- By Laurie Watanabe
- Feb 01, 2015
As you know, this is not an easy industry to work in. You are constantly pulled in so many different directions, as payors, clinicians, consumers and families are rarely on the same page at the same time. You are expected to work and deliver with robotic precision, yet the situations you are faced with could not be more individual or human.
I know this cannot be an easy industry to work in because much of the time, it’s not even an easy industry to cover as a journalist. I know this in part by how my office colleagues — good people, all of them — regularly wince as they accidentally catch bits of conversations about unstageable pressure sores or quickly progressing ALS.
Emotionally, it’s a tough industry requiring great resiliency, because the work is hard and the lows can be terrible.
But the highs — wow, the highs can be incredible, can’t they? They must make you feel a hundred feet tall.
That’s how I felt as this issue’s case studies (page 14) came rolling in.
Resourcefulness, ingenuity, tenacity, a heart for both the big picture and a hundred tiny details — that’s what I saw in these stories shared by manufacturers, clinicians, ATPs, consumers and caregivers.
When pulling this section together, I asked for case studies that would be likely to address clients that you see every day. We’ve all been to conferences and heard case studies of the once-in-a-career variety. They’re fascinating and engaging…but at the same time, what is the likelihood that you’ll be applying what you hear to one of your clients back home?
So instead, I asked participants to focus on diagnoses, consumer concerns and clinical challenges that you’re more likely to be confronted by. Because every client you see is unique, and at least a little different than the next one you’ll work with, I hope that these case studies will give you the chance to sneak a peek over colleagues’ shoulders, then take away something you can use today or maybe store in your memory for a client you’ll see in the future.
This case study section focuses primarily on ultralightweight wheelchairs… but when Jacki Lohse at Ki Mobility talked about a manual seating & mobility system custom configured for a little girl with spinal muscular atrophy type I, we couldn’t resist including it here. And of course, there are plenty of photos to make your sneak peeks more complete.
We’re so happy with how this case study section turned out that we’re planning another one — concentrating on pediatrics — for the summer.
What you’re up against every day is unique, but that doesn’t mean you can’t share with and learn from other creative thinkers in the industry, right? Keep telling us your stories, and we’ll keep passing them along to other ATPs, clinicians, consumers and caregivers.
And along the way, we’ll look for the opportunity to loop in the legislators, funding sources and referral sources who could use a better understanding of the success stories you create.
French philosopher Jean de la Bruyere said, “Out of difficulties grow miracles.” You make me proud to be part of this industry, even if I’m just relegated to bragging about you. Keep up the spectacular work.
This article originally appeared in the February 2015 issue of Mobility Management.
Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.