Your complete guide to studying Prosthetics and Orthotics

Everything you need to know about studying Prosthetics and Orthotics

part of Medicine & Health

What is Prosthetics and Orthotics?

Prosthetics and Orthotics is a specialised healthcare field that focuses on the design, production, and application of artificial limbs (prosthetics) and supportive devices (orthotics). By studying this degree you will learn how to help enhance the mobility and quality of life for people with missing limbs or physical impairments.

Prosthetics and Orthotics Specialisations

There are several specialisations within a Prosthetics and Orthotics, and all are related to patient needs and technological advancements. The most common specialisations include:

  • Lower Limb Prosthetics,
  • Upper Limb Prosthetics,
  • Spinal Orthotics,
  • Pediatric Orthotics,
  • Sports Prosthetics and Orthotics.

You can pursue these specialisations in both Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes.

What will you learn during a Prosthetics and Orthotics programme?

By enrolling in a Prosthetics and Orthotics programme you will learn a blend of medical, technological, and patient care knowledge. Here's what you can expect to learn in class:

  • Anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics relevant to prosthetics and orthotics,
  • Design, fabrication, and fitting of prosthetic and orthotic devices,
  • Patient assessment, care, and rehabilitation strategies,
  • Application of new materials and technologies in prosthetics and orthotics,
  • Ethical, professional, and legal issues in patient care.

Some of the popular courses you’ll most likely take during a Prosthetics and Orthotics degree are:

  • Anatomy and Biomechanics: Focuses on the study of human anatomy, and its application to the design of prosthetic and orthotic devices.
  • Clinical Prosthetics and Orthotics: Provides hands-on clinical experience and training in assessing patient needs.
  • Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies: Focuses on the use of advanced technologies, such as robotics, computer-aided design (CAD), and 3D printing, in the development and customization of prosthetic and orthotic devices.
  • Patient Management and Ethics: Addresses the ethical considerations, communication skills, and patient-centered approach.

Choosing Prosthetics and Orthotics is a good degree if you have a passion for helping others, have an interest in healthcare and technology, and enjoy problem-solving.

Skills required for a degree in Prosthetics and Orthotics

Prosthetics and Orthotics is the right degree for you if you have a strong background in sciences, particularly biology and physics. Alongside, you'll need excellent problem-solving abilities, manual dexterity, attention to detail, and interpersonal skills, as working closely with patients is a significant part of the job.

What can you do with a Prosthetics and Orthotics degree?

With a Prosthetics and Orthotics degree, you can pursue a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. The jobs you can get with a Prosthetics and Orthotics degree include:

  • Prosthetist or Orthotist,
  • Rehabilitation Engineer,
  • Clinical Specialist,
  • Researcher in Prosthetics and Orthotics,
  • Prosthetics and Orthotics Product Developer.

A Bachelor's degree in Prosthetics and Orthotics prepares you for entry-level roles, while a Master's degree allows you to specialise further and take up research or teaching roles. So, is a Prosthetics and Orthotics degree worth it? Definitely! This field provides the opportunity to make a profound difference in patients' lives, making it both a rewarding and impactful career choice.

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