The risks of injury when you work in the maritime industry exceed that of other professions. Even when you follow safety regulations and wear personal protective equipment, the risks of injury linger.
If you suffer a TBI, you may wonder if returning to work is something you will ever be able to do. Understanding the impact of a severe injury might help you assess your next steps.
Severity and symptoms
Traumatic brain injuries range in severity depending on several factors including the following:
- The site of impact
- The intensity of impact
- The amount of time you lost consciousness
Symptoms of a TBI include everything from delirium and nausea to slowed reflexes and comatose. Throughout your recovery, your symptoms might change and impact you in different ways. Depending on the length of your recovery and the severity of your injury, you might need to take a significant time away from work. The National Institutes of Health suggests that when you do reach the maximum point in your recovery, you could still have a temporary or permanent disability.
Progress and recovery
Optimal recovery from a TBI follows immediate medical treatment, customized rehabilitation and a strong support system. If you have a less severe TBI, you might have the option of collaborating with your employer to keep your job and return to work in a modified manner as you go through recovery. However, a more severe TBI might permanently interfere with your ability to work, at least in the capacity you once did.
If a severe TBI resulted in having to quit your job, you could eventually return to work. Vocational rehabilitation can help you identify transferrable skills, as well as prepare your resume prior to entering the job market. Despite your injury, access to the right tools and support might help you find an alternative career path that enables you to use your skills in ways you enjoy.