Robbin Wright-Johnson, BOCP, CDME
Robbin Wright-Johnson, BOCP, CDME, finds inspiration in providing prosthetic care for her elderly patients. She says that because many of them live in rural areas with gravel roads and uneven pavement, she makes visits to their homes to align their prostheses so they can more easily attend to their daily tasks. As part of her work, she also delivers seminars about medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, and biomechanics related to prosthetics. Her other activities include singing, playing the clarinet, and serving as a youth leader and Sunday school teacher at her church.
1. How did you become involved with O&P?
Initially, my desire was to become a dentist. However, immediately following graduation from Jackson State University with a bachelor of science degree in biology in 1991, I met Troy Luster, BOCP, the owner of Mid-State Artificial Limb, Jackson, Mississippi. He was looking for someone to send to school to become a prosthetist and work for the company. After visiting his facility and talking with him, I developed an interest in O&P. I began working at Mid- State in 1992 after I graduated from Shelby State Community College (SSCC) with a prosthetics certificate and an associate degree in prosthetics.
2. What has motivated or inspired you?
Family and friends who believed in me encouraged me to pursue prosthetics. Although I was apprehensive about the career change, having a background in biology prepared me for the profession. David Brace, CPO, was the instructor at SSCC at the time; he did an excellent job with the program. I am also thankful for the support and help of the Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC). I was invited to participate in test development and I've been elected to its board for two terms.
3. What emerging trends or exciting advances do you see for your profession?
The unique technology and innovations in prosthetics are phenomenal. However, I still cast, measure, and modify devices by hand even though there are systems available that can do some of this work. I am just elated to be a part of the old and the new ideas.
The future for prosthetics is brighter due to more research and development, and it can continue to advance as we study kinesiology and the biomechanics of the limbs and joints as they relate to prosthetic components. I am moved that prosthetics has become so excitingly normal and not so much a disability. Dancing with the Stars put prosthetics on the map by having people with amputations on the show.
4. How do you set yourself apart from competing practitioners in your area?
I am committed to patient care. Having patience, compassion, and listening are the keys to satisfying the patient. I encourage them to become more independent. Also, I offer my patients a guidebook that explains how to take care of their residual limbs and about the wear and care of their prostheses. For people with new amputations, I always recommend that they go to physical therapy. I treat clients with dignity, rehabilitate them back to normalcy, and enhance their quality of life.
5. What advice would you give to someone just entering the O&P profession?
By staying abreast of new ideas and innovations, they can provide patients with the best products and services for their functional levels. Always network with colleagues so that we can share ideas and collaborate amongst ourselves.