As a collections company employee, Mary Ramirez has a job that requires her to sit at her desk for hours a day working with customers. In October 2009, she was in a motor vehicle accident that changed everything. The accident herniated discs in her back and soon made a desk job very challenging.
After three months of physical therapy and prescriptions to help with the pain, Mary still experienced difficulty when she sat down for long periods as part of her job responsibilities. She was worried that she wouldn't be able to stay at the job she enjoyed unless she could find some relief. Then, she met a Cigna nurse case manager through her employer's disability and medical insurance coverage.
The nurse case manager referred Mary to Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to deal with the stress of her injury, a weight management program to alleviate some of the pressure on her back and vocational rehabilitation services to address possible work station modifications.
Mary ultimately lost 30 pounds and also found some comfort in the counseling sessions. But, it was the vocational rehabilitation counselor assigned to help with the workstation assessment that brought the greatest relief. The counselor helped Mary coordinate with her employer and physician, and even research retailers to find the best solution, before the vocational counselor found the right chair that helped with Mary's back pain.
"Losing the weight made a difference in the strain on my back and the counseling sessions offered through EAP have been terrific during my recovery," said Mary. "But the prescription chair eased the back pain I felt every day. It gave me the peace of mind I needed to stay at work without disability leave, which was my greatest concern."
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