Here to Help Your Client With Shoulder Injury

At the beginning of the year 2017, my left rotator cuff was injured during a combination of physical activity, but I’m not sure how it happened.  Being the type of person who always wants to, no, needs to have answers!, I just had to go with the fact that I hurt! It took a long time for my shoulder to heal and during that time, my physical and mental capacity were diminished. So in some way, I can empathize with what a person with a shoulder injury experience. 

The first six months are critical to any injured body part that wants to heal. Proper care, nutrition, stretching, exercise and relaxation are essential components of rehabilitation.  A “don’t give up attitude” is too. I can relate to the limited movement, the pain, and the frustration from my rotator cuff injury!

Nice Biceps!

What’s good is that my shoulder (arms and entire core for that matter!) are much stronger than before because, well simply put, I care about my shoulders and exercise with purpose so they can work hard for me! 

I was offline for maintenance, but I’m back and stronger than ever!

They’re your only shoulders, all yours. If there’s injury, please do everything possible allowing the healing process to do the work.  If you want a vocational rehabilitation consultant on your side, contact me!

Practicing yoga, or focused stretching and faithfully paying attention to what your body is saying is incredibly valuable during any healing process. If an injury becomes chronic and a decision to perform surgery is made, physical rehabilitation is paramount. 

Rehabilitation also includes body and mind. Speaking of mind, I am grateful to hear of the change in the Iowa workers’ compensation law to provide workers who have a serious shoulder injury and can no longer return to their existing job with vocational rehabilitation benefits.

After July 1, 2017, if in the workers’ compensation system for a shoulder injury, the individual may receive career vocational training at a local community college…and we have good ones here in Iowa!  The employer or the employer’s insurer is required to pay financial support for participation in the program up to $15,000 for tuition, fees, and required supplies. I have plenty of experience helping Veterans return to school and commence with a new career when I had a contract with the VA to provide vocational rehabilitation services.

Also in January 2017,  I worked with a vocational rehabilitation client, Gerald. He had a serious rotator cuff injury with multiple shoulder surgeries and wasn’t expected to be able to return to his job as a roofer. I met with him and performed a vocational evaluation. He expressed interest in work as a heavy machine operator, so upon research and contact with local resources, I prepared an in-depth report to support our findings to help him move into a new career. Please let me know if you have a need on a case involving a shoulder injury as this information is fresh!

Gerald the Cat…Studious, Quick, Very Orange & Very Cool!

Recently (2018) I was assigned two interesting shoulder injury cases (one involves a dentist, the other a truck trailer unloader/consolidator) and am learning a lot about surgical options, costs of care and vocational outcomes. I’d be happy to share what I’ve learned if it’d benefit your client!

Please let me know if you have a need for a vocational expert like me to help you help your client.  Just FYI: a few years back, my sister Julie experienced a bad elbow injury when she tripped and fell at work, which required elbow replacement surgery. I learned about elbow procedures and rehabilitation while helping her!

Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon! BTW, I enjoy using cool cats to support my work!

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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.

Empathy Vs Sympathy. A Good Counselor is Empathetic

I blog about my experiences and thoughts on emotional intelligence from time to time and want to point out an important element of EI has to do with empathy.

~ Empathy ~ The capacity to recognize, understand and to some extent, share feelings (such as sadness or happiness or frustration) that are being experienced by another person.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that when interacting, people often “wait to speak” rather than “hear attentively.” To be empathetic you need to really listen. Huh? What?  It seems this kind of sensitive, active listening is exceedingly rare in our lives. We think we listen, but very rarely do we listen with real understanding, which is true empathy. 

This special kind of listening is one of the most potent forces for change that I know.

To empathize with others, we understand their feelings without taking them on as our own. We are not meant to suffer when others do; each person’s pain can aid in their growth. We are meant to be there for others in a loving and supportive way by listening with our heart.

Listen With Your Heart

There is a huge difference between empathy and sympathy. Empathy involves listening, while sympathy involves reacting. I’ve witnessed a few vocational rehab counselors (only a handful) react to others pain, suffering, anger or grief in such a way that the client was not able to express him or herself and reach their own conclusions. Out of sympathy, the counselor offered advice and solutions rather than allow others to come to their own realizations. Rehabilitation counselors do not offer advice!

Here’s just an example of being sympathetic over being empathetic:

Placement Client: “I can’t find a job.”

Vocational Rehab Counselor: “You will, all you have to do is keep trying. Here, let’s send your resume to employer XYZ. Contact them in the next 3 days and ask for an interview. Call me when it’s scheduled.”

VS

Placement Client:  “I can’t find a job.”

Vocational Rehab Counselor: “Would you like to tell me what you’ve done in your job search? Let’s start from the beginning, or where you felt your job search was not progressing. Is there something you’d like to do differently? What would you like to see happen in the next week or two? I’m here to help and can guide you through the process.”

To be a good rehab counselor, you need to have true empathy

I believe rehabilitation counselors should have true empathy.  Critical thinking skills and emotional intelligence are truly important as well! The more I learn and practice new skills and applications in these areas, the better counselor I become to help you help your client. Contact me at 515-282-7753 or vocresources@gmail.com when you’re ready! Thanks for reading and let me know if I can help on any case involving work and disability.

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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.

Counseling is an Art and Loving to Read is Too!

This is a repeated blog entry from 5-14-12 and it fits right in with my writings on Art & Science. Plus I’ve included a video published 7/9/14 titled the Art of Counseling developed by CRCC (Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification.)

CRCC (Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification)

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A couple blogs or two back, I wrote about reading (and working!), and the type of books I commonly read. I held a questions and answer session with my daughter Arin, who is a connoisseur of books.

One Cute Bookworm

Arin is currently reading Heir to the Empire: Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy, Vol. 1, by Timothy Zahn, independently, and Their Eyes Are Watching God, a 1937 novel by Zora Neale Hurston, for her English class.

 

Stack o Books

Grandpa Jimmie Botkin was definitely a bookworm. He would read up to four books at a time. (I couldn’t do that!) My brother Mike Prochnow is like that too, well, being a bookworm. I remember growing up he would be reading a book in the living room and we (his nice brothers and sisters) used to act up a storm and try to startle him out of reading…..never worked. We even contemplated bringing in the Iowa Falls High School marching band into the living room to see if he would look up from whatever book he was reading at the time.

My Grandma read a lot too! And my son Nick. He has a love of reading as well!

Nick reading a Harry Potter Book while lounging in Ann & Dick’s motor home.

And Randy.  Geez Leweez! He’s actually in a book club!

Check out this 30 second video I created titled Randy Reads!  It took Randy awhile to get the fact that I needed a little attention.  The point here ties back to empathy and counseling. The counseling profession is based upon a helping relationship. The counselor takes on the role of a helper. He or she tries to help one or more people, by providing counseling with respect to some kind of a problem, issue or concern.

 

 

Loving to Read is an Art!  Put Your Readers On!

In my opinion, Counseling is an Art, but okay, Counseling is a Science as well.  I do have a Master’s Degree in Science and I’m a Counselor.  And Randy has a Master’s Degree in Art and he’s a Teacher.  There. Point Made!?!?

Any comments? Drop me a line at vocresources@msn.com to let me know what you’re reading…..and why!

 

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

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

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 find a place in the workforce.