Preparing to Graduate…Again!

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Just an update to let my readers know I am nearly done with my most recent learning adventure through George Washington University….that lasted well over a year! I certainly learned a lot about forensics rehabilitation consulting, and really appreciate my cohort comprised of really smart rehabilitation counselors across the country!

There are students from the great states of Iowa (me!), Texas, Ohio, Washington, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, the District of Columbia, and who am I missing? Kansas?!

 

BeautifulOur Beautiful Country is so Colorful!

I’ve been in all our states but Washington, Hawaii and Alaska. This was traveling done mostly as a youngster, in the back of a station wagon with the entire family (oh, the memories!).

Back to the current times Amy….! During the forensic rehabilitation coursework, I placed heavy emphasis on the study of ethics. Because I feel comfortable with my own ethics, in turn I feel comfortable with forming my own opinions (and expert ones at that!)

One ethics paper I prepared in October, 2013 for the course Foundations of Forensics Rehabilitation Counseling II (COUN 6396) emphasized Ethics, Values and Character Surrounding My Career in Private Practice.

In another ethics paper I submitted in Spring 2014 for the course Law and the Rehabilitation Counseling II (COUN 6396), I analyzed Ethics and Vocational Reports. Specifically, I critiqued a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and his USE OF TESTING INSTRUMENTS in VOCATIONAL EVALUATIONS.

Along with submitting my paper to GWU, I also submitted it to a professor from the great State of Washington who teaches ASSESSMENTS to master’s level rehabilitation counseling students. I received powerful feedback from her.

 Knowledge

I am happy to share what I’ve learned and how it can be best applied to meet your litigation needs. My papers are available, just ask and I’ll see if you really want to read all about it! Call me at 515-282-7753 or email vocresources@gmail.com.   Or easier yet, connect with me on LinkedIn. I’ve posted them there!

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce

How Much Does Wisdom Teeth Removal Cost? How About Shoulder Surgery? Need Cost of Care During Litigation?

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May 28, 2019 writing update: My daughter Arin has now completed one year at DMACC! She enjoys college and receives great grades!  She continues studying and working and well, earlier this month experienced what many of us have been through in our early 20s: got your wisdom teeth removed!

Some quick research found that scholars, I  don’t know who they are, but I do know dentists also say we have wisdom teeth as the evolutionary answer to eating raw meats, vegetables, and roots. These third set of molars grow in some people between the ages of seventeen and twenty-five, or the wisdom years.  What? No way. I don’t believe during those years in my life I was wise!  In fact, I’m hoping that every day I become wiser (through experience) and contemplation, of course!

However, when teeth aren’t being to kind to their neighbor, and the time to go has come, they need to be pulled out! So, what will this procedure cost and what will rehabilitation look like? 

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From a quick review of costs found online, a simple removal can cost $75–$200 per tooth. Sometimes the teeth are impacted and cannot break into the jaw through the mouth.If impacted, removal can cost $225–$600 per tooth. So the cost range here is (x 4 teeth) $300 – $2,400

Luckily, none of AJs were impacted! She was quite pleased the clinical staff saved her pulled out teethers as a gift she could bring home, display, and brag about!   Image result for teeth as gift cartoon

I found out some surgeons will offer a discount for removing all four teeth at once, which can save $1,000 or more on the average cost of wisdom tooth removal surgery.  So, can you see where and why the costs can vary?

There are a few additional costs associated with wisdom tooth removal, including the initial consultation, which for Arin’s procedure cost $100, and prescription medication for pain, and potentially a special mouthwash for pre-and post procedure care, total cost~$10, I was surprised in our Rx plan 20 Hydrocodone pills cost less than $2 (specifically $1.82.)

Keep in mind when I’m costing out care or prescriptions, I’ve been trained to rely upon what a person would pay out of pocket (which means no health plan insurance, no collateral resources such as Medicare/Medicaid, nope, not even VA benefits).

Arin agrees, and I somewhat recall from way back when I underwent the procedure in my early 20s, the recovery process is “a lot worse” than the actual procedure and really, as is similar to all rehabilitation, always involves healing time.  Rehabilitation follows basic self care, including how to de-stress your body when it’s trying to heal itself.

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Thankfully, we have a good dental plan through my husband’s employer (and Arin is still on it) and just as importantly, she is really good with making and saving money. She paid using her debit card the $750 that insurance didn’t cover. The explanation of benefits from Delta Dental arrived in our mail box recently, and the total for the procedure:  $2,015.

One reason I am costing wisdom teeth removal in this post is to let you  know I like doing it (costing out care) and can help you help a client who does not need a full blown life care plan. Perhaps, a  specific cost of care report would serve beneficially during litigation.

Here’s just a little bit about a recent case I was involved in:  I was hired by an attorney to help a dentist who had (well because I’m not a doctor, I’ll describe the diagnosis in lay terms): one bad shoulder. To not go into any detail, it was a lawsuit because the bad shoulder was caused by getting broad-sided while driving in traffic. 

Keep in mind for this case, I wasn’t involved vocationally because the bad shoulder didn’t impact the dentist’s vocational earnings. This was because prior to the traffic incident, he hired or referred out and had not been performing surgical procedures, so his income was not affected. I was asked to find costs of a shoulder surgery and any associated future care which was was needed for litigation purposes.

Image result for costs of health care testing cartoonDuring my initial research I found out that leading up to a shoulder replacement procedure involves several steps and communication to determine if the person would be a good candidate for an outpatient program, considering the person goes home the same day.

The treating doctor prospected the dentist may require a left shoulder reverse total replacement surgery within the future (10 years).  It was determined the dentist more than likely would have outpatient surgery.  Here’s where I came in, to cost out what this surgery and the rehabilitation would amount to. I’m not going to give you all I found, well because I was paid to do that work. So, I’ll just give you a bit of my report and what I found, for free here on my blog!

There is a pre-assessment teaching appointment with a joint coordinator (included in the $18k outpatient procedure cost). A simple online health admit walks the patient through their medical history (for anesthesia purposes). The physical exam pre-operative is usually with the PCP and would include a standard physical with typically a CBC, BMP and EKG. X-rays at pre-op and post-op may not be necessary, and an MRI may not be. All testing and recommendation depends on the patient’s needs, and is dictated by the surgeon. Followup would likely involve physical therapy and home-based exercises. 

So then what do I do next, cost it all out!? Well, yep! And I included research and rehabilitation goals. Want more examples of cases? Let me know!  Want my help in helping your client with a case involving work and disability? Again, let me know! Contact me to discuss the case!

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Purpose to Serve Others Continues to Ring True!

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(Original post date 9/10/13) As I mentioned last week, I’m moving into round 2 of my studies at GWU. I came across the statement of purpose I wrote in April 2013 and wanted to post it as it continues to ring true for me!

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE written by Amy E. Botkin

My purpose in undertaking graduate study at The George Washington University is to learn about the intricacies and efficiencies of serving as an expert witness in my area of expertise. As a rehabilitation counselor, life care planner and placement specialist, my focus is often on facilitating healthy return to work outcomes.

Prior to my current career, I worked as a marketing representative for a staffing agency that placed people into clerical and light industrial jobs. This work experience offered me a base on how to match people with the world of work. I understand the concept of incorporating the needs of employers with the needs of job seekers.

My background as the leader of a diverse group of placement specialists afforded me additional insight into challenges affecting job seekers. In my practice, as well as with the experiences within our group, I visit employers and find that personalities and fitting in, as well as proof of skills, may be the strongest indicator of a successful placement.

However, in perspective the job seeker may not believe he or she has the capacity to meet the employer’s expectations. Therefore, the job seeker is not successful in the initial stages of a job search, leading to feelings that may further disintegrate their role and performance as a qualified job seeker. Therefore, my career goal is to continue with my consulting practice and incorporate specific work-life identity skills training.

Ringing True!

As a freelance writer on a part-time basis, I develop stories about locally owned businesses, mostly from a personality perspective by interviewing business owners to learn about their background and what brought them to this particular business. I gain much insight and detail into what brings a person to their career.

My ability to draw out a person’s background information is also useful to guide a person who has lost their job due to illness, injury or disability into a new or similar job that continues to use their assets, albeit in a new form.

My research interests are in the areas of vocational rehabilitation, specifically how personalities, lifestyles and cultures form a person’s work identity. When taking into consideration a serious injury or accident that leads to disability or functional limitations, I would like to identify and assess unique methods to adjust the factors related to essential functions of a job that may be beyond a person’s capacities (either physically, emotionally or intellectually).

I would like to learn how to Box!

Using the skills gained from this program, I’d expand my research methodology for my client, evaluee or customer. Presenting novel material in front of a jury will allow me to separate from the common counselor and be viewed as a credible source of unique material that is specific to the needs of the case. With this new knowledge and skill, I would feel even more confident expressing my opinions. I look forward to my studies.

Thank you,

Amy E. Botkin, MS, CRC, CLCP

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

People and Their Pets…Got Cat? Pet Ownership

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When I meet with an individual to perform a vocational assessment, I ask many questions to gather information about their work and life background. One question I ask, underlying other questions regarding psychosocial factors, is about pet ownership. Asking about pet ownership during an evaluation can tell me a lot about a person!

Got Cat? Rabbit? Snake? Fish? Iguana? Bearded Dragon?

Of course pet ownership is not for everyone, but if the individual is a pet owner, and a discussion develops about the topic, it offers me insight about the person. Pet ownership allows for psycho-social benefits accruing within an individual from the one-to-one type interactions with their pets.

Pet ownership can also influence broader social interactions and perceptions, experiences of sense of community, and social capital at the neighborhood level. In addition, a pet owner’s sense of health and well-being often emerges as a valuable and positive feature of daily living.

SamiJo The Love of My Life!
SamiJo The Love of My Life!

This is SamiJo, the Love of My Life!

Okay: I have 3 cats (Felix, SamiJo and Alaska), a dog (Bella), a guinea pig (Peggy), and a fish (Bluebee). Oh, and a hedge hog (Sandslash). My beloved rabbit, (a mini rex named Patches) died last week.

It’s a big responsibility to own a pet. You must provide basic care which includes food, water, shelter, veterinary care and exercise for your pet. And you must abide by the City’s bylaws around pets and animals.  For Bella’s 5th birthday awhile back, she received a dog pass to the Riverwalk Dog Park!

Patches
Patches

Patches was a grateful rabbit

Patches had plush, velvet like fur and a happy personality. A mini rex is known as “The Velveteen Rabbit”. Patches was small, weighing 3-4 pounds. He liked to lunge out of his wooden hut when his cage door was opened. Some people (like my husband) got a little frightened of this burst out thinking they were in danger! But I saw his behavior as a great show of energy! I also loved his happy hops!

 Patches loved rose petals….He ate them! 

Patches always was thankful when he was fed (and especially when he received a treat!) with a little snorty sound. I had noticed he was getting very thin, however he still was eating. And then one morning, he was not lunging out of his hut, and he was very still, yet he was breathing. I checked on him several more times.

Later in the afternoon he did lunge out, although it was a very unusual lunge. He bonked off his litter box and landed on his side. I started to pet him……continuing to stroke his very soft fur….until he died.

Think about pets you’ve known and understand why I find it important to ask about pet ownership. Have you ever gone to a dog park and learned dogs’ names, but never asked the owners for theirs? And observed their behaviors (both dogs and owners) to compile evidence about your theory of dog parks!?!

In a previous post on April 2nd 2012, I blogged about another question I ask about the person’s nutritional intake and habits. Want to Heal that Injury? Focus on Your Nutrition!  Healthy nutritional intake is just as important for your body as it is for your pets. Please feed everyone well!

For You Patches. I Love You!

Let me know if you have questions about how I perform a vocational assessment. You can also click over to the right under documents for download to see a sample vocational assessment and evaluation report.

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Seeking Help from Others…Michael from Malaysia and Eeyore from Pooh Corner!

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Okay, next up to blog about is the Microeconomics for Non-Biology majors course I took in the Spring of 1995. Although I took micro and macroeconomics during my DMACC days (and recall doing okay), this course at ISU was overwhelming. Therefore I am proud to say, I sought out help!  I visited student services and was given names of potential tutors to contact.

That is how I found Michael from Malaysia! I hired Michael as my tutor and boy did he make me work and study hard. I remember taking notes upon notes upon notes, and meeting with Michael many times between classes. I received a B+ in the course and am very grateful for his help. Bottom line is I trusted him!

I sought help from Michael from Malaysia!

At some time everybody has difficulty accomplishing a goal that is important in life. Seeking help from others is a sign of self-respect.

Along with seeking help through student services, during difficult times I’ve also used the services of a mental health counselor and found group counseling beneficial to learn about myself and how my relationships impact others. I believe in other helpful therapeutic approaches such as Healing Touch and Meditation to help with my body, mind and soul. And I am very fond of Yoga too!

I had a great mentor in my earlier days as a vocational counselor. And I’ve been blessed to have a mentor in these early days of my work as a Life Care Planner.  I embrace the fact that being trained in one field of expertise does not provide immunity from continuing to seek help from others within my field(s) or from other people in other fields. Continue on….for an example using one of my favorite characters!

I have a fondness for Eeyore…three stuffed ones live in my office!

Although Eeyore can be a pessimistic and gloomy old donkey at times, one of his goals is to become the happiest donkey in the Hundred Acre Wood. He lives in Pooh Corner in his stick house, ya know and it can be overwhelming for him at times when he experiences distress.

Eeyore knows that to solve his problems he needs help. He’s not afraid to ask for help, accept help or offer help to help others. Examples include how Eeyore allows his friends to help him out of the river when he falls in, build his house when it tumbles down, put his tail back on when it falls out, and finding it when it gets lost which is really distressful!  

Just as important, Eeyore livens up his friends when they are feeling low. Eeyore is a thinker, a planner, a consider-er. Nothing flits through his brain. Every thought and fact is held up for careful consideration, it’s value weighed and measured, and then precisely cataloged in his orderly brain for future reference. Eeyore is insightful and capable of great compassion.  (Now you realize why I love him!) 

“Thanks for noticin’ me” & “Ohhh-kayyy”

What can I do to help your client through difficult times, for example, following an accident or injury? I accept referrals from insurance carriers, claimant and plaintiff attorneys, and employers. I also accept assignments from self-paying individuals, and work with a range of community agencies.

If you’ve experienced a work injury, reach out to your workers’ compensation adjuster to ask for assistance with returning to work or seeking new employment. New opportunities may arise in another field of employment. Remember Michael and Eeyore……and their trustworthy personality. I hope I can serve you in that fashion.  Contact me, Amy Botkin, at 515-282-7753 or vocresources@msn.com

I’m happy to help and will carefully consider your situation! 

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Assessment, Assessment, Assessment and More Assessment! Need Your Client Assessed?

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I performed a self-assessment and wrote a paper titled “Self-Assessment of Competencies for Entry Level Health Educators” for the School Health course I took while attending Iowa State University in the fall of 1994.

Self Assessment

I remember typing my paper on a Power Mac and using a dot matrix printer! Remember how to carefully tear the sides off after you gently folded at the seam?  I read the old paper (it was yellowed!) scanned it in and recycled the paper (one of my purposes of blogging is to clear out my office of lots of paper!) I won’t bore you with the entire paper, but here’s the original cover page, the introduction and the conclusion:

INTRODUCTION

I am a non-traditional student (if there is such a term) who has worked for 12+ years and made the move to return to school to fulfill a personal goal. Please keep in mind as you read my self-assessment that I have based many skills and competencies on activities I have performed in the past at the workplace.

I have been employed as a nurse’s aide, a medical records clerk, an agricultural statistics gatherer, and a secretary for the State of Iowa. Currently, I am a medical transcriptionist and a placement specialist.

My position as a placement specialist has offered me many skills that can be related to a health educator. This position is for a rehabilitation consulting firm, and as a placement specialist, I work with individuals who have been injured on the job and are now receiving workers’ compensation benefits. My objectives involve offering the client job seeking skills training to return them to meaningful employment as outlined by their personal goals and health history. My education nursing school, secretarial science, liberal arts and community health education. I have many credits!

The paper then focused on how my skills / competencies (including those I would need to acquire) and related life experiences help in the following areas:

  • Assessing Individual and Community Needs for Health Education
  • Planning, Implementing and Evaluating Health Education Programs
  • Acting as a Resource Person in Health Education
  • Communicating Health and Health Education Needs, Concerns and Resources.

And the … last page … the

CONCLUSION

This self-assessment is an excellent tool to use when identifying your strengths and weaker areas of professionalism and room for growth. I put a lot of work into this assessment, as it let me seriously look at why I took various courses and which ones pertain to my future as a health educator. This assessment will help me compile an up-to-date resume, and also gives me a tool which I can use when interviewing for a job.

Although I feel I have many useful skills, I need to refine many of them. With the incorporation of all the knowledge I have gained through my community health education major, I am VERY MUCH looking forward to finding a position where I can utilize all my skills and competencies.

The professor, Dr. Frank E. Shabel, made comments in red ink throughout the assessment, and on the last page of the paper he wrote:  Amy, This is the most thorough assessment I have had in two years. You have gained much through the process. Save a copy for future employers. A+ 35/35 4 pages? (Note it need have only been 4 pages, but mine was 9…typical me.)

The paper is a blast from the past and I see that I did a pretty good job of doing what I said I needed to do!  That being to utilize and develop the skills and competencies I wrote about in the fall of 1994!  And very importantly, since then, I focused in on developing my assessment skills.

An assessment is the estimation of the quality or ability of something or someone.  It is imperative to gather complete, reliable and valid information from the person who is the recipient of an assessment.  

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I perform vocational assessments, transferable skills assessments, job assessments, educational assessments, employability assessments, job seeking skills assessments, job search assessments, labor market assessments, educational / training assessments, small business assessments, independent living assessments, life care planning assessments, motivational assessments, occupational health assessments, plus more!
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If you’d like to learn more about my vocational assessments, or any of the other many assessments available, and how I focus on individual while keeping uniqueness in mind, give me a call at 515-282-7753. You can also find documents for download and click on the sample vocational assessment link.  I’m happy to help assess your client’s assessment needs! 

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

 

Feeding the Sharks…Even Babies Bite Hard!

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[Original Post date: March 26, 2012] Feeding the Sharks…Even Babies Bite Hard!

I fed sharks!  Incredible!

To explain:  My son Jake (he’s a high school senior) needed help feeding the fish at Central Campus over spring break.  Central Campus is a regional academy of the Des Moines Public School District in Des Moines, Iowa. The campus provides extended and unique learning opportunities to students.

Jake is a student in the Aquarium Science program, taught by Kirk Embree.  In the program, students experience aquatic animal husbandry and aquaculture in a new facility modeled after a public aquarium.  The “fish” are on the 3rd flood of the “old tech high building” and you have to see it.  It’s very impressive.  The entire building is getting an incredible face lift (it used to be a Ford assembly plant).  I’m proud of what DMPS is doing to improve learning environments.

There are over 100 aquariums, totaling 16,000 gallons of saltwater!

Last year, Jake and his cohort traveled to the Bahamas for a 10 day field ecology trip and explored the ocean…..and other areas of life while down there.  He certified in scuba diving for the trip.  What stories he shared…  We are privileged to have this wonderful learning academy accessible for our youth!   Here’s a short video about the marine program.

Sharks have all the senses we have (smell, taste, touch, eyesight, and hearing). They can also sense electricity and vibrations in the water. However, a shark’s primary sense is a keen sense of smell. It can detect one drop of blood in a million drops of water (~25 gallons) and can smell blood 0.25 mile away!  To feed the sharks, I used a realllly long needle with raw shrimp on the end.  They snatched it right up and I let out a bit of a scream!

That would bite!

To change tones of this post I have a question.  Have you seen the movie Swimming With Sharks (also known as The Boss and Buddy Factor)?  It’s a 1994 American comedy drama film, directed and written by George Huang.

Buddy Ackerman, an influential movie mogul, hires Guy, a naïve young writer, as his assistant. Guy, who has just graduated from film school, believes that his new job is a golden opportunity. Despite warnings from Rex, the outgoing assistant who has become hardened under Buddy’s reign, Guy remains optimistic……..Unfortunately, Buddy turns out to be the boss from hell…..

The above is from From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

I’d rather feed than swim with the sharks!

A “shark” can be a greedy or ruthless or treacherous person.  I tend to understand that “swimming with sharks” means “working with ruthless, back-stabbing people who will stop at nothing to achieve their own goals (profit).” In this sense, a shark doesn’t care what he does to you or a company. He “attacks fiercely” in order to achieve his own goals. The “attack” could be perfectly legal, even though it might hurt a lot of other people.

Pay attention to “sharks”

I counsel clients through the job placement process, and we pay attention if it appears there’s sharky behaviors coming from potential employers.  I also counsel myself when it comes to the potential of swimming in water that may be infested with sharks.  In a future post I will talk about my role in litigated cases as an Expert Witness.  Stay tuned and keep watch!

 Even cute baby sharks bite hard!

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Solutions for People With Disabilities

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Solutions for People With Disabilities


Job Placement Services

Matching People With Their World of Work

Matching People Within Their Own World of Work

Job Analyses & Job Descriptions

Life Care Planning Services

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Occupational Health Consultation

Rehabilitation Counseling*

*For more information visit CRCC | Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification, CRC
www.crccertification.com/

I LOVE REHAB

Vocational Case Management

Vocational Resources Plus, LLC * lcpresourcesplus.com * 515-282-7753  * VocResources@msn.com

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Vocational Research Assignments & Staffing Placements

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Vocational Resources, Plus consults on workers’ compensation, personal injury and disability cases by providing qualitative research services and consultation as well as direct service provision. Due to the nature of return-to-work, each vocational assignment is situational and individualized. The goal is to provide a clear and concise picture of the employment options currently available to the evaluee or client.Related imageResearch is based on a wide range of criteria and utilizes solid methodology and fact gathering techniques. Accurate and objective reporting details up-to-date information to define and enhance the direction of the case.

Assignments vary greatly, and include differences in level of education, skills, abilities, aptitudes, socio-economic factors, physical limitations and an assortment of employability factors.

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Vocational Resources, Plus has performed indepth research on many vocations and identified various factors that have helped to prioritize issues for the case at hand.

For a listing of vocations, please click on the link on my website. Also, as a matter of fact, I’ve also placed hundreds of workers throughout Des Moines. Here’s my client roster list from my days as a marketing representative for a staffing company:

Client Reference List

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And now old piece of paper, you’ve been recycled! Please let me know what I could do to help you help your clients!

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Benefits of Vocational Assessment

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A vocational assessment is an integral component in vocational rehabilitation. Depending on the perspective, vocational assessment has many benefits and is used for many different applicable purposes.

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A vocational assessment can be used to:

  • determine a person’s potential for work, the content of a vocational training program, his or her employability or ability to adapt to different work environments.
  • assist an individual to make realistic job training and career choices based on their interests, abilities, aptitudes, and the realities of the job market.
  • help counselors, rehabilitation professionals and employment placement specialists work more effectively with their clients.
  • help trainers and instructors adapt to the needs of the person with a disability.
  • help administrators use resources more wisely.
  • help employers make better hiring selections.
  • make recommendations about the person’s work-life!

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For a detailed look into how I perform a vocational assessment, please take a look at the Sample Vocational Assessment & Evaluation Report on my website.

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.