Medical Appliance Technicians Job Description video

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Medical appliance technicians combine a knowledge of human anatomy with math and power tools to create artificial limbs and braces. They work as assistants to orthotists and prosthetists, medical experts who use specially-designed devices to help patients overcome a physical disability. The technicians read prescriptions and detailed information about what the patient needs. They often work from a cast or impression of the limb as a pattern, taking careful measurements with precision instruments. A wide variety of materials are used in a wearable medical appliance. Technicians use hand or power tools to cut and shape. They glue, rivet or weld the parts together. The final steps include smoothing the surfaces… and perhaps padding or covering them. The devices are then tested for proper alignment and movement, and may go back to the workbench for adjustment. Most technicians repair and maintain the appliances they make. Mathematically-inclined high school graduates can get an entry level position in this field, as employers look for coursework in shop, geometry and algebra. Most medical appliance technicians learn their skills on the job. By continuing their formal education in this field, technicians may advance to becoming certified orthotists or prosthetists themselves. Appliance technicians are medical mechanics. The appliances they build help people achieve physical function and form -- as well as independence and productivity.

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