14 - 17 May 2024 OTWorld
26/03/2024 OTWorld

Practical Further Education for Medical Supply Store Staff

From sales, counselling and the workshop to treatment and care, medical supply store staff are always in direct contact with their patients and are well aware of the challenges, problems and questions faced by people who need medical aids. For the first time, the world congress is offering a further education programme specifically for healthcare supply retailers to provide them with additional support in their daily work.

A tailor-made programme of workshops at OTWorld under the professional leadership of the German Association of Orthopaedic Technology (BIV-OT) is designed to look into topics directly related to the daily practices of staff working in healthcare supply retail. The workshops reflect the entire spectrum of treatment and care options offered by medical supply stores. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in a wide range of interactive sessions and discussions as well as to gain additional knowledge that they can use in a professional setting.

At more than ten workshops, examples of treatment and care aimed directly at this target group will be demonstrated and discussed in cooperation with selected patients. "Each workshop provides a platform for an open exchange of experiences", explains Petra Menkel, a board member of the German Association of Orthopaedic Technology (BIV-OT). "We can learn most from the cases that did not go smoothly. This is why we hope the attendees are prepared to discuss their experiences of such cases with us and with each other." Petra Menkel is a master bandagist and is leading three of the workshops for healthcare supply retailers.

Lymphatic Care in the Spotlight

Compression care is a key service provided by all medical supply stores. For patients with lymphatic disorders, this can be extremely complex and require specific skills. Therefore, the workshops will be placing a particular focus on lymphatic treatments and care. In collaboration with the German Society for Phlebology and Lymphology (DGPL), two workshops will be offered each day covering standards-based treatment and care within a team of physicians and therapists. The sessions will examine oncological tumour-associated lymphoedema involving the lower extremities, obesity and lymphoedema, primary lymphoedema and the lymphatic treatment of patients with open wounds. Live treatments will be performed on patients at the workshops, allowing participants to gain experience in different care options and compare the various methods. In a room designed especially for this series of workshops, an array of medical aids will be available in a mock medical supply store for use in demonstrating care practices on patients.

All workshops on the subject of lymphoedema will be led by Prof Dr Gerd Lulay, Head Physician at the Surgical Clinic II for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at the Rheine Clinic. “Interdisciplinary cooperation is essential in this area of medicine”, Prof Lulay emphasises. "If the professional groups involved do not communicate adequately with each other, there is a great danger that this will result in treatment plans not being carried out according to the necessary standards. This makes it all the more important that we have the opportunity at OTWorld to engage in professional conversations between physicians, lymph therapists, prosthetists and orthotists and medical supply store staff." Examples of patient groups that present particular challenges to the store teams include those with obesity and lymphoedema. In such cases, compression stockings have to withstand enormous pressure, as Prof Lulay points out. “Providing compression socks and stockings for patients requires great skill by the staff at the medical supply stores.”

Workshops on Treatment and Care for Stroke and Breast Cancer Patients

The further education programme will be rounded off with three additional workshops: "Breast Prostheses: Balancing Cancer Diagnosis, Cost Pressures and the Psychological Stress for Everyone Involved", "When a Stroke Strikes – An Introduction to the Clinical Picture, Early Physiotherapy and Orthopaedic Follow-Up Treatment" and "How Do I Recognise the Limitations of Treatment with Prefabricated Orthoses and When Do I Need a Customised Medical Aid?" The topics of stroke and breast cancer will thus be examined in detail. The workshops will also highlight questions from patients that medical supply retailers are confronted with on a regular basis. Does the medical aid fit the diagnosis and is the prescribed medical aid the best one for the patient? Can I make changes to prefabricated medical aids? At what point does treatment and care become uneconomical? These three questions will be examined at workshops of the same name led by master orthopaedic technician Petra Menkel. “The complex tasks dealt with by staff at medical supply stores are often undervalued both inside and outside the profession”, says Petra Menkel. "We aim to strengthen the image of this professional group and help its members become more highly regarded. One way to achieve this is by offering targeted training sessions for this significant professional group as we are doing at OTWorld."

Tickets to OTWorld also give visitors access to the workshops. Tickets to OTWorld 2024 are available in the online shop . Discounted early-bird prices for full tickets and day tickets are available until 31 March.

Leipziger Messe, Martin Klindtworth
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