How much do orthotists make and gaining an understanding of the nuances of an orthotists job description are good ways to decide if this is a career path for you. An orthotist is the person who fits a patient with orthopedic braces and prosthetic devices. You may design and fit a prosthetic device according to the specifications described by a doctor and based on your own measurements and ideas. Once you have created the brace or prosthetic device, then you will need to help the patient to understand how best to clean and to take care of it.
Also, an orthotists job description may entail supervising some assistants and collaborating with others who are making a prosthetic for you. Being able to communicate clearly, listen effectively and to solve problems are skills that will serve you very well for supervising. If a coworker is creating a prosthetic for your patient, then making certain that you have given enough information and accurate measurements is key to having the device work as it is intended.
Since medical breakthroughs happen very quickly keeping up with new advances through attending workshops and seminars is also an integral part of the job. If you are researching new ideas or materials to use for prosthetic devices, then publishing your findings is expected. Sometimes showing medical staff and the public how devices work is needed, so public speaking skills in addition to your people skills will be a plus for success.
Manual dexterity is definitely advisable for an orthotist position, as well. Creating and fitting prosthetic devices may require strength in the fingers and hands and manipulating the device while tightening or adjusting may have you working in small areas or in hard to get to places on the device. It is important to have the prosthes is working properly and fitted well, so these tight and tough adjustments are the norm, rather than an exception.
Another avenue that you may explore with an orthotist career is working with a podiatrist, which is a foot doctor. In this way you will assist the podiatrist in designing and fitting a device, such as a shoe implant or orthotic, for a patient to help her walk effectively with reduced pain or better balance. If you choose to work in a podiatrists office, how much do orthotists make in that role as opposed to in a hospital may be a valid question. In this setting, you may be paid hourly and in others by salary, but the end result should be similar.
Questions about orthotists salary and education are common. The mean Orhtotists salary in 2012 is just under sixty-eight thousand dollars. Fifteen dollars per hour is a figure for an hourly pay rate. The educational requirements may vary slightly from state to state, but an associates degree is the entry point into this profession, though many employers look for a bachelor degree at this point. A four year degree would help you in your job search. With courses in science and math and even design and machine shop this aspect of the medical field combines creativity with exacting math and people skills.
As with any decision about going to school or entering a career, research is important. Making certain that the job description, education requirements and information as to how much do orthotists make can help you decide if this is a profession for you. With a variety of opportunities from public speaking, to lab work and patient care and contact to designing on the computer and publishing research, an orthotist career seems to offer a little something for everyone.