Functional Capacity Exams
For your own interest, your employer’s interest, or a workers’ compensation claim, a functional capacity exam (FCE) will be conducted to produce an unequivocal answer to the question of how capable an individual is of performing the necessary functions of a given job.
A physician will observe the patient participating in particular tasks that may be involved in the patient’s job. Based on tests and observations, the physician will provide a report that the patient and insurance companies will use to evaluate the best possible working conditions for the patient and to determine a realistic timeline for returning to work.
Measures for a Capable Worker
A workplace relies on seamless and cohesive teamwork to conduct business in a safe and efficient manner. If employees are unable to perform their duties to an acceptable standard with regard to safety and productivity, they can become a liability in the workplace. An FCE allows employees and employers to establish the employees’ workplace capabilities without risk. These are the measures that an FCE uses to establish an employee’s physical condition to manage his or her particular workday:
- Physical strength
- Range of motion and flexibility
- Tolerance toward strenuous activities such as walking, carrying, and lifting
- Any other measures that are specific to an employee’s line of work
What Occurs During an FCE?
As with any examination, there will be an introductory period dedicated to meeting with the patient. During this initial consultation, the doctor will go over the patient’s personal and medical history as well as listen to the patient’s symptoms. Based on the information provided, the physician may choose to perform a physical evaluation to help decide how the exam should be conducted to safely assess the patient’s vocational capabilities.
To determine the functional capacity of an employee, physicians observe their patients performing a combination of these (or similar) exercises:
- Lifting boxes
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) lifting test
- Extended standing
- Stair climbs
- Climbing ladders
- Naughton treadmill test at various intervals
- Bending and reaching (side-to-side, up and down)
- Computerized physical tests
- Specific work simulations
After a comprehensive evaluation of your physical state, our team will have an in-depth idea of what treatments, procedures, and rehabilitative exercises are required to return you to working shape. From making critical decisions as to which referrals will give patients the best possible care to treat their ailments to initiating patients into our pain management program, our team will provide the best possible care and guidance to get you back to work.
Injuries are hard to handle. Add in the financial stress of missing work, and it can become that much more difficult to focus on your health. By focusing more on the psychological aspects of recovery, Advantage Healthcare Systems offers a unique and extremely effective approach to vocational rehabilitation.
How to Handle a Workplace Injury
If you have sustained a workplace injury or illness, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. You must report your injury to your employer within 30 days and to the Division of Workers’ Compensation of the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) within 1 year. By working closely with TDI’s Division of Workers’ Compensation to answer any questions you may have about the workers’ compensation claim process, you can successfully submit and fulfill all of the duties of a worker’s compensation claim to receive any necessary benefits that you may be owed.
Your employer may decide to change your job responsibilities to better suit your post-injury capabilities. It’s important to consider your long-term health while on the job and to not allow your workplace responsibilities to place you at risk of further injury and discomfort.
To schedule your FCE to begin the process of returning to work or supporting your workers’ compensation claim, call our Dallas medical facility at (877) 487-8289.