Everyone has a different journey to working in prosthetics and orthotics, but for most of the individuals who help patients at Excel Prosthetics, their journey was based on the desire to help people overcome personal challenges. Richard Ruble is a Certified Prosthetist Orthotist (CPO) serving Excel patients in Roanoke and Lynchburg, Virginia. He had a similar journey in joining our team of passionate practitioners.
His Journey to Joining Excel Prosthetics
After growing up in Lynchburg, Ruble attended James Madison University to study health sciences. His interest in the human body and how he can help improve the lives of others brought him to explore the world of physical therapy, but he soon shifted his path to prosthetics. He spent two years working as a prosthetic technician at the University of Virginia Prosthetic Lab and had a keen desire to continue down this path to receive his professional certification. He acquired his certification through the Newington Certification program in Hartford, Connecticut and did his residency and boards in Savannah, GA. But Southwest Virginia called him back home, ready to start impacting lives.
Freshly certified, Ruble sought a position with Excel Prosthetics in 2002 and has been working with Doug Walters and the team ever since.
“I met with Doug Walters and we just clicked,” says Ruble. “It was a good fit for what I was looking for.”
Walters and Ruble have a common interest in avoiding comfort in the status quo. Technology enables prosthetists and orthotists to make advancements in care every day, so why not embrace it? At the end of the day, the goal is to better serve the patient. Utilizing technology that can craft prosthetics quickly and accurately can make all the difference in helping an amputee transition into their new lifestyle.
“We’re very technologically driven and are always looking for advancements and ways to improve on patient care with technology,” says Ruble. “Doug has never wanted to stay comfortable in the way that we do things. If it helps the patient or improves efficiency, he’s always eager to try it.
Celebrating Milestones with Patients
Each day, Richard looks forward to coming into work with specific goals that he can meet with his patients. An average day spent in the clinic seeing patients for evaluations, measurements, adjustments, and deliveries is a good day. It’s especially rewarding when he has the opportunity to meet the patients where they are to provide an extra level of care.
An extra special day is a day that he finds out that his patient has been able to meet their personal goal with the help of the prosthetic or orthotic that he fit them with.
“If they want to just be able to get up and walk into the kitchen again, I’m tickled that they can do that,” says Ruble. “If they tell me they can go out and play with their grandchildren again, even better.”
Reaching those goals can be a long, difficult road, but it’s worth it in the end. Richard makes it clear to his patients that he is no miracle worker, but if he can help them enjoy the simple things in life again, it makes that difficult journey worth it.
Outside of the Clinic
Outside of serving his patients, he has a wife and family that keep him busy. One of the reasons he came back to work at Excel Prosthetics was because he could be close to family and enjoy the amenities the region has to offer. Sports are a big part of his life with his three kids. Between basketball, golf, and dirt bikes, the fun never ends. He and his wife also take the time to enjoy those beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains by hiking as much as possible.
After 16 years, Richard continues to be inspired and excited by his job and his life in Southwest Virginia. We’re just thankful to have him!