Prosthetists and orthotists provide care for people who need an artificial limb (prosthesis) or a device to support or control part of the body (orthosis).
1. Entry requirementsYou’ll need to take a 3- or 4-year BSc (Hons) degree in prosthetics and orthotics, approved by the British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists and the Health and Care Professions Council.
The approved degree course is available at 2 universities in the UK:
- University of Salford – School of Health Sciences
- University of Strathclyde – The National Centre for Training and Education in Prosthetics and Orthotics
2. Skills required
- technical and practical skills
- problem solving skills
- creativity, to design and produce devices
- sensitivity and understanding of patients’ needs
- excellent IT skills
3. What you'll do
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- designing and fitting surgical appliances (orthoses) like braces, callipers and splints
- working with people recovering from a stroke, those with rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, or cerebral palsy
- assessing a patient's needs before they have an artificial limb or appliance fitted
- taking measurements and using computer modelling to produce a design of the prostheses or orthoses
- explaining a finished design to a technician, who will produce the final product
- carrying out follow-up checks with patients to see how they are coping with their device
- making sure the appliance or limb is functioning properly, and is comfortable
- carrying out adjustments or repairs
Starter: £22,000 to £28,500
Experienced: £26,250 to £35,250
Highly Experienced: up to £68,500
These figures are a guide.
5. Working hours, patterns and environmentYou’ll usually work between 37 and 40 hours a week Monday to Friday. Part-time or flexible hours may also be available.
You’ll work within hospitals, clinics and health centres. You might also need to visit patients in their own homes.
6. Career path and progressionWith experience, you could progress to a management post or move into a specialist clinical area. You could also move into teaching, or a research and development post.
Last updated: 04 October 2016