If you have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and you wish to stay in the workforce for as long as possible, there are several areas that you’ll need to carefully consider.
These areas include how to talk to your employer about your condition, ways you and your employer will need to work together to restructure your job and workplace, and even whether you should look for a job that may be easier to do with COPD. Here are some tips to help you deal with each of these three areas.
Tips for Talking to Your Employer About Your COPD
One of the most important things for you if you have COPD and you wish to continue working is to communicate with your employer, but it’s equally important to know certain things before you submit an accommodation request. These things include:
- Being aware of the disability policies within your company
- Understanding how to request accommodations and what supporting documents you’ll need
- Knowing what your rights are according to the Americans with Disabilities Act
Once you know all of this information, any requests you make for accommodations should be made in writing and include information such as the nature of your condition, how it may affect your job and how certain accommodations will make you more effective.
Finally, it’s important for you to be aware that talking with your employer about accommodations for your COPD is a two-way conversation, which means you want to give your employer time to consider your requests and also let them know that you are open to their suggestions.
Tips for Restructuring Your Job and Your Workplace to Accommodate Your COPD
Once your employer is aware of your condition, they may ask you for some suggestions about how they can make your job easier and your work environment better. To accommodate your COPD more effectively, you may want to suggest options like:
- Modifying your work hours or weekly schedule to prevent yourself from becoming fatigued
- Finding ways to improve the air quality in your workspace
- Ensuring any medical devices you require are unobtrusive and don’t impact your co-workers negatively
With constructive suggestions like these, you can assist your employer with finding ways to keep you productive even with your COPD.
Tips for Finding a COPD-Friendly Job
In some cases, the job that you have currently may not be something you can continue doing with you COPD even with accommodations. In this case, you may want to think about finding a job that is more COPD-friendly. To find your new job, you may want to consider:
- Using the Social Security Administration Ticket to Work website as your primary job search tool
- Selecting options on job search sites such as virtual and home-based
- Moving from a full-time job to a part-time job
By using tips like these, you may be able to find a job you enjoy that will be easier to do with your COPD.
The Lung Health Institute Is Ready to Assist You In Dealing with Your COPD
The team at the Lung Health Institute knows that dealing with COPD may not always be easy, especially if you want to continue working with this condition. However, our team is ready and willing to help you maintain the highest possible quality of life thanks to tools like our Wellness Plans and innovative treatments like lung restoration treatment. To learn more about how we can help you cope with your COPD, contact at friendly patient coordinator at the Lung Health Institute now.