When your doctor finds that you suffer from a serious medical condition, you may worry about what will happen to you at work. Cancer and other health conditions may require that you take time away from your job for treatment or limit what you can do on the job. Coping with your condition requires sitting down with your employer to talk about your diagnosis. Best ways to handle working while coping with a serious medical condition.
Inform Your Employer
Informing your employer of your condition is the first step you should take. Explain the treatments that you need, the symptoms you suffer from and any changes you need to make to your job duties. Your employer cannot legally fire you for being sick, and if you face retaliation or other problems, you can turn to an attorney for help.
Know Your Triggers
Triggers are situations that can make your symptoms worse. If you suffer from chronic nerve pain caused by damage to your sciatica, you may have a hard time sitting for an extended period or doing strenuous activities. Knowing your triggers can help you identify what you can and cannot do at work. That list will also help you feel more comfortable at work and experience less pain and symptoms at home.
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Change Your Duties
Though you may not want to admit it, your chronic condition will improve what you can do at work. As you talk with your employer, make it clear that you need to change some of your current job duties. Instead of spending four hours at your desk before taking a lunch break, you may need to take shorter breaks throughout the morning and afternoon hours. You may also need to assign some of your duties like lifting heavy boxes or driving to meetings with clients to other workers.
Create a Plan
As soon as you hear from your doctor, make a plan for the future. Include all medical appointments you need to make, including appointments with your primary care physician and your radiation science technology specialist, and provide your employer with a copy of your calendar. You and your supervisor can then arrange for others to work on those days. Some companies will even give sick workers the option of doing some work from home instead of those workers coming into the office every day.
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Coping with a serious medical condition at work isn’t something you can do on your own. You need support from your supervisor and other workers too. When you alert your employer up front, copying is a little easier.