A day in the life of a prosthetist – Dave Logan

Posted on 06 March 2023

Dave Logan gives us a glimpse into what a day is like helping others as a prosthetist. 

Each morning, when the clock ticks over to 8:30, the doors open to the Mobility and Specialised Rehabilitation Centre (M&SRC) at the Northern General Hospital, and my day begins. 

The M&SRC provides NHS prosthetic care to amputees from Sheffield and the surrounding areas, including Doncaster, Barnsley & Rotherham.  An amputee is an amputee for life, and their needs are met here over the many years they will be using prostheses.   

What follows is a typical day in our clinic. 

Prosthetist's Start of the Day 

At 8:30, my first appointment begins – a trans-tibial (below the knee) amputee, coming in for a review of her prosthesis. I take her into one of our large fitting rooms, and we chat about her life – over the years, we get to know our patients very well on a personal level.  She tells me that her prosthetic socket is rubbing her skin raw and asked if there is anything that can be done.   

I assess the socket fit, determine the issue and take the prosthesis to our on-site workshop to adjust it.  After the socket adjustments have been completed, she walks again in-clinic, and the sore points are no longer rubbing – a great result!   

We say our goodbyes and she knows she can call us for an appointment next time she needs anything done. By the time her clinical notes and orders have been completed, it’s 9:30 and time for my next appointment to begin. 

My 9:30 appointment is a trans-femoral (above the knee) amputee whose prosthesis is due for its yearly service. He tells me he has no issues with the prosthesis, and after an assessment I find no issues either.  

I bring his prosthesis to the workshop where our technical team check the components in the limb, replace and mend any parts that need some attention, and return the limb as good as new.  We say our goodbyes and remind the patient to call us if any issues arise. 

First Appointment After Amputation 

10:30 rolls around, and we have a patient for his first ever prosthetic appointment – his primary appointment. After spending time with the on-site consultant, nurse, and physiotherapy team, I am his last port of call for the day.   

I learn more out about the patient, and explain the process today, next week, next year, and onwards. Then I use a 3D scanner to capture a digital model of his residual limb.  A few measures later, and our appointment is concluded.  The patient will return in one week to receive his first ever prosthetic limb. 

After a quick bite of lunch, it’s on to the afternoon clinic.  

Continued Aid to Amputees 

It’s 14:00 and my final patient of the day has arrived, a double amputee, missing both legs below the knee. Today, we are providing 2 new sockets – one left, one right – on his existing prostheses.   

After a quick catch up about his life I take his prostheses to our workshop, remove his old sockets from his prosthetic feet and install his new ones. He walks in the clinic room, and I make the necessary adjustments to allow him to walk smoothly, safely, and comfortably.  By the end of our appointment, he is walking well and is pleased with his new sockets.   

The limbs are taken to the workshop one final time for finishing, and he walks out of the M&SRC happy and comfortable – another great success! Now that the patient facing appointments are finished, I sit down to work on the rest of the day’s responsibilities.   

Wrapping Up 

I spend some time with our CAD software, modifying the primary patient’s digital model to the bespoke shape the patient needs for his socket to be comfortable, and I order a suitable prosthetic foot and accompanying components. I ensure the notes and orders for the day’s clinic are completed and tie up any loose ends.  

Before clocking off for the evening, I make sure to check tomorrow’s clinic and prepare for the next exciting day in the life of a prosthetist.