Wands in O&P lab

Apr 05, 2021 / Prosthetics & Orthotics

Get to Know our Staff: Wanda McFadden, Orthotics & Prosthetics

What is your role at Scottish Rite for Children?
First and foremost, I am a prosthetist. I also serve as the education coordinator and prosthetic residency director in the Orthotics & Prosthetics department on the Dallas campus, as well as represent our department on the safety committee and help in whatever other capacity may be needed.  
What do you do on a daily basis?
I am one of several licensed prosthetists at Scottish Rite for Children. We have direct patient interaction, making custom artificial limbs for the children that have amputations due to congenital anomalies, cancer, trauma, etc. It usually takes around four appointments, over the course of six to eight weeks to make a prosthesis. Our job does not stop at the completion of the fabrication of a prosthesis. We provide education on the use and care of the device. We work closely with the Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy departments to combine fitting and alignment, in conjunction with training, to use a prosthesis for the first time. A prosthesis has to be adjusted several times a year, for fit and comfort, as the child grows in height and in circumference. Children are usually very active, and they frequently wear out components, such as a prosthetic foot, before outgrowing the prosthesis. We also provide preventative maintenance and repairs to keep the prostheses in good working condition. All of these things allow us to give children back their childhood and help them reach their developmental milestones.  
What was your first job? What led you to Scottish Rite? How long have you worked here?
My first job was selling Avon door-to-door. However, I was working at a bank when my husband was seriously injured at his job. He had his right hand amputated as a result of the injury. My experiences with him, as an amputee, is what prompted me to become a prosthetist. During my education at UT Southwestern Medical School, one of my clinical rotations was here in the Prosthetics department at Scottish Rite. I was so impressed by my rotation and knew that this was the only place I wanted to apply to after finishing my degree. As of May 2021, I will have worked at Scottish Rite for 28 years.
What do you enjoy most about Scottish Rite for Children?
I am so fortunate to work with some of the best professionals at the organization. The ability to work as a complete team, with all of the different disciplines, is extremely valuable for employees, as well as for the families we serve. Without a doubt, the thing I enjoy most about Scottish Rite are the children and their families. Over the years, I have watched so many children grow up into amazing young adults. They are like an extension of my own family.
What’s your favorite place to eat around here?
I really like the hamburgers at Stoneleigh.
What’s something—big or small—that you’re really good at?
We have some land with a pond on it and occasionally the vegetation in the pond starts to overgrow. This has to be treated with chemicals and then the dead vegetation floats to the top. We have to take a small boat out on the pond and use a net to scoop out the dead vegetation. When my husband scoops, his net acts like a boat paddle and pushes the boat away from the vegetation we are trying to remove. To my surprise, on my very first try, I turned out to be very good at using the paddles to counter maneuver his net scooping action in order to maintain our position on the water. 
Do you have a pet? What’s he/she like?
We don’t have pets. I have a fur-grandbaby named Cooper. He is a 3-year-old little Yorkie that actually belongs to my daughter. He has so much passion and personality. He stands on his back feet and dances for us as he paws at the air. We love to indulge him, and he loves to come over to our house.
Is there something that has made you smile recently?
My great granddaughter was born by emergency C-Section at 28 weeks. God brought her through some difficult times as she continued to develop for several months in the NICU. She is flourishing now, thanks to God!  She makes me smile, and cry just a little bit, every time I see her smile. She truly is a miracle gift from God.

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