Orthopaedic practitioner

Orthopaedic practitioners apply casts and splints to keep limbs and joints in position while they heal. Find out how to train as an orthopaedic practitioner.

This page has information on the role of the orthopaedic practitioner, including entry requirements and skills needed. 

Working life

As an orthopaedic practitioner, you'll apply casts and splints to patients following an accident or surgery or for particular orthopaedic conditions. Casts and splits are used to keep limbs and joints in position while they heal.

orthopaedic sign

You'll need to use the most suitable technique and material. Casts can be made from

You may also

You may be known as a casting technician or plaster technician.

Orthopaedic practitioners work in trauma and orthopaedic clinics. They may work with patients of all ages and conditions or they may specialise in, for example, children or older people.

Orthopaedic practitioners work with healthcare professionals such as nurses.

Entry requirements 

Vacancies to train as an orthopaedic practitioners are rarely advertised. It may be possible to enter by working as a healthcare assistant or clinical support worker in a trauma and orthopaedic clinic. Once you have experience of working with patients you could approach the casting room staff to ask for an opportunity to get experience of casting work.

Employers expect good numeracy and literacy. They may ask for GCSEs. Employers may also ask for a qualification such as an NVQ or BTEC in health care.

Skills and personal characteristics

As an orthopaedic practitioner, you need to be

You'll also need

Training and development 

To become a fully qualified orthopaedic practitioner, you need to take the British Casting Certificate. You can take the five-week course as a block or by day release. To get on the course, you need at least a year’s experience of casting work.

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