Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCEs) are highly specialized services that implement extensive physical and evaluative testing to determine the physical capabilities and limits of a patient. These evaluations are used to measure strength, endurance, positional tolerance, and daily physical demands. This form of testing is typically done for injured employees, to determine the root of the injury and how additional damage can be prevented in the future. The data gathered is an objective way to define what the injured employee’s limits currently are, and how they can be improved upon. For more information regarding Functional Capacity Evaluations, contact Blue Ridge Physical Therapy today.
What do Functional Capacity Evaluations do?
The main purpose of FCEs is to answer eight distinct questions:
- Can this patient return to work safely?
- How severe is the patient’s pain?
- What type of job can this patient physically handle?
- What are the patient’s safe lifting tolerances?
- What work accommodations could be made to allow this patient to return to work?
- What is the next appropriate step in regards to rehabilitation?
- What are the patient’s cardiovascular and physical endurance limitations for working?
- What are the patient’s positional tolerances for standing, sitting, walking?
Functional Capacity Evaluations work to assist several people involved in the process, including the injured employee, the employer, the physician, the insurance company, the attorney (if applicable), the case manager (if applicable), and the vocational consultant (if applicable).
An FCE is conducted in order to determine a safe return to work, OR in some cases, they can be done as deemed necessary by a hiring manager to establish the functional capabilities of an employee before beginning work. It can also help in determining any liabilities for short-term or long-term disabilities that may have been sustained by the injured employee.
The main features of a Functional Capacity Evaluation include:
- Certified FCE evaluators
- Quality assurance monitoring
- Peer-reviewed research
- Standardized functional testing protocols
- A national network
What are the benefits of Functional Capacity Evaluations?
While FCEs have several benefits associated with them, the main focus is on helping injured employees heal and return to work. These tests help in determining the level of participation in physical demands that is appropriate for the patient, therefore reducing the probability of re-injury. They can also help in determining what areas of physical improvement the patient can work on, in order to make their workday more comfortable and efficient.
These tests are scientifically developed, ensuring an objective result. In addition to helping patients heal and understand their physical boundaries, they can also provide crucial information to the employer, as well. FCEs can help an employer understand what safety standards should be set for employees, in order to reduce the risk of injury and workers’ compensation claims. Overall, Functional Capacity Evaluations can help in making sure the workplace is a safe and pain-free environment for everyone.
Contact Blue Ridge Physical Therapy Today!
At our Johnson City, TN physical therapy office, we are dedicated to preventing as many injuries as possible. If you are recovering from a work-related injury, you would benefit from participating in a Functional Capacity Evaluation, in order to learn your limits before returning. Don’t let yourself be a risk for re-injury – contact Blue Ridge Physical Therapy today to request an appointment and learn more about how FCEs can significantly reduce your risk of a work-related injury!