Diversity in O&P
Presenters: Amandi J. Rhett, MS, CPO, LPO; Paul Irving; Nneka Sederstrom, PhD, MPH, MA, FCCP, FCCM; Farahnas Doost, CO
Diversity in a healthcare setting can positively impact outcomes. This interactive session explored diversity within the O&P profession, offering a systematic framework for O&P professionals to improve diversity in their workplace, and provided actionable tools to remediate inequities.
The presentation highlighted health disparities and the effects of which disproportionately affect Black Americans. In addition, the discussion included the roles that bias plays in the healthcare team, and how it fosters negative patient outcomes.
Learning to acknowledge that healthcare disparities do exist, and that they largely impact the patients’ experiences beyond which practitioners can see or even control, was the primary takeaway for the attendees. “We never get weary of the next new socket type technology or scoliosis study, but we often get tired of hearing about racial disparities, said Rhett. “Let’s normalize having discussions about how we can make healthcare fair and equitable for all.”
Active Vacuum Implementation and Troubleshooting for the Transtibial Amputation Level
Presenters: Kristin Carnahan, MSPO, CPO, FAAOP; John Rheinstein, CP, FAAOP (D); Sarah Teal, CP/L; Ryan Caldwell, CP/L; Lori Pipinich, CP/L
Panelists in this session discussed reported challenges related to active vacuum suspension and how to avoid or solve these issues. The conversation included best practice techniques, materials, and troubleshooting methods. The panel of practitioners who contributed to the session all described a learning curve associated with this suspension mechanism and highlighted some of the techniques that they have found successful. They also explained why these details are important to take into consideration in different aspects of the process from impression technique to choosing socket materials. The panelists emphasized that that implementing active vacuum suspension effectively is worthwhile for prosthetics patients, but that it takes practice, patience, and guidance from experienced colleagues.
The information helped practitioners identify common problems and provided suggested solutions for the attendees to put in practice in their clinical encounters. While there isn’t a step-by-step guide, “it is our hope that anyone who has wrestled with these challenges will be eager to consider how possibly changing one aspect of the process can improve their success in achieving improved outcomes with this suspension,” said Carnahan.
While no major changes were required due to the virtual delivery, small group table discussions were replaced with direct interaction between the panelists and the attendees through the chat and during the Q&A at the end of the session.