Caulfield Hospital: Prosthetics Department

The great thing about our service is that we can offer all the Allied Health support required to bring our Prosthetic management to life. We can make the devices and supply the components, but we need the training and the input from OTs and physiotherapists, as well as other Allied Health professionals to make them functional. So to make sure we’ve got that unity in that management is absolutely crucial to the best possible outcome. What I really love about my job is working as part of a team to restore independence to people who’ve been through a hard time. It’s very much about that individual focus, customising things to help people achieve specific goals. For example, I’m holding a prosthetic foot which looks maybe a little bit different to what you might imagine. This has got a high heel, this is a high heeled shoe, and it’s specifically for a client who’s got a wedding to attend and wants to be able to dress up in the same sort of clothes that she used to. I mainly build limbs: legs and arms, which I really like because it’s very solution-oriented and you just get to, obviously, help people and see them walk again. This is an arm that is made for a patient. It will have sensors in it as well, so the hand will be able to close, open and rotate. And, with this cable that he controls with his shoulder, he will be able to lock it, or unlock it. That’s made out of carbon, because that’s something he liked and I think it’s important that they do look good. Outside of the physical rehab we also have the psycho-social element of a patient’s recovery and recuperation, and Alfred Health also has the psychology and social work units on stand by to provide the patient with all the information they need and all the other input they need to get back out into the real world and function. This was made recently for a patient and we also give the opportunity for them to bring us in old T-shirts. This looks really fancy, but actually it’s just and old T-shirt that we can laminate into. And I like that because you can personalise your leg. It’s great fun to build and also it’s just so much nicer if the condition can give the patient something that their eyes start sparkling.

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