How a Physical Therapist Can Specialize in Prosthetic Rehabilitation
The most common question that I receive from current physical therapy students or recent graduates of physical therapy programs is, "How can I specialize in prosthetic rehabilitation." I am very excited to hear so many students and young PTs discussing this question as it displays a passion for this niche and a vision for a progressive future! Unfortunately, the APTA does not currently recognize prosthetic rehabilitation as a certified speciality at this time. I do anticipate a change in this status in near future, but in the meantime, there are multiple avenues to learn more about the field and become the "go to" PT for prosthetic rehabilitation in your area.
First of all, research local physical therapy clinics that treat patients with prosthetic limbs and request an internship or offer volunteer hours. I highly recommend contacting a Veterans Affairs Regional Amputee Center of Care or RAC to ask about internship options. You can learn more about these centers and their locations/contact information here: https://www.prosthetics.va.gov/asoc/Regional_Amputation_Centers.asp
Secondly, reach out to local prosthetists to learn more about the available resources in your area and learn where they prefer to send their patients for gait training.
Also, visit local inpatient rehabilitation hospitals as patients with amputations typically receive their first few weeks of gait training at these facilities.
Search the internet and social media to find local amputee support groups and attend some of the meetings. The patients have been my best source of knowledge in my career and they love to share information was it will help others with amputations as well.
Register on the Amputee Coalition webpage at http://www.amputee-coalition.org to receive their free monthly newsletter with great updates about the world of prosthetics and living with limb loss.
Finally, continue to follow Evolve Prosthetic Rehab on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Linked In for weekly informational updates about the prosthetic world. Finally, take my course in conjunction with the course from prosthetist, John Fergason at: www.medbridgeeducation.com/white.
Thanks for sharing your passion for this field! Stay tuned for more educational information about prosthetic rehabilitation from Evolve!