If you have stumbled on this article, then you must be wondering about how to make the most important decision of your career choice. It also goes to show that you have not completely set your mind on which area of work specialization you wish to continue. First of all, let us focus on what exactly do Orthotics do and what Prosthetics do, so that you can decide which one you want to go for and why?
Orthotics are specialists that are given and provided with measurements taken from patients by orthopedic doctor’s fittings of braces. They are responsible for designing and fitting corrective braces, inserts, and supports. Now, we all know what these are for. They help straighten and tighten patients’ injured limbs or disabled limbs and spine. These specialists are highly skilled and even use protective gear for making their devices.
A Prosthetic on the other hand is a healthcare professional, who is responsible for supervision and is clinically trained to give prescriptions or prescribe the treatment and assesses the required specifications for the responsible prosthesis. They take measurements, an image of body segments, and also prepare a model of evaluation. It is the job of a prosthetics to align a patient’s prostheses. They stand by, correct their gait, and make sure they are able to progress with comfort and ease. It has to mimic the feel of reality and make sure that patients experience a normal feeling.
Both occupations require design and molding of medically supportive devices. They both measure and fit patients. A few examples of these medical devices are artificial arms, legs, hands, fingers and even surgical tools. Here is the fun part about both these professions that to some extent, they are similar and you can work in both orthotics and prosthetics, or just specialize in one.
Let’s see how both of these are similar:
• Observe patients and recommend what specifications they need for recovery
• Get patients measurements for braces
• They design artificial limbs
• Responsible for the material used in these devices
• Give tips on how to use these devices effectively and help patients get used to them
• Repair devices
• Take care of the patient and observe them
Here is how you can become an orthotics or a prosthetics:
In order to succeed in any career line, one must have the knowledge necessary to excel in that category. You must get higher education and specialize in one of the two in order to pursue that career line. You need a master’s degree in orthotics or prosthetics.
This is the most important factor required in becoming an orthotics or a prosthetics. Other than, that license is required according to the American Board for Certification in order to practice within a state. After that, you will need a one-year residency for experience before you become an attendant.
Some key skills that every prosthetic need are common problem solving, communication skills, attention to detail and the ability to design and function artificial limbs. The estimated salary that any prosthetics earn annually is $64,040, which is just the average estimate.
So first things first, get a Bachelor’s degree with a science background, focus your courses on math or science like biology or bioengineering. This creates a basis in your future career in the biological category.
Once, you are done with your Bachelor’s degree, you will need to work towards a Master’s degree. This is where you specialize in either prosthetics and orthotics, whichever you choose to continue in. Lastly, make sure that the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs accredits the program you selected.
The master’s program will last for two years and include difficult courses that will shape you and train you for the future house job; you will do before progressing forward. Classes you will do in masters:
• Rehabilitation technology
• Orthotic management
• Prosthetic management
During this time as a student, you can also take part in research activities and fieldwork, which can train you for future extremities. The final stage of your education is a house job, which lasts for 12 months and is accredited by the NCOPE-accredited residency. Through these residencies, students are taken under the wing of professionals, who train these new-bees and help them get firsthand experience in supervision of the making of these medical devices that help rehabilitate millions of people.
Laws of licensing differ in every state and for any practitioner to practice medicine requires the license from a state, which they chose to operate in. It can also include a board certification that an individual must obtain before getting started.
To get the license for practice, one must sit for the ABC’s Certified Orthotist (CO) exams. They must provide proof of higher education and be associated with CAAHEP-accredited orthotics and prosthetics program and completion of an NCOPE-accredited residency program. This all may sound too much but don’t worry, every career has its struggles, and the final push is a 3-hour multiple-choice exam along with a 3-hour exam f clinical simulations and a final practical exam, which assesses the candidate’s clinical and patient management skills. These three exams are essential for licensing. Proof of all these exams will be required along with your previous education proof.
Here are some essential tips that you should keep in mind:
It is important to study even after you are officially done. Earing extra credit can take you a long way and keep you up with the changing medical world. New discoveries are made every day. CE credits are required for the ABC and BOC certification.
Ove the five-year course of your education, you need 75 CE credits in scientific and business practice training. You can also opt for voluntary broad certifications, which can broaden your job opportunity.
Once you have worked in the field for a few years and have learned the business you may then be ready start your own practice and rent medical office space.Austin, Tx is a great place however this medical profession is booming so you can be successful just about anywhere.