Orthotist, Orthotics Schools, Training, Jobs, and Careers
What is an Orthotist?
An orthotist is one who creates and fits corrective braces on people. He also makes inserts as well as supports for parts of the body that require straightening or other corrective functions. An orthotist works closely with a prosthetist. This is a person who fits artificial limbs on people who have compromised or missing limbs.How to Become Orthotist:
If you really want to be one, you can begin by signing up for classes in high school that teach honors or advanced science and math. Since your job will require that you measure, create and fit inserts for shoes that will correct deformities and other problems in your patients' feet, then you are going to want to place emphasis on such classes as the following:
• Medical or other health-oriented classes
• Welding or woodworking - will refine skills you will need to construct orthoses
After graduating from an accredited high school or getting your GED, you are going to want to attend an accredited college or university to get your bachelor's degree in orthotics. You will find that today a good number of accredited medical schools will list orthotics as one of their majors.
You will gain the knowledge as to how you will examine a patient's limb or foot to determine what kind of appliance will be needed and then, if necessary, you will be shown how to make a plaster cast. You will then design as well as construct the appliance, fit it on your patient and then make any necessary adjustments.
While in college, you will also learn how to make braces for legs and other types of individualized aids that will help patients to stand and walk. As an orthotist, you will work closely with foot doctors or podiatrists, therapists and doctors. You must also know how to interpret prescriptions as well as to keep meticulous patient records.
After you have obtained your Bachelor of Science degree, you should try to get a residency at a private practice, clinic, hospital or rehabilitation facility. As you work under the supervision of an experienced professional, you will gain the knowledge needed to fit and counsel patients as well as being able to increase your measuring and designing skills.
Finally, you will want to obtain your certification as a fitter from the "National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education", or NCOPE. This is the organization that is responsible for setting professional criteria for existing and new orthotists. In order to get your certification, NCOPE requires that you complete a lab course in fitter education.Orthotist Salary:
You make good money as an orthotist. The national average pay is $65,000 per year. Your salary will continue to increase as you gain more experience and years of service.
You don’t have a lot of schools offering the orthotics degree program. The best way to find one is to visit the Embanet website. There, you will be able to find schools in your area or online.
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