Iona Sellar has been a Graduate Prosthetist at Portsmouth Enablement Centre based within St Mary’s Treatment Centre since July 2018. Iona, 23, lives in Fratton with young professionals, and is sharing her story for the 75th anniversary of D-Day about her interesting role within this vital rehabilitation centre.
The Portsmouth Enablement Centre provides a regional prosthetic service to people living in Portsmouth, Southampton, Hampshire and some areas of West Sussex, and is one of nine enhanced Veterans Care Centres in the UK providing specialist prosthetic and rehabilitation services for veterans whose amputation is attributed to their military service.
Iona works with both upper and lower limb prosthetic repairs for her patients, and ensures that they are in good working order. Iona also creates casts of prosthetic limbs, in preparation for the skilled technicians to create the final versions within the in-house workshop.
Iona’s exciting journey began when her careers advisor suggested that she look into prosthetics.
Iona says: “I had a careers advisor who mentioned prosthetics, and I looked into it and thought it sounded good! I liked the idea of being able to help people, as well as the combination of mechanics and biology.”
Iona decided to undertake her studies at University of Strathclyde in Glasgow before eventually applying for a position within the Enablement Centre, which is a role that she has been enjoying ever since.
Iona explains: “I look forward to working with the veterans more. It’s always interesting as they have different prescriptions to my usual NHS patients. It’s interesting to see what other high tech options are out there that we can give to them.”
As time goes on for Iona within the centre, her work is becoming more and more rewarding. She explains: “The most rewarding part is being able to see the difference you’ve made to someone, like seeing them get up and walk, or being able to pick something up with a hand that they didn’t have before.
“I had a patient recently who cried after using their new electric arm for the first time, because they knew it would give them so much more function.”
Iona also values her helpful and welcoming team, who provide her with ongoing support throughout the graduate process. Iona says: “I work closely with my team. When you come in as a graduate you have a supervisor to oversee; Erica was my supervisor so if I have a problem with a patient or I don’t know what to do, I can easily ask Erica for help and she will come and help me!”
Iona is looking forward to developing her career within prosthetics, and has already made a positive impact within the team.