How To Come Back After An Injury Or Surgery

March 23, 2018

by Ian D Scofield

No matter how much we attempt to prevent injuries, there will be at least a small number of injuries in the field. You can also experience an injury when off duty. Or even have a surgery that has the same effect on your ability to perform your job as an LEO. We all know that an injury or surgery will set you out of work for at least a small amount of time, sometimes a long period of time.

Even a short-term absence of work due to an injury can make it hard to come back. Especially when that injury effects a part of the body that you need to perform your duty.

How do you come back from one of these injuries? How do you make sure that you are able to perform your job as well as you could before?

Know How You Got Injured

Before you can get back into the proper shape, you need to know how you got injured. If you do the same thing that caused the injury, you are likely to re-experience the injury or make the existing injury worse. You can also learn how to correct the past activity so as not to get injured.

Continue Exercising (If Advisable)

Any time that you are off work, whether it be for an injury or vacation, you should continue exercising. This will help you to stay in the proper shape. It is even more important for the case of an injury where the muscles might need to relearn their jobs. For surgeries that took a while, you might even have to deal with muscle atrophy.

For injuries and surgeries alike, you should make sure to check with your doctor before returning to exercise. You may exacerbate the injury by exercising. Wait until you are clear to do so. Working with your doctor, you might be able to develop ways to exercise the rest of your body so that it doesn’t lose its physical ability while you are out.

Test Yourself

Use the academy testing standards to test yourself while you are out and okay to work. Move between working out and testing will help to ensure that you are still able to work. But keep in mind that some academies accept an 80% pass. Just passing is never good. You should work your way up to a higher scored whenever possible.

Work With A Physical Therapist

A physical therapist specializes in recovering from injuries and surgeries. As long as you work through your insurance (or through L and I) your out of pocket cost for PT will be relatively low. Using an expert to help you recover helps to reduce the chance of tweaking the injury further.

Recover Other Skills

Your ability to run, jump, do pushups, etc, isn’t all that is affected by an injury. Your other abilities, such as your ability to write or shoot can also be affected. Make sure that you run through all of your skills and keep them up. Spend time at the range, write regularly, practice your command voice, and otherwise work out your skills.

Embrace The Emotional Setback

Being an LEO means you are working in one of those jobs where it is tradition to not talk about emotions. You probably have people who have taught you this too. A workplace injury doesn’t just affect your physical self but also your emotional self.

After an injury, you will likely feel like you aren’t the same person. For example, the inability to carry out previous duties might leave you feeling worthless. Combatting these feelings will help you to speed up your recovery significantly.

Coming back to work after time off is never easy. When you add an injury to the mix it is even more difficult. Being prepared will help to reduce the chance of a difficulty. Use these tips to help recover. Talking with your doctor and department will further help to make the transition easier.


About The Author:

Ian is a staff writer at APTI and hospital security officer at a major medical center who has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a Specialization in Administration of Justice.  He has held multiple positions in the security industry from patrol supervisor to auxiliary public safety officer.  At APTI he brings his writing skills to help further the careers of others and provide quality content.  Feel free to visit his freelancing site or his creative writing site.


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