Hans P. Wulf Jr., MPO, Resident Prosthetist/Orthotist
After graduating with a master's degree in exercise science from State University of New York (SUNY) at Cortland in 2011, Hans P. Wulf Jr., MPO, was having difficulty finding a job in his field. Marc Werner, CPO, FAAOP, a family friend, suggested a visit to his company, Long Island Orthotics and Prosthetics, West Babylon, New York. At that visit, Wulf says, "I immediately fell in love with O&P." Wulf credits SUNY professor Jeff Bauer, PhD, with teaching him about research and biomechanics-knowledge he continues to use in O&P.
1. How has your career progressed?
I started my career as an orthotic fitter on February 14, 2012, at Infinite Technologies, now headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia. I saw all the great things O&P did for people, so I decided to go back to school for my second master's in O&P, with encouragement from the company's owners, Joseph Smith, CPO, FAAOP; and Joseph Terpenning, CO, FAAOP; and clinical director, Amy Braunschweiger, CO. I graduated in March 2015 and rejoined Infinite Technologies.
2. What are your professional goals?
I hope to become half as good a practitioner as my bosses and clinical director. They all know so much and always push me to do more. I want to become as knowledgeable as them and run my own O&P facility. I wouldn't mind taking over the company after they retire.
3. What emerging trends or exciting advances do you see for your profession?
I am very excited about the myoelectric devices that are becoming available to patients, including the Myomo MyoPro® powered orthosis, which helps people who have had a stroke use their affected upper limb. In prosthetics, I am excited to see microprocessor knees and ankles getting smaller and lighter. I like how the profession is working toward using more myoelectric devices that provide users with a more natural feel to their movements, and expect to see microchip brain implants being used to control prostheses. I cannot wait to see how quickly it will evolve.
4. What advice would you give to someone just entering O&P?
Our field is always changing, so be prepared to learn about new and evolving technology every year. When it comes to working with patients, just remember you got into this profession to help people-just know you can't always make everyone happy, but never give anyone less than your best.
5. Please describe your approach to patient care. What are your top priorities/goals when working with a patient?
When working with patients, I approach each one with a positive attitude and wholeheartedness to help them in any way possible. I try to make a patient feel relaxed and like he or she can talk with me. I have found it easier to work with people when they feel a sense of security through knowledge and my outgoing personality. I aim to make each patient feel special and like they are getting everything I can offer them.