Success is when people walk again
Having successfully passed their journeyman's examinations as prosthetists, all seven graduates are also guaranteed jobs. They received advance confirmation from the companies that trained them, provided they passed in theory and practice. Everything went like clockwork with an average mark of 2.0. "A strong group" exulted Karl Becker, member of the examination commission and Education Manager at Ottobock, when he received the results.
Duderstadt has been hosting the journeyman's examinations for Lower Saxony/Bremen for seven years. The paths that lead to three and a half years of vocational training are often as different as the plans for the future.
Julia Bötticher (20) from Breitenworbis will stay with Ottobock. She obtained information on the requirements and prospects as a prosthetist at two career information days in Leinefelde. "You need to be skilled at working with your hands, and empathy with patients is essential," is how she describes the combination that makes this occupation so appealing to her.
Her next objective is to obtain her general qualification for university entrance while working in her new job. She plans to study medical technology later. While she earned the Euro-Pass – a professional qualification recognised throughout Europe – during a three-week multi-company course in Holland, she prefers to remain in the Eichsfeld over the long term "because my boyfriend and my family are here".
Dennis Bolm (26) from Braunschweig obtained his training at Sanitätshaus Kemnitz in Peine after the father of a friend pointed out that they had an open apprenticeship position: "I just jumped in without a lot of planning, and soon found that I enjoy this sort of work." Now he wants to gain additional practical experience there before deciding whether to work towards the master's examination.
One thing they both agree on as a defining experience in their training is their first success with an individual fitting. "Fabricating the first complete prosthesis on my own and then seeing how happy the patient was to receive it was truly special," Dennis Bolm says. Julia Bötticher photographed the first person fitted by her: "I was really proud when I saw him starting to walk with the prosthesis. His picture is still hanging up in my room."
In addition to empathy and a talent for working with your hands, technical aptitude is also a key to success. "Wooden legs are long since obsolete," says Karl Becker. "Electronics and high-end materials are used today." Constantly working with anatomy and biomechanics can also have an impact in everyday life. Dennis Bolm: "Whenever I see people, I immediately find myself observing the way they walk."
Prosthetists are in demand. Anyone interested in training for this career can request a corresponding brochure from the HR department at Ottobock.