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Prosthetist-orthotist CV Writing Tip's

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Prosthetist-orthotist CV Writing Service

Prosthetists design and fit artificial limbs (prostheses) to replace those lost through amputation or limbs missing at birth.

Orthotists design and fit surgical appliances (orthoses) such as braces, callipers, neck collars and splints. These can be used to support limbs or the spine to relieve pain, aid movement or prevent physical conditions getting worse. Orthoses may be worn permanently by the patient or used temporarily.

As a prosthetist or orthotist, you could work with people recovering from a stroke, those with rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, or cerebral palsy. Your main duties would usually include:

  • assessing a patient’s physical capabilities before they have an artificial limb or appliance fitted
  • taking measurements and using shape sensing tracings to produce a cast to which the prosthesis or orthosis would be fitted
  • designing a suitable device using your knowledge of anatomy and physiology, biomechanics, materials and technology
  • explaining a finished design to a technician, who will produce the final product
  • carrying out follow-up checks with patients to see how they are coping with their device
  • making sure the appliance or limb is functioning properly, and carrying out adjustments or repairs if needed.

You would work alongside other healthcare professionals such as physiotherapists (who would oversee the patient’s exercise regime) and occupational therapists (who would train the patient in how to perform daily activities with the device).


Hours

You would usually work Monday to Friday, between 37 and 40 hours a week. Part-time or flexible hours may also be available.

You would mainly work within a specialist centre of a hospital dedicated to the rehabilitation of patients.


Income

  • Starting salaries can be around £21,200 to £27,500 a year.
  • With experience, prosthetists/orthotists can earn between £30,000 and £40,000.
  • Service managers may earn up to around £70,000.

Figures are intended as a guideline only.


Entry requirements

You will need to take a four-year BSc (Hons) degree in Prosthetics and Orthotics, approved by the British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists and the Health Professions Council. The approved degree course is available at two universities in the UK:

To get on to a degree you will usually need at least five GCSEs (A-C) including English, maths and a science-based subject, plus three A levels including maths and either biology, physics or chemistry.

Check with course providers for exact entry details because alternative qualifications may also be accepted. For example if you do not have qualifications in science you may be able to take a foundation year.


Training and development

Once you are on an approved degree, you will combine academic studies with practical and clinical experience. You will study subjects such as:

  • anatomy (the structure of the body)
  • physiology (function of the body)
  • pathology (the nature and cause of disease)
  • mechanics and biomechanics
  • prosthetic and orthotic science
  • electrotechnology and materials science.

When you have completed the degree, you can specialise in one area or practise both prosthetics and orthotics.

The University of Strathclyde and the University of Salford offer a range of relevant open-learning, postgraduate, taught Masters and research qualifications. Entry requirements usually include an Honours degree in a relevant subject or an alternative professional qualification.


Skills and knowledge

  • an interest in anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics
  • technical and practical skills
  • creativity to design and produce devices
  • good problem solving skills
  • the ability to empathise with patients and their families
  • good communication skills
  • the ability to use your initiative and work well in a team
  • good IT skills (computer and microprocessor technology is becoming an increasingly important tool of the job).

Opportunities

There is a world-wide shortage of graduate prosthetists and orthotists and career prospects are excellent according to the BAPO. UK courses have an international reputation and you will find opportunities overseas, for example with manufacturing and servicing companies, and organisations such as the Red Cross working in communities traumatised by war.

You are likely to start your career within a commercial orthotic or prosthetic manufacturing company (often working under contracts with the NHS). You could also work directly with the NHS.

With experience, you could progress to a management post, move into a specialist clinical area, private practice or teaching, including research and development.

Related industry information

Industry summary

The health sector is represented by Skills for Health Sector Skills Council, which comprises three sub‐sectors:

  • National Health Service (NHS)
  • Independent Healthcare Sector (such as private and charitable healthcare providers)
  • Third Sector (healthcare) (such as small local community and voluntary groups, registered charities, foundations, trusts, social enterprises and co‐operatives)

The health sector is made up of hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, dental practices, the ambulance service, nursing homes, residential care homes, complementary medicine and a huge range of other health related activities, from sight tests in opticians to research in medical laboratories. Most people in the health sector work in the publicly funded National Health Service (NHS), which includes:

  • primary care (organisations which the public goes to first) – Doctors/General Practitioners (GPs), NHS Walk in Centres, NHS Direct, Out of Hours Emergency Care
  • secondary care (organisations which the public are referred onto) – Ambulance Trusts, NHS Trusts/hospitals, NHS Foundation Trusts/hospitals, Mental Health Trusts, Care Trusts (provide joint health and social care activities)

NHS policy in England is directed from the centre by the Department of Health. Local organisations, known as Primary Care Trusts (PCTs), are in charge of providing and commissioning services, controlling the majority of the budget. PCTs are overseen by 10 regional organisations called Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs).

The independent sector includes companies and charities that offer hospital and specialist services usually after referral from a doctor. Operations and other work are carried out in private hospitals, independent treatment centres, mental health units and hospices.

Key facts:

  • The health sector is the largest employer in the UK, representing 5.5% of the working age population of the UK and 7.3% of the working age population that are currently in employment.
  • It is estimated that the sector employs over 2 million people, including:
    • over 1.5 million people in the NHS (72%)
    • over 0.5 million people in the Independent Healthcare sector (26%)
    • almost 40,000 in the voluntary sector (2%)
  • 56% of the workforce has a higher education qualification (or equivalent).
  • The age profile for the sector shows an older than average workforce, which is due in part to the fact that it takes some professions a long time to train and can mean that people enter the sector later.

There is a varied list of jobs in the sector ranging from a diverse number of clinical roles, to support and infrastructure staff, for instance: Allied Health Professionals (AHPs); Ambulance Staff; Dental Staff; Doctors/Medical staff; Nursing staff; Midwifery Staff; Healthcare Scientists; Health Informatics Staff; Management; Wider Healthcare Team; Complementary Therapists.


National and regional data

High proportions of the health sector workforce are located in:

  • London
  • South East
  • North West

East Midlands

  • The health sector employs 131,515 people, which accounts for 7% of all employment in the region.
  • The East Midlands employs 8% of the total health sector workforce for England.
  • The private sector accounts for 29% of all employment across the sector or 41,200 employees.
  • Between 2007 and 2017, the total requirement for workforce will be approximately 133,000 people. This is the total of the predicted expansion plus replacement demand.

East of England

  • The health sector employs 164,720 people, which accounts for 7% of all employment in the region.
  • The East of England employs 9.8 % of the total health sector workforce for England.
  • The private sector accounts for 30% of all employment across the sector or 52,300 employees.
  • Vacancies in the health and social work sector account for 14% of all industry vacancies.
  • Between 2007 and 2017, the total requirement for workforce will be approximately 103,000 people. This is the total of the predicted expansion plus replacement demand.

London

  • The health sector employs over 249,524 people, which accounts for 6% of all the employment in the region.
  • London employs 15% of the total health sector workforce for England.
  • The private sector accounts for 33% of all employment across the sector or 78,500 employees.
  • Vacancies in health and social work account for 12% of all industry vacancies.
  • Between 2007 and 2017, the total requirement for workforce will be approximately 146,000 people. This is the total of the predicted expansion plus replacement demand.

North East

  • The health sector employs 89,201 people, which accounts for 8.7% of all employment in the region.
  • The North East employs 5.3 % of the total health sector workforce for England.
  • The private sector accounts for 25% of all employment across the sector or 23,800 employees.
  • Vacancies in the health and social work sector account for 12% of all industry vacancies.
  • Between 2007 and 2017, the total requirement for workforce will be almost 46,000 people. This is the total of the predicted expansion plus replacement demand.

North West

  • The health sector employs 251,960 people, which accounts for 8% of all employment in the region.
  • The North West employs 15% of the total health sector workforce for England.
  • The private sector accounts for 23.5% of all employment across the sector or 59,200 employees.
  • Vacancies in the health and social work account for 11% of all industry vacancies.
  • Between 2007 and 2017, the total requirement for workforce will be approximately 133,000 people. This is the total of the predicted expansion plus replacement demand.

South East

  • The health sector employs 264,071 people, which accounts for 7.1% of all employment in the region.
  • The South East employs 15.7% of the total health sector workforce for England.
  • The private sector accounts for 23.5% of all employment across the sector or 59,200 employees.
  • Vacancies in the health and social work sector account for 12% of all Industry vacancies.
  • Between 2007 and 2017, the total requirement for workforce will be approximately 164,000 people. This is the total of the predicted expansion plus replacement demand.

South West

  • The health sector employs 182,187 people, which accounts for 8.2% of all employment in the region.
  • The South West employs 10.8 % of the total health sector workforce for England.
  • The private sector accounts for 30% of all employment across the sector or 60,700 employees.
  • Vacancies in the health and social work sector account for 12% of all Industry vacancies.
  • Between 2007 and 2017, the total requirement for workforce will be approximately 105,000 people. This is the total of the predicted expansion plus replacement demand.

West Midlands

  • The health sector employs 168,746 people, which accounts for 7.2% of all employment in the region.
  • The West Midlands employs 10% of the total health sector workforce for England.
  • The private sector accounts for 25% of all employment across the sector or 43,000 employees.
  • Vacancies in the health and social work sector account for 9% of all industry vacancies.
  • Between 2007 and 2017, the total requirement for workforce will be approximately 108,000 people. This is the total of the predicted expansion plus replacement demand.

Yorkshire and the Humber

  • The health sector employs 182,848 people, which accounts for 8.2% of all employment in the region.
  • Yorkshire and the Humber employ 10.9 % of the total health sector workforce for England.
  • The private sector accounts for 24% of the total health care workforce or 42,000 employees.
  • Vacancies in health and social work account for 11% of all industry vacancies.
  • Between 2007 and 2017, the total requirement for workforce will be approximately 97,000 people. This is the total of the predicted expansion plus replacement demand.

Northern Ireland

  • The health sector employs 61,300 people.
  • Northern Ireland employs 3% of the total health sector workforce.
  • 81% of the workforce is female.
  • 26% of the workforce is aged 35‐44 years.
  • 96% of the workforce is white.
  • 10% of the workforce reports a disability.
  • 48% of the workforce is in Associate Professional and Technical occupations.
  • 23% of organisations in the health and social work sector report vacancies.

Scotland

  • The health sector employs 201,500 people.
  • Scotland employs 10% of the total health sector workforce.
  • 78% of the workforce is female.
  • 30% of the workforce is aged 45‐54 years.
  • 95% of the workforce is white.
  • 14% of the workforce reports a disability.
  • 39% of the workforce is in Associate Professional and Technical occupations.
  • 23% of organisations in the health and social work sector report vacancies.

Wales

  • The health sector employs 114,900 people.
  • Wales employs 6% of the total health sector workforce.
  • 74% of the workforce is female.
  • 34% of the workforce is aged 45‐54 years.
  • 94% of the workforce is white.
  • 18% of the workforce reports a disability.
  • 40% of the workforce is in Associate Professional and Technical occupations.
  • 27% of organisations in the health and social work sector report vacancies.

[N.B. Data derived from Labour Force Survey, 2008‐2009, Annual Business Inquiry, 2007, and Northern Ireland Census of Employment, 2007]

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