Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Powell resident to present research at national conference

You never know where inspiration will come from.
For Anna Clark Seibert, a first-year resident at Powell, it came from a university classmate, a Marine named Rob Jones, who lost both legs at or above the knee during combat in Afghanistan.
Anna, who was studying pre-med at Virginia Tech at the time, decided to pivot to a career in prosthetics.
“I visited Rob at Walter Reed (National Military Medical Center) and followed his successes to maneuver through life with so much success,” Anna recalls. “It made me fall in love with this profession. Until then I wanted to be in the health care field but didn’t know where my fit was.”
Well, she found it.
Anna is in the first of two years of residency at Powell – one for prosthetics, the other for orthotics. The program enables master’s-degree graduates a chance to work with patients, learn the business and prepare for the rigorous board certification exam.
“I want to be as impactful as I can in the field I love,” she says.

Presenting to national conference
One step to that goal came March 6-9, when she presented an academic paper called “Prosthesis User Experience and Coping Strategies – a Social Media Content Analysis” at the 45th annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists, a national organization.
In the paper, she and co-authors conclude that social media content can help practitioners obtain a more detailed and unfiltered understanding of the interests and concerns that are prevalent within the limb-loss community. Support groups on social media sites such as Reddit and Facebook can be a valuable resource for patients coping with limb loss, albeit it with different information.
The topic came from her own interest in documenting the role of social media to help patients and their families.
“I was mostly curious about prosthetic life hacks but unfortunately I didn’t find a ton of them,” she said. In the process, she and her colleagues collected a year’s worth of data (1,305 posts) and coded the entries to get data points.
Always on the lookout to help patients, Anna hopes to carry out future studies to ensure patients and their families have access to helpful information online at a trying time.
Looking ahead, Anna says she’d love to work with children in part because she can see the same patients more as they grow out of equipment.
“They’re especially resilient and they give it their all,” she said, adding: “Kids also take direction well.”
In the meantime she’ll be greeting patients of any age at Powell.

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