Orthopaedic practitioners help patients recover from injury or surgery as quickly as possible by making sure casts and splints are fitted correctly.
Training and qualifications requiredTo 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.
Expected working hours and salary rangeAs an orthopaedic practitioner you will typically start on AfC band 3. With further training and experience, you could apply for more senior positions at bands 4 and 5. Orthopaedic practitioners work standard hours of around 37.5 a week. They may work shifts, which could involve nights, early starts, evenings and weekends.Terms and conditions will usually be different for clinical support staff working outside of the NHS.
Desirable skills and valuesTo work as an orthopaedic practitioner, you need to be happy to be hands-on with patients, willing to work with messy materials, able to deal with people who are upset, confident and reassuring, able to follow procedures, work quickly and carefully, and able to work alone or in a team. You'll also need good manual (hand) skills, organisation skills, good communication skills with the ability to explain treatment to patients and reassure them.
ProspectsYou could progress to senior roles within the plaster room. You could apply to train as an assistant practitioner or with the appropriate qualifications for entry to university, train as a healthcare professional such as nurse, physiotherapist, prosthetist or orthotist.
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