Orthotists who are sometimes called “prosthetists” are health care professionals who evaluate design and fit orthopedic braces. They also help patients who need various types of surgical supports artificial limbs and corrective shoes to help them carry out normal daily activities. Orthotists use a wide range of materials to create the braces and artificial limbs that they produce so they must be knowledgeable about how to cut shape and utilize materials such wood steel leather and plastic. Most of the patients that orthotists serve include those that were born with physical problems those who were injured in accidents and those who have suffered diseases and illnesses that have left them unable to normally use their bodies or limbs. Orthotists use doctors’ prescriptions and then make precise measurements so that the devices they fashion will fit patients comfortably with as little adjustment as possible. They often work with physical therapists to ensure that devices serve their purpose. Orthotists must be able to communicate with patients but also they must be skilled their hands because they use machinery and equipment which is located in shopslaboratories that must be inspected by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics. Many of the devices they fit to clients are funded by Medicare or other insurance which may limit the pay they can earn. Aspiring orthotists must also earn a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited college and serve in a clinical internship with an established orthotist or prothetist. Some state healthcare boards have licensing requirements. This profession should be in greater demand in the coming years because the aging population will need rehabilitative care and improvements in orthotic devices that can help them increase the quality of their lives. The website www1.salary.com says that the median annual salary for orthotists is approximately $68000.
|Education Required:||Bachelor's Degree|
|Tasks:||Creates orthopedic braces.
Ensures that braces fit correctly.
Makes adjustments and fixes broken appliances.
Designs unique apparatuses that are made for individual people.
|Also Called:||Allied Health Professional
Orthopedic Appliance Fabricator