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What to Do When Your Prosthetist Doesn't Seem to Care

Posted by Bryan Potok, CPO on

It’s not just in your head. When prosthetistsor physiciansfail to show compassion, it can impact their patients’ physical outcome and mental health. 

Here are some tips on how to handle a prosthetist who doesn't seem to care about you

Nothing makes a visit to the prosthetist more dissuasive than a prosthetist that lacks empathy. This statement is not based on the common feelings of patients alone. In fact, more and more healthcare providers believe that when an emotional connection is established between a provider and a patient, outcomes improve. So, whether you’re in your prosthetist’s office for a socket adjustment, scheduled maintenance or a repair, feeling their compassion goes a long way.

We believe that prosthetists are generally compassionate people. However, some of them fall short in expressing it and get caught up in the increasing demands from healthcare insurers in the form of a mountain of paperwork.

As prosthetists and their staff are forced to become more task-oriented, it’s easy to de-prioritize taking the time to communicate well with patients and recognize that they have a direct impact on a person's well-being.

Despite these external factors, there is a way for you to advocate for yourself and improve your prosthetic care. Here are some things that you can do at your next appointment.

Say something

More often than not, it’s as simple as saying something. Let your prosthetist know when you don’t understand what they’re explaining, or you feel that they are rushing to end your appointment.

Although your situation may be routine to your prosthetist, it’s certainly personal and unique to you. Sometimes, your prosthetist can forget that, so share your feelings with your prosthetist.

Some concrete steps you can take include asking your prosthetist to use non-prosthetic jargon. You can also ask them to write down any prosthetic terms that you can Google after the appointment. Or you can also write down everything your prosthetist is saying so you can review anything that didn’t make sense at the time of the appointment.

Ask them to sit down

Many prosthetists stand up when they talk to patients, and this can be due to a multi-tasking mindset. If you feel rushed, ask your prosthetist to sit down and give you their undivided attention. Doing this will slow them down and remind your prosthetist that this is a one-on-one conversation.

Don’t hesitate to ask your prosthetist to sit down. Studies show that medical clinics can improve a patient's experience by simply training their medical staff to sit down every time they speak with a patient. Use this to your advantage.

Point out multitasking 

If you notice your prosthetist working on their computer or typing information into your electronic medical record while explaining something to you, politely get them to stop.

You can say: “I’ll wait until you’re done typing, then I'll ask my questions.” Prosthetists will typically snap out of their task-oriented trap when you remind them.

Find a new prosthetist

If you’ve been trying to get your prosthetist to show compassion and you're experiencing prosthetic issues, it’s time to find a new one. You deserve a prosthetist that you can have a respectful relationship with and has your best interests at heart.

There are plenty of prosthetists that care about building good relationships with their patients. This, in part, is what defines a successful prosthetic facility. And this simple yet crucial element allows you to form genuine relationships with your prosthetic team. 

What’s your experience with your prosthetist like? Feel free to comment below and share with the community your favorite prosthetist. 

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  • I lost my lower left leg in March of 2017. Within weeks of my discharge from rehab I was in contact with “Mike” of Hanger. From the very beginning Mike made me (and my wife) feel like long time friends. When things were ready a prosthesis was made and l started my therapy, learning how to walk again. In August of 2017 my stump was infected and l spent
    2 1/2 months fighting the infection. Nothing worked so l had another 2 inches amputated in November.
    By February 2018 I was ready for another socket, the old one wasnt large enough. Mike made a new one and off to therapy once again. All throughout my “amp” journey Mike has been with me nearly every step. Fast forward to November 2019, my current prosthesis was very loose, I could rotate it 360’ with 4 socks on ( I had fun with that, rotating it in Walgreens one day). I contacted Mike at Hangers and explained my situation and he had me in the next day. We ended up changing sockets back to the original one (my stump finally shrunk and is a beautiful taper now) and lengthening the shaft. Now after nearly 2 years, I am able to walk comfortably, all thanks to Mike and his staff from Sonora, Ca. Hangers.

    Al Gilbert on

  • When I lost my first foot it was July 2011 and I was sent to Shreck and Sirus for my Prosthetic leg. In the Begining The Lady that was my prosthetist seemed like she cared after I received my leg I would ask about changes because it did not fit correctly and I was told When I went to School and had 2 Degrees in the Prosthetic Field then I could Tell her what was wrong with my New Leg. I was also only given 2 Shrinkers and 2 Liners and 2 of every size Sock. I was told that is all I got FOREVER. If I needed anything replaced it was going to cost me. Insurance would not cover anything. So when I lost my 2nd foot in April 2018 and went to CPA in Springfield, IL. for my new right leg. They were shocked how bad mt Left Liner and leg looked I also brought in my Shrinkers which were no longer working. I then found out that A Patient is suppose to get 2 Shrinkers every 6 months and 2 Liners every 6 Months all paid for by my Insurance. My new prosthetist is a nice older man that is also a below the knee amputee but he is very forgetful and because he travels to so many offices. his patients get lost in the shuffle of paperwork. If thing do not get better with him I will be looking for another prosthetist either in his office or go to another Location


  • No personnel touch, the longer you are their patient the less help you get, they don’t keep you up to date, and the less they have to do with you. Ask one of them when was the last time they looked at your stump with it bare.

    Joe on

  • My prosthetist is very comforting and understands when I have a problem with my prosthetic. He is patient and will do what I ask of him. The people in the office up front is very nice and affection. I don’t think I can find anyone that takes care of me and my needs for my prosthetic leg than them.

    James T heliton on

  • I’m so lucky to have found my Prostitist. He is awesome! Hes kind, compationate, & knows his stuff! He always watches my posture & gait when I arrive. He almost reads my mind when I’m trying to explain, my issues. He’s become a friend & a trusted part of the team that keep me in motion. His name is Dennis William’s, Hes at Hanger on Meeker Rd in Sun City AZ. He is absolutely the best! Hes made this journey so much more bearable.

    Wende on

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