July 2018 Tech Tips

The Technician’s Role in
Patient Care During the
Fabrication Process

Technicians should strive for good working relationships
with both clinicians and patients

By Herman Green, CTP, CPA

The role of the technician in O&P patient care during the fabrication process is vital; the technician plays an important part in ensuring successful patient outcomes.

The patient-care relationship starts with the clinician and patient but should extend to the technician. Every technician should have a good working relationship with the clinician. He or she should be familiar with what the clinician is striving to accomplish for the individual patient, which means that communication is a key element of the process. Having a good understanding of the patient’s expectations and goals is necessary during the fabrication process. The technician needs to be familiar with these expectations and goals in order to fabricate an optimal device for the patient.he role of the technician in O&P patient care during the fabrication process is vital; the technician plays an important part in ensuring successful patient outcomes.

With that being said, the patient-care relationship should extend beyond the technician and clinician during the fabrication process to the technician and patient if the opportunity is presented. Building the technician/patient relationship allows the technician to have a firsthand understanding of the patient’s aforementioned expectations and goals. Forming this relationship allows the patient to meet everyone involved in the care and fabrication process of his or her device, ultimately allowing the patient to become more comfortable and relaxed in what can be a very unfamiliar and intimidating process. This is a great asset in prosthetics but an opportunity that rarely presents itself in orthotics.

Patient care continues while a device is being fabricated. With every prosthesis or orthosis that a technician gets the opportunity to fabricate, he or she must be sure to treat it as his or her own—giving it that personal touch. Because no two patients are the same, a technician must be willing to increase his or her knowledge base and realize the endless opportunities to learn and be innovative for the benefit of the patient, as doing so leads to great patient care. As a technician, I am humbled and inspired every day when given the opportunity to help individuals. Great patient care can lead to changing lives and ought to be the motivation of every technician as it can be accomplished during the fabrication process.

A good example of this is Amanda Heller, a patient I have known and worked with since she was five months old. Amanda and her parents have always appreciated the input, care, and concern I have shown. This young lady is now 19 years old and still appreciates the patient care I have applied in fabricating her prosthetic devices over the years (see Figure 1). This encourages me as a technician and gives me motivation to perform my job daily to the best of my ability.

Last, but by no means the least, quality is important so take the time and strive to create the best device every time. Remember your name and the company reputation are attached to every device you fabricate so give it your all every time. Quantity paired with quality is important, but quantity without quality isn’t acceptable. With great quality, quantity will follow.

Herman Green, CTP, CPA, is purchasing/lab manager at Bulow Orthotic & Prosthetic Solutions.

Figure 1

Herman Green, CTP, CPA, has fabricated prosthetic devices for 19-year-old Amanda Heller since she was a baby.

Photo: Amanda Heller