Prosthetist & Therapist Team
Touch Bionics strongly advocates a collaborative approach between prosthetists and therapists for the fitting of its i-limb and livingskin prosthetic devices.
With the advent of state of the art, prosthetic electric hands and digits, the collaborative relationship of the occupational therapist and prosthetist has become of significant importance. These are extremely skilled practitioners with very specialized roles in the rehabilitative medicine care process. Specific to upper limb prosthetic care, both disciplines provide essential elements that together help to produce an optimal outcome to the individual utilizing a prosthetic device. Yet despite this, these two roles are often provided separately.
While prosthetists are skilled in socket interface design, prosthetic suspension, terminal device selection, body powered or external powered control, fit, function, operation of the prosthetic device and providing realistic expectations for what the device can and cannot do, the therapist's role compliments much of this.
The therapist is skilled at working with the patient with early rehabilitative goals that involve a treatment approach that may include range of motion, muscle strengthening, desensitization techniques, shaping and shrinking the residual limb, scar management, change of dominance training (if indicated), and increasing functional independence through specific task training and adaptive skills.
Working in tandem
Both disciplines are focused on helping the individual to become more functional in their tasks of everyday living, yet rarely do a prosthetist and occupational therapist take the opportunity to work in tandem, simultaneously with the patient. This dimension of patient care is changing however, and in some circumstances, the presence and involvement of the therapist is critical in achieving a successful outcome.
Providing an upper limb prosthetic device, without the mutual collaboration of skills of the prosthetist and therapist is like providing a first time driver with an automobile before having successfully completed a driver training course.