Orthotist. This position specializes primarily in providing care to patients with disabling conditions of the limbs and spine by fitting them with orthotic devices (orthopedic shoes or braces).
Prosthetist. This position specializes primarily in providing care to patients with partial or total absence of a limb by fitting them with prosthetic devices (artificial limbs).
Degree: Bachelor's degree.
Education: Graduate from an accredited program with a major study in prosthetics and orthotics approved by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and completion of a National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE) accredited residency program.
Certification: Certified by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics or the Board for Orthotist/Prosthetist Certification.
Experience: One year of specialized experience in orthotics or prosthetics after graduation.
Attend clinic and participate as a fully participating member of the treatment team with considerable influence in the development of the treatment plan.
Conduct clinical patient analyses such as gait, range of motion, and life style for patients with a wide range of complex medical conditions which include unusual problems or complications and to design unique or innovative devices to accommodate those conditions.
Apply materials such as plastics, composites, metals, and leather used in fabrication in order to design and fabricate prescribed devices considering new and emerging technologies.
Recognize physical abnormalities, deviations, and complicating conditions with potentially life threatening implications.
Provide patient evaluation, prosthesis design, fabrication, fitting and modification to treat limb loss for purposes of restoring physiological function and/or cosmesis.