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Details for Orthotists and Prosthetists


Description

Assist patients with disabling conditions of limbs and spine or with partial or total absence of limb by fitting and preparing orthopedic braces or prostheses.

Tasks

  • Examine, interview, and measure patients in order 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.
  • Design orthopedic and prosthetic devices, based on physicians' prescriptions, and examination and measurement of patients.
  • Maintain patients' records.
  • Make and modify plaster casts of areas that will be fitted with prostheses or orthoses, for use in the device construction process.
  • Select materials and components to be used, based on device design.
  • Confer with physicians in order to formulate specifications and prescriptions for orthopedic and/or prosthetic devices.
  • Repair, rebuild, and modify prosthetic and orthopedic appliances.
  • Construct and fabricate appliances or supervise others who are constructing the appliances.
  • Train and supervise orthopedic and prosthetic assistants and technicians, and other support staff.
  • Update skills and knowledge by attending conferences and seminars.
  • Show and explain orthopedic and prosthetic appliances to healthcare workers.
  • Research new ways to construct and use orthopedic and prosthetic devices.
  • Publish research findings, and present them at conferences and seminars.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).
  • Training - Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
  • Experience - Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

Knowledge

Skills

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Operations Analysis - Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

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Wages for this career
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