Orthotists and Prosthetists Job Description video

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Fairly simple-looking plastic or metal components can make a huge difference in a disabled person's life. Designing and building these is the work of Orthotists and Prosthetists. These experts use art and science to help restore the human body to as normal function as possible. Orthotists make and fit braces and appliances that help to align or support limbs. Prosthetists design and make artificial limbs. They usually work from doctors' prescriptions, but may also examine patients, taking measurements to make models and drawings. They design mobility-restoring equipment ranging from corrective shoes and inserts…to increasingly sophisticated artificial limbs. Though some of these workers make the appliances themselves, they usually send their designs to technicians to build the product. The orthotist or prosthetist shows the patient how to use the device, evaluating the fit and making adjustments. A good bedside manner goes a long way toward helping a patient gain confidence in a new appliance. Orthotists and prosthetists must have a 4-year college degree, complete a clinical residency and pass a national certification exam. Some states require a license. The job outlook in this field is excellent. It’s particularly welcoming to people who have a disability of their own that requires an orthosis or prosthesis. Schools and certification programs are particularly appreciative of real-life user experience. If you're looking for a truly “hands-on” job where knowledge and dedication can improve a patient's everyday life, a career as an orthotist or prosthetist could be the perfect fit.

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