Transform the lives of your patients by helping them to run, walk better or simply stand without pain. Prosthetists and orthotists give back the power of movement to their patients, in a way that’s as pain-free as possible and use the latest technology to create and fit prostheses or aids.You need to study for an approved degree (BSc) in prosthetics and orthotics. Two universities in the UK offer courses which take three or four years. To get onto a degree course in orthotics and prosthetics you need two or three A levels (or equivalent qualification) along with five GCSEs (grades A-C), including English language, maths and science. Alternatively, a degree apprenticeship standard (level 6) in prosthetics and orthotics has been approved. You will typically need level 3 qualifications in order to apply for a degree apprenticeship with a health care provider.Prosthetists and orthotists in the NHS work standard hours, which are likely to be around 37.5 a week. They may have to work shifts, including evenings, nights and weekends. They start on band 5 of the Agenda for Change pay scales. Elsewhere, a prosthetist’s or orthotist’s hours will depend on where they work. In a private clinic, they may work evenings and weekends to suit private clients.Prosthetists and orthotists need an understanding of how people live their lives, have an interest in how engineering can be used to help people and be willing to work alone or in a team. They should also have engineering and maths skills, good manual (hand) skills and ability to explain treatment to patients.You will work as a prosthetist or orthotist and may choose to specialise in a particular area of practice such as sports injuries, diabetes, forensic podiatry or working with children. Teaching or research are also options.You could also move into management, either within orthotics and prosthetics services or general management. As head of a local orthotics and prosthetics service you would be responsible both for a team of staff and for managing a budget. Some prosthetists and orthotists decide to set up their own clinics, on their own or with other professionals.
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