I became an orthotist because……..
I originally embarked on a career in orthotics because of the want to help my sister who was born with talipes equinovarus. She required several operations followed by serial casting as a child and had significant pain and difficulty when walking. She required orthotic treatment throughout my childhood, and I wanted to learn how to treat her in the future. Having gone on work experience placement when in school I realised that the role of an orthotist was suited to my practical skill set and would also allow me to fulfil the wish to help people like my sister. I have managed to work both for the NHS and in private practice over the last 16 years and have found all my roles very fulfilling. I have worked my way up from being a band 6 orthotist to full time orthotic service lead in charge of the department a WHH. I feel that there are excellent opportunities in orthotics and would strongly recommend it as a career for anyone.
Day in the life of an orthotist
Orthotist are one of the 14 allied health professions and are dually qualified in both prosthetics and orthotics. In general orthotists and prosthetists specialise in one of these two professions, however there are some opportunities to dual practice in both professions. The types of patient an orthotist treats are varied as we provide orthotic devices for the whole body. We also deal with many different medical conditions and treat a wide demographic of patient.
Typically, an orthotist would see anywhere from 14-25 patients a day and are responsible for assessing the patient’s biomechanical problem, measuring, designing and providing an orthotic device to improve the patients condition. Typically, these devices are prescribed to reduce pain, improve balance/mobility or to limit unnatural movement of the body.
Typical conditions that we treat are arthritis, cerebral palsy, diabetes, ligament strains/ruptures, fractures and neuro muscular conditions such as stroke, MS and motor neuron disease.
Many of the conditions are long term conditions and this allows us to get to know our patients and build up a good repour with them. It is a very rewarding occupation and has good opportunities for career progression.