Face to Face: Randy Roberson, CP, LP, CPed, LPed
Randy Roberson admits that over the course of his life's journey, he has walked both the low road and the high road to get to where he currently stands. The one thing that's sure, he says, is that now, "my story is simple: once, I was lost but now I'm found."
Born in 1951 on the west side of Birmingham, Alabama, Roberson got caught up in what he calls "the fast life" in his youth. "If I couldn't find a party, I would create one," he says. "I spent a great deal of my life living for the world and for Randy. At one point, I was spending approximately $300 a day to support my drug habit." Then, in 1998, he says, he had a profound religious experience and his world changed. "I didn't spend even one day in rehab—Jesus took away all my desire for drugs and alcohol and filled me with a desire to serve and honor him." That experience led to Roberson developing dual, interwoven, career paths: O&P clinical care and ministry.
Roberson now serves as a clinician at the Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics' office in Birmingham. He has a son and five daughters and is married to his wife, Lisa.
1. How did you become involved in O&P?
I grew up in the construction industry, and in the late 1970s, the construction business all but dried up. I found myself looking for work, and my best friend, John Dozier, CP, CPed, called me up to see what I was doing. He was a prosthetist at a rehab hospital, and they needed some help. Early in my prosthetics career, I was motivated mostly by a constant income. Later, a complete lifestyle change and six years of seminary inspired me to become a clinician.
2. How has your career progressed?
First, I went to the University of On-The-Job Training and graduated from the School of Hard Knocks. My professors were CPOs that had been practicing for the past 30 years. Man, what a good education! I became an RTPO in 1984. Because of my lack of formal prosthetic education, my pursuit of certification kept running into roadblocks, but thank God for BOC. I received my certification in 2003, then my certification was rolled into ABC's care. I went to pedorthics school in 2006 and passed my exams in 2007.
3. What does your business do?
Everyone knows what Hangar does, so instead let me tell you about Standing with Hope, the ministry I'm involved with. Standing with Hope is a nonprofit that takes prosthetists to Ghana to provide prosthetic care. We also teach prosthetics skills to Ghanaians so Ghana can take care of Ghana. Not only do we provide prosthetic care, but we also provide spiritual direction. With every limb I deliver, I also give a Bible and personal opportunity to have a relationship with Jesus. You can learn about us at www.standingwithhope.com
4. What are your personal and professional goals?
Professionally, I'm comfortable with what I've been able to accomplish over the past 30 years. Personally, I can't wait to see what the Lord is going to do with Standing with Hope.
5. Please describe your approach to patient care.
Listen. Find out what patients' complaints are. It might not be the prosthesis, per se. It could be activity, environment, or just something very personal.