Author Topic: Shortage of Prosthetists  (Read 2581 times)

Offline tbrbeast

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Shortage of Prosthetists
« on: September 25, 2009, 05:13:23 PM »
The Oregonian newspaper (Portland, OR) published an article this past Wednesday (Sept 23) on the shortage of prosthetists due to a surge in amputations associated with diabetes.  Here is the link.

http://www.oregonlive.com/health/index.ssf/2009/09/the_diabetes-caused_surge_in_a.html

Offline pegleg jack

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Re: Shortage of Prosthetists
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2009, 09:24:21 PM »
Thrbeast, it didnt state it but reading between the lines it looks like a lot of seniors are getting it done now before the new health law comes in to effect if they pass it, i know that we did some of it our selfs this year, my wife needed new teeth and glasses and i needed new glasses also and a new set of legs, so we had all of this done now before the possiblity of loosing or medicare.
you-all have a great day.

Offline chrysochloridae

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Re: Shortage of Prosthetists
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2009, 09:56:26 AM »
I'm sure i've seen some BAPO (British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists) publication stating that the number or prosthetists is going down but the number of Amputees is going up (but i can't find the publication to back this up).

In the UK, i would say that the majority of the students coming through go into Orthotics because of the pay and perks (car, phone laptop etc); the prosthetist population (both clinical and technical) are aging and retiring and (especially with technicians) this is going to mean that skills are going to be lost.

Unfortunately, the services don't seem to be growing and prosthetists (always being contractors in the UK) pay lags way behind the NHS Agenda for Change pay grades.... In the USA, prosthetists only get 2 weeks paid annual leave per year - this can't help to attract people to the profession.

I must say that i don't know many prosthetists younger than me.... and i'm nearly 30!

Offline Joe A.

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Re: Shortage of Prosthetists
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2009, 10:21:27 AM »
Wherever you find reliable projections of future needs you will see shortages in every discipline.
Private discussions regardless of topic are welcome by writing to kapunui@windstream.com

Offline tbrbeast

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Re: Shortage of Prosthetists
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2009, 06:35:14 PM »
Jack - the article is focusing on the need for more prosthetists.  The American Diabetes Assoc. estimates that there are 23.6 million diabetics in the US today.  Using the figures in the article, almost 3.5 percent of those will have an amputation this year.  With only 3500 prosthetists nationwide, it will become increasingly difficult for anyone to see one in a reasonable time period.  This doesn't even consider the number of amputations due to other causes.  Look at the thread on waiting times and it is obvious there are already concerns about how long you should wait.  The waiting time, assuming you could get to see a prosthetist, could increase significantly regardless of who pays or what type of system is in place.  I suppose one could bribe their way in but then if the prosthetist is willing to accept a bribe, is that someone I would trust or want to build and maintain my prosthesis?   

Offline pegleg jack

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Re: Shortage of Prosthetists
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2009, 09:35:46 AM »
thrbeast, thanks for repling and setting me straight on this one, for i miss interpeted you all the way, now that i understand what is being discussed on this one i agree  with you, but in my humble opinion, the best CPO, is one that learned it on the job training and not school, have had bother and i prefer on that has had hands on training, yes you can learn a lot out of books and lectures i dont dispute that at all. And until we can get a cure for diabetes,( which i have read some where there is one already but it is a natural cure and the docs cant use it) there is always going to be a lot of people with diabeties needing amputations.
you-all have a great day.

Offline Dick Stevens

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Re: Shortage of Prosthetists
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2009, 01:23:04 PM »
I believe that a good CPO needs BOTH book-learning and plenty of on-the-job experience.  It's not a matter of either-or.
Dick Stevens, DBKA in PA

Offline chrysochloridae

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Re: Shortage of Prosthetists
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2009, 07:25:50 AM »
I agree3 completely Dick -  In the UK you  have to do a 6 month Clinical Placement after 3 years of study. On my first day on placement i quickly realised that there is FAR more to being a prosthetist than knowing what ''the book' says to do! I know people who have been doing the job for 10 years and are still  learning new things all the time!

Offline ann

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Re: Shortage of Prosthetists
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2009, 09:05:53 AM »
'chrysochloridae',

I know prosthetists' who do not listen to their patients no matter how long they have been practicing.  They will not stray from the book...that my friend is a prosthetist you better stay away from!!

Offline Dick Stevens

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Re: Shortage of Prosthetists
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2009, 10:50:33 AM »
chryso:

Either they won't stray from the book ..or.. they won't stray from their own preconceived notion of what is right, even if it was never in the book.  Either way, it's time to find a new prosthetist.
Dick Stevens, DBKA in PA

Offline chrysochloridae

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Re: Shortage of Prosthetists
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2009, 04:22:34 AM »
'chrysochloridae',

I know prosthetists' who do not listen to their patients no matter how long they have been practicing.  They will not stray from the book...that my friend is a prosthetist you better stay away from!!

I know a good few who are stuck in their ways and think they know better than the person using the prosthesis - thankfully, they seem to be the 'older generation' of prosthetists; the new way of teaching leans towards patient centered care rather thann 'I'm-the-prosthetist-and-i-know-best' type of care!

Offline pegleg jack

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Re: Shortage of Prosthetists
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2009, 10:07:47 AM »
that is the very reason that when i have to change  CPO'S, the first thing i do is make an appointment to go and visit his office and were they make the sockets and put our legs to geather and the second thing is i ask if i can call and talk to some of his or her patients and ask there opinion of the type of work they do, so far this has worked out great for me cause now i have two that i can go to and get a great fit, one the insurance company wont pay for her, and the second one i have a set of his legs on right now and they fit great and i with my new and differant sleeves i dont need to use my vacumm system that much, and i still get around and get all of my work done, and i know one thing since i switched to the VS my legs do not get as sore and tired as they used to and i am sleeping a lot better now.
you-all have a great day.

Offline stinker373

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Re: Shortage of Prosthetists
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2009, 08:39:41 PM »
Glad to hear that  Jack a leg that  fits good is great.