerns.

    My consultation ended up with them putting the blame for my illness firmly with the school and its unreasonable working conditions. The school then had to adhere to the return to work conditions and I ended up making a good recovery.
  4. That's quick! I wasn't referred until I had my second certificate for 4 weeks.
    Really nothing to worry about!
    I was asked how I was, the circumstances leading to my sickness and what I would like him (the doc) to recommend to my employer to put in place to help me get back to work. He also asked what medication I was on and for me to think about what would I would like him to recmmend to my employers to help me get back to work (at that stage, I didn't know because my brain was muddled and I was anxious about seeing him). He also recognised that I was still 'stressed' (well, I was a bit more than that but I don't wish to disclose my exact symptoms on a public forum).
    In my second interview with him, we discussed the exact nature of my phased return to work (2 weeks mornings, 2 weeks, shorter days, 2 weeks full days but an hour later and then back to normal hours).
    By the way, the advice from a previous user about not wearing your heart on your sleeve is good. of course, you should be honest about the triggers of the condition and how you feel but don't tell OH anything you don't feel comfortable being disclosed to anyone else (e.g. I didn't tell the doc that I'd already decided on a particular course of action because I didn't want that going back to my employers). OH will speak for you but, as my OH doc said to me, OH has to act in your interests AND your employer's interests. E.g. I felt that my GP had a better understanding of the nature of my condition and how I wanted to deal with it (I wanted to make my own decisions and recover at my own pace, so answered my questions as if I were a person of intelligence and reassured me on various issues when required), whereas I found the OH doc to be slightly arrogant and pressurising at times when devising the phased return (which annoyed me slightly as I felt that it was aggravating my condition. E.g. When I expressed concern about whether 2 weeks on each phase would be long enough for me to get used to things, his tone was indignant as if I were questioning his professional competence. In contrast, my GP actually answered the question thereby giving me the reassurance that I needed).
    HTH! Good luck!
  5. I just wanted to thank everyone for their replies.
    I had my appointment this morning and was very happy with how it went. The lady I met was very supportive and made sure I was aware that my ability to work (and not get to the point where I'm signed off with stress again) was her main concern. She gave me some good advice about what to do if I feel the school is causing me unnecessary stress again and she will put this in her report to the school also. All in all, a positive outcome!

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