Vocational Counseling for Patients with Complex Medical Conditions

Rusk also offers vocational counseling for patients with complex medical conditions such as such as polyneuropathy, myopathy, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, amputation, and pain syndrome. This counseling service addresses work-related concerns, including how a patient’s condition will affect their capacity to perform work, and helps develop career options. Each patient begins by defining his or her career and/or academic goals, and then establishes a vocational plan through a supportive counseling process. This counseling includes examination of functional limitations, assessment of work readiness, exploration of transferable skills and interests, and identification of job accommodation and modification needs.

Patients may also participate in a Diagnostic Vocational Evaluation(DVE) or Personal Adjustment Training (PAT). In the DVE, a variety of techniques are used to evaluate vocational potential and establish career goals. These include standardized aptitude, achievement, work sample and interest testing, computer-based assessments of software and business skills, behavioral observation, and situational assessments. Through the PAT, patients develop job skills and address work-related issues such as job accommodations, physical stamina, work tolerance, career alternatives, and identification of their optimal work environment in a real work setting.