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Prosthetists and Orthotists Job Description

Prosthetists and Orthotists help people with serious injuries or disabilities lead more normal, active and rewarding lives.
Prosthetists design, create, fit and repair artificial limbs.
Orthotists perform similar duties with braces and supports for the spine or weakened limbs.
There are many tasks that the prosthetists and orthotists  must perform:
  • They examine patients to determine what type of brace or artificial limb they may need, that are most suitable for them.
  • They make plaster casts of the limbs.  ( to make sure that the end product will fit properly and cause as little discomfort as possible.
  • Supervise the technicians who build the appliances, when they are not making the limbs and braces themselves.
  • Help to fit and adjust the limb or brace so that the patient is satisfied and comfortable.
  • May also provide counseling on how to use the new appliance (such as lifting with an artificial hand, or bending while wearing a brace.
  • Lastly, they are responsible for keeping thorough records for the patients, if anything shall go wrong.

Working Conditions

Normally, prosthetists and orthotists work indoors, in comfortable clinic, or laboratory settings in a hospital, rehabilitation centers or their own private practises. Most often, they are accompanied by other professionals such as physicians, and physiotherapists. In other instances, they may work in noiser, dusty workrooms, this would be where the appliances (limbs and braces) are actually made.

Most often, they may work seven to eight hours a day, 30 to 40 hours a week. Overtime and weekend work rarelty happens, but sometimes does occur. Professionals in this field usually take 10 to 20 paid vacation days a year.