About Certified Prosthetists – CP(c)
A Certified Prosthetist CP(c) is a highly trained healthcare professional, experienced in the design and manufacture of artificial body parts. They work closely with a team of medical professionals that may include your physician, surgeon and physical and occupational therapist to ensure the best results for each individual.
Subject Matter Experts
Certified Prosthetists CP(c) are the only health professionals with extensive training, knowledge and understanding of artificial limbs. They are subject matter experts in the areas of amputation, prosthetics (design, manufacture and fitting), and post-amputation rehabilitation. Continuing patient care and evaluation of any changing conditions or requirements also helps to maintain optimum use of the device.
Certified Prosthetists CP(c) learn how to evaluate amputees and their prosthetic needs including applicable components (e.g., prosthetic knees and feet) and possible designs for a full limb prosthesis. Only the CP(c) is capable of matching a specific limb prosthesis and all of its component parts to an individual patient’s unique clinical needs.
Continuum of Care
While the CP(c) has the knowledge of prosthetics, they need to work in collaboration with the patient’s treating physician to ensure that relevant clinical and non-clinical factors are appropriately considered to yield a holistic, comprehensive approach to the amputee’s care and treatment.
The doctor, or physiatrist (amputation specialist) evaluates the amputee to determine whether an artificial limb would present a health risk. If not, then the doctor refers the patient to the prosthetist, who conducts a thorough clinical evaluation of the amputee to determine which prosthetic components are medically required to ensure the safety and security of the patient.
Orthotics Prosthetics Canada has a strict ethical code of conduct that all certified and registered professionals must adhere to. Breaches of this code can result in severe penalties, up to and including the loss of certification. Importantly, the profession’s code of conduct prohibits the Certified Prosthetist from prescribing and fitting an amputee with devices that are extraneous or would endanger the patient’s safety and security:
‘The members [of the profession] must discharge their responsibilities in a fashion that will bring honour and integrity to that profession, thereby ensuring public confidence. The greatest effort possible should be made to satisfy each patient’s orthotic and/or prosthetic needs.’
As the trained and knowledgeable subject matter experts they are, Certified Prosthetists CP(c) must assume primary responsibility for clinical evaluation of amputees’ prosthetic needs and the components selected for them.