You will have a prosthesis for the rest of your life. That is why it is critically important to know you have the right practitioner who will be able to meet your individual needs for a long time to come.
At Access Prosthetics, we are a good resource for amputees seeking advice and new care options. However, we encourage you to research all medical providers. Should you be uncertain or uncomfortable with a treatment plan, consider securing a second or even a third opinion.
The following is a guide to help you choose the right provider to best serve your unique situation:
Is Your Practitioner Credentialed?
Ask about certifications and look for ABC- and BOC-certified providers as these certifications ensure the highest standards of education, training, and professionalism. It is important to find out if you are seeking the help of a certified prosthetist or orthotist who have the acronyms C.Ped, CO, CP or CPO associated with their names.
Make Sure Your Prosthetist has a Strong Track Record
Every profession has good and bad practitioners. Most patients never seek reviews of providers or ask for references. This is a critical step in securing the right provider. The right experience and approach can make all the difference in the world, especially when fitting prosthesis that are meant to last for many years.
Find a Respectful Communicator
Regardless of the type of practitioner you need, you’ll want to be sure you can communicate effectively in an atmosphere of mutual respect. Many patients complain that they can’t understand “medical speak” or they don’t feel providers listen to them, or give them enough time. If this is the case, it may be time to find another provider.
Find a Prosthetist Who Will Give You Options
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution, or a singular solution. A good prosthetist will give you options based on assessing a wide range of variables that affect how you live and what you expect from a prosthesis. It is also important to find a provider who will spend as much time assessing your individual needs as he or she spends offering solutions. If you are being given only one solution, seek another opinion to ensure you get the best option for your life.
Consider your Practitioner’s location
You will be making many trips to your prosthetist, especially in the early stages of fitting and adjusting your prosthesis for long-term use. A practice that is easy to find and can be driven to easily is important. It is also important to find a local provider who is vested in the community. That way, you are assured a relationship with a provider that will be there for the long run.