Improving the Prosthetist/Therapist Relationship - PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Thanks for reading this final piece on improving the prosthetist/therapist relationship!
Ultimately, the best method to improving the professional relationship is to respect each others' professional work. Assure that the patient's needs are met. Do not end a session with a patient because the prosthetic needs are not met. There is no such thing as "waiting on a prosthetist" as the patient can always be progressing in therapy while the prosthesis is being developed. While evaluating the prosthesis, the patient will better understand how they should feel in the socket and become more aware of their gait patterns, both appropriate and inappropriate.
When you contact the prosthetist, do not simply state, "their leg hurts, can you fix it today?" After the prosthesis and the patient are appropriately evaluated, as explained in the four prior blogs, you should be able to accurately inform the prosthetist with something like this, "the patient is experiencing pain in the anterior distal aspect of the femur in terminal stance. I can not replicate the pain out of the socket, I notice prolonged redness in the area after a short bout of gait training, the limb appears to be the correct height and the patient appears to be wearing it correctly. The patients does demonstrate a 15 degree hip flexion contracture at this time. Do you have some time in your schedule to look at their prosthesis?” Providing this information allows the prosthetist to understand that their product and hard work are respected. Most importantly, they understand their time is respected as you provided them with a clear set of information that will guide their session with the patient and allow them to accurately schedule them for the appropriate amount of time.
Ultimately, improved provider teamwork will promote the best patient care! Teamwork to make the dream work!