A career in Prosthetics and/or Orthotics is a well-respected profession within the medical field. It can be a little overwhelming to understand what path to take to best reach your goal of becoming a Certified Prosthetist or Orthotist. If you are interested in exploring this further, we are here to help answer some of your questions and give you the resources to find out more.
First off, you might be wondering what exactly an Orthotist does. Simply explained, ‘an Orthotist is a healthcare professional who provides treatment for people who need added support for body parts that have been weakened by injury, disease, or disorders of the nerves, muscles, or bones.’ Orthotists create custom-designed braces which are best suited for their patient’s needs.
If you live in Canada, there are a couple of paths you can follow to obtain your certification. We explore those in depth in the 3-part series on our blog. Education requirements vary but typically you must have a 2-year diploma followed by a 2-year residency at an approved clinic. Following that, you must challenge and pass a certification exam that includes written and practical elements.
There are two schools in Canada that offers a 2-year post-graduate diploma in Orthotics and Prosthetics. Students must have already completed an undergraduate degree in a related field before applying to these diploma programs. British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Burnaby and George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology (GBC) in Toronto. As discussed in earlier blog posts, the Manitoba Orthotics and Prosthetics Association (MOPA) has partnered with GBC and two students now perform in-class courses remotely, from Winnipeg, and do the practical segments of their education with local clinics in Winnipeg. Once graduated from either of these programs these students then find appropriate residencies in the field. WinPO is proud to be able to shape the future of our next generation of Prosthetists and Orthotists!
There are many paths that you can take in the healthcare industry, a Prosthetist can be an interesting and rewarding career. You can help to provide someone who has suffered from limb loss to live a fulfilling life and assist them in achieving all their goals.
Prosthetists will design and create prostheses to meet the specific needs of their patients who require an artificial limb. This can entail working with microprocessors in feet and knees, programming open and close strategies in hands, to a simple useful prosthetic device that enables someone to walk in the safety of their home, and remain independent a little while longer.
Orthotists and Prosthetists can work in a number of environments including hospitals, rehab centers, private practices or industrial health centers.
Similar to an Orthotist, if you want to become a Prosthetist you must have an undergraduate degree in a related field before applying to the diploma programs through GBC or BCIT. Once that is complete you then complete your 2-year residency at an approved location.
If you have any questions about how incredibly rewarding a career in P&O can be, do not hesitate to contact us.