Functional capacity evaluation or FCE refers to objective tests, practices, and observations conducted to evaluate the physical ability of a person to function in different areas or circumstances. It is mostly conducted on prospective employees to determine their capability of working under different conditions and circumstances. The final report demonstrates the aggregate impact of any depicted symptoms on your capability to perform certain work functions.
The functional capacity evaluation is essential for individuals who depict signs of physical conditions that impact normal movement, balance, positioning or cause limited movement, muscle weakness, pain, numbness or tingling sensations, or fatigue during physical activities. Many functional evaluation tests are not geared towards evaluating visual or hearing impairments or cognitive/mental issues.
Who is Authorized to Perform FCEs and How Long Does It Take?
Only trained medical professionals such as a physician or an occupational therapist can conduct an FCE test. They have to have had some specialization in rehabilitative occupational medicine, which is essential in the FCE test.
An FCE test period may vary from one person to the other or from one professional evaluator to another. However, the standard time is anywhere between a day or two. Typically, the evaluation lasts a whole day unless otherwise instructed. Evaluations carried over two days are more advantageous in comparison to those carried out in a single day. When carried over two days, the evaluation does more to distinguish whether certain limitations increase or decrease when performing certain tasks continuously. It will help your insurer understand why your capability to work decreases with sustained activity, explaining the reasons why you can’t sustain normal work schedules such as consecutive days.
What Should You Wear or Bring Along?
It is essential to know that the FCE test entails a series of physical tests. Therefore, you should wear comfortable clothes such as sneakers, casual pants, and a sweatshirt. It is also wise to dress up in layers to ensure that you remain comfortable throughout the evaluation process.
When going for the evaluation, it is also important to carry any medication or assistive devices that you might require. You can carry your eyewear, canes, braces, and any other assistive device you normally use. It is also important to involve your attorney in the matter if you have one. The attorney should supply the evaluator with your medical history, occupational history and background, and any other essential documentation and details that you have. It might come in handy during your evaluation.
What Tests are Usually Performed and What Will You Be Asked?
It is also good to know that you will be asked a series of questions throughout the evaluation process. These questions are essential because they will help the evaluator understand you better, contributing to your final report. As stated above, it is good to involve your attorney in the process if you have one. The attorney will supply the evaluator with the necessary information before the test. That will help the evaluator understand what you are going through before even showing up for the evaluation.
During the process of evaluation, you will be asked to perform some physical tasks to measure:
- Your overall physical strength
- Posture correctness and intolerance
- Levels of fatigue
- Ability to lift and carry a load
- Your range of motion
- The ability to sit, stand or walk properly
- The ability to perform gross and fine manipulations, among others.
These tests are carried out using various machines, maneuvers, and tools. The same tests may be repeated on the second day of the FCE test to determine your level of decreasing functionality.
Functional Capacity Evaluation is a series of physical tests used to determine your capability to handle different conditions. It is mainly conducted on workers to determine their capability to handle different tasks. It is important to be prepared with the right information and mindset before their evaluation to ensure that the optimal results are drawn.