Click Medical's Adjustability Mentorship Program
It’s been one year - almost to the day - since Click Medical and I started our collaboration. And what an exciting and rewarding year it has been. To mark this anniversary, I want to talk about Click Medical’s Adjustability Mentorship program. It’s a service the company offers to people affected by limb loss or limb difference to learn more about the potential of adjustable sockets and the available options people have for improved fit and comfort.
Disclosure: This article is part of my paid collaboration between The Active Amputee and Click Medical
What’s The Adjustability Mentorship Program by Click Medical?
It’s a new service Click Medical offers to any person affected by limb loss or limb difference to talk to an experienced and knowledgeable amputee. During the mentorship sessions, people bring their questions, talk about the challenges they face, or simply learn more about resources available for amputees. The mentors listen, give advice where appropriate, and jointly with the mentee, they identify next steps. The mentors in the program are independent and not employed by Click Medical to ensure that the mentorship processes are guided by the needs and interests of the people seeking advice. The Adjustability Mentorship program has been available since autumn 2022.
Who Is Involved And What Experiences Do They Bring To The Program?
At the moment Click Medical cooperates with two mentors. People have the chance to talk to Lou Figueroa and to Sydney Mashburn.
Lou is a seasoned amputee, activist, and keynote speaker who lost both of his legs in 2007. Struggling with the lack of resources that were available to amputees back then, Lou started Inspired Balance and has also become an ambassador for Össur, being able to share his experiences on a state, national, and international level. Lou transitioned from rigid sockets to flexible ones using some of the Click Medical kits a few years ago and can talk from his personal experience about the pros and cons of various types of socket systems on the market.
Sydney is at a different stage in her journey as an amputee. She lost her leg in the Summer of 2021 and has been living by her motto since: Take advantage of every opportunity. Sydney has attended the Bethany Hamilton's Beautifully Flawed Foundation retreat for female amputees where she got to try out surfing. Sydney also got to take part in a 37 mile gravel bike race by winning a free entry through Click. Sydney recently joined the Range of Motion Project (ROMP) as the Events and Outreach Manager. Sydney started right away on an adjustable socket with a RevoFit system and sees it as the key that unlocked her to return to an active lifestyle and accomplish a lot within months of her amputation.
Both Sydney and Lou are passionate about mentoring others. They are knowledgeable about Click Medical’s products, current trends and developments, and are well connected within the limb loss and limb difference community. Both are aware of the responsibility that comes with being a mentor and they enjoy assisting fellow amputees in their journey towards an active and fulfilling life.
During a recent discussion, Sydney pointed out the importance of listening to people’s stories, appreciating these stories, and enabling people to learn from their own stories. “It’s immensely rewarding and each meeting is a give and take; something where we both - the mentee and myself - learn and grow.”
Lou added that a good mentor is able to assist amputees to identify their needs and facilitate a process to develop clarity about how these needs can be met. “We coach them; take them along the way, no matter where in the journey they are.”
Lauran Gale, Int’l Sales & Marketing at Click Medical explained, they want to ensure that people do not fall between the cracks. So an active follow-up process is often needed; one that is not about sales, but about the support. “In my eyes, that is what gives this mentorship program enormous credibility.”
What Was The Motivation Behind This Service?
“It’s all about humanizing the connections between Click Medical and the limb loss/limb difference community”, says Lauran. “While both of our Adjustability Mentors are amputees, they can connect and relate with others in a way that we, Click Medical, cannot. We see immense value in communication and direct contact from Lou and Sydney as they can talk from an end-user perspective on our technology. This is one of the leading lights for this program.”
Sometimes the sessions are used to vent frustration or just have someone who went through a similar experience listen to your story. Other times people have concrete questions they want answers to or challenges they want to overcome. And then there’s the more general interest in Click’s products and how they might improve socket fit and comfort, resulting positively in their quality of life and activity levels. The mentorship sessions enable people to be better connected and find fellow amputees. “But we also support amputees who want to benefit from our products to talk to and inform their prosthetists; especially if they are not aware of our technology or they are resistant to integrating something new into a patient’s device”, Lauran says.
What Are Some Of The Most Common Issues Raised By Amputees?
The mentors often are confronted with a sense of ‘I feel defeated!’ by the people they talk with. Many people affected by limb loss and limb difference are good candidates for adjustable sockets and want to try the RevoFit system. They would benefit from an increase in comfort while improving the fit of the socket at the same time, allowing them to be more active. But often, prosthetists are hesitant, blocking the necessary steps. This leads to frustration as people have the feeling this decision is outside of their sphere of control and influence. Here the mentors can give practical advice and support constructive communication between the parties involved.
Another issue that often comes up is the question if a certain device is right for a user? Do I need special training or a transition period? Again, both mentors can give direct answers from their own experiences. Where appropriate, they can encourage amputees to move forward with the process and assist them in identifying the necessary next steps. One mentor mentioned that more and more people pro-actively connect with them even before they have an amputation to prepare for the recovery and take ownership of the process.
What Are Future Plans For The Adjustability Mentorship Program?
The Adjustability Mentorship program is developed in line with the needs and interests of the wider limb loss and limb difference community. “If the demands change, we adapt!”, says Lauran. The team wants to build on its strengths and personal experiences and further develop them for the benefit of the mentees. At the same time, Click Medical and its mentors started to think about possible changes. Diversifying and offering adjustability on a larger global scale. “We try to find the right balance to make sure the service meets the needs of the limb loss and limb difference community while keeping the beauty of a small and intimate group that can easily be managed and is spontaneously reacting to demands.”
So it’s worth watching this space.
If you want to learn more about Click Medical, its products, and its Adjustability Mentorship program, please check out the webpage (https://clickmedical.co/).
Post by Bjoern Eser, the founder of and shaker and maker behind The Active Amputee. This article is part of my paid collaboration with Click Medical.
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