Functional Capacity Evaluation of a Carer – Case Study
This Functional Capacity Evaluation of a Carer Case Study shows the positive outcome when Occupational Health Services are utilised.
A Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) which can be held in a clinic, meeting room, at the workplace or at the individual’s home address, is an assessment of an individual’s physical abilities to perform a physical work role.
It is often necessary to conduct a physical Job Task Analysis at the work site location beforehand. This is so that the FCE assessor has accurate information about the tasks and what physical postures are needed to do the job. The assessor can then assess the individual’s physical abilities, establish if the individual can do the job tasks (is there is a job match?) Also to decide if any reasonable adjustments or a graduated return to work plan is required.
The employer requested an assessment of an employee who was experiencing low back pain. They wanted to know if she could perform her work tasks. The role she performed was a physically demanding one, as a Care Worker. A Functional Capacity Evaluation was performed.
The objective was to assess the employee’s current medical situation. Also for her to perform tasks that the role encompassed to see if they were going to be suitable for her.
Firstly, medical information was gathered from the employer and from the GP (with employee consent). The demands of the job were gained from the employer in as great a detail as possible. This was via a detailed questionnaire. The specific questions that the employer wanted answering were also provided to the assessor.
An assessment was then conducted at the workplace. The assessment was approx 3-4 hours in duration.
The health background and medical situation was discussed. The employee’s opinion on her ability to perform everyday activities and to perform work activities was discussed.
The assessment then led onto the performance of specific tests and tasks in order to objectively assess her ability to perform specific postures, movements and tasks. Also motivation to return to work and the accuracy of her reported abilities compared to her demonstrated abilities was gained.
The manner in which the employee could pace her tasks and vary her activities was also discussed.
Conducting the assessment at the workplace was also useful in this case as it meant that the specific work tasks could be seen and used during the assessment.
The employer was provided with a detailed report analysing the physical abilities of the employee.
A table layout in the report was able to clearly record the work tasks, the individual’s demonstrated ability and the result. Was the employee able to perform the tasks?
The report included recommendations regarding her ability to return to the work role, such as reasonable adjustments (Equality Act 2010) and answered the employer’s specific questions.