In Summary - Prosthetist / Orthotist
Prosthetist / Orthotists typically work in the following Career Sectors:
Videos on the Web
- Prosthetist / Orthotist- from: Youtube Search
- Prosthetist-Orthotist - from: N.C.S. [UK]
The Work - Prosthetist / Orthotist
Orthotists and prosthetists are professionals allied to medicine who work at hospitals, clinics or within specialised rehabilitation centres. Prosthetists supply and fit artificial limbs (prostheses). People may have lost a limb in an accident or had an amputation following a disease. Sometimes, people are born without a limb.
Orthotists supply and fit surgical appliances (orthoses) that are used to assist movement and correct deformities. People suffering from an injury or disease can also benefit from an orthosis. Typical orthoses include:
- collars for the head and neck
- braces, corsets and trusses for the spine and abdomen
- splints for fingers and hands
- callipers and compression garments for legs
- orthopaedic footwear and insoles
Prosthetists and orthotists take precise and detailed measurements and often a plaster cast of the client. This will provide sizes for the technician, who will make the prosthesis or orthosis. The finished article is later fitted by the orthotist or prosthetist. They show the client how it works, what its limits are, and how to put it on and take it off.
The orthotist/prosthetist closely monitors the effectiveness of any prosthesis or orthosis they have fitted, and may make adjustments, repairs or renewals at regular intervals. You will use the skill you have learnt to design and select the best possible prosthesis.
A close relationship is built up during the rehabilitation process, as the client adjusts to their changed situation. Close liaison is also maintained with the team of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists who are involved in the welfare of the client.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Examine, interview, and measure patients to determine their appliance needs and to identify factors that could affect appliance fit.
- Fit, test, and evaluate devices on patients, and make adjustments for proper fit, function, and comfort.
- Instruct patients in the use and care of orthoses and prostheses.
- Maintain patients' records.
- Select materials and components to be used, based on device design.
- Design orthopedic and prosthetic devices, based on physicians' prescriptions and examination and measurement of patients.
- Make and modify plaster casts of areas that will be fitted with prostheses or orthoses, for use in the device construction process.
- Confer with physicians to formulate specifications and prescriptions for orthopedic or prosthetic devices.
- Construct and fabricate appliances or supervise others constructing the appliances.
- Train and supervise support staff, such as orthopedic and prosthetic assistants and technicians.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Interests - Prosthetist / Orthotist
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
The Social person's interests focus on interacting with the people in their environment. In all cases, the Social person enjoys the personal contact with other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.
Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
Many clients need to be treated with patience and sensitivity. They need to be encouraged to overcome their feelings of stress or embarrassment when faced with a prosthesis or orthosis, which may feel uncomfortable at first.
Prosthetists and orthotists deal with a wide range of clients so you'll need good communication skills. A mature and caring manner will help you to gain the confidence of patients.
Good practical skills are essential. You must be able to work carefully and accurately, and have an eye for detail. An interest and ability in biological and physical sciences is vital.
Entry Requirements - Prosthetist / Orthotist
Pay & Salary - Prosthetist / Orthotist
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 25k - 50k
Entrants: 25 - 35
Senior Orthotist: 50
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.