Orthotist

Orthotist

Orthotist/prosthetists treat a wide variety of clients such as children born with congenital limb deficiency or cerebral palsy, people who have had an amputation following an accident, patients with muscular weakness after a stroke or spinal injury, patients with diabetic foot ulcers or the elderly who have lost a limb as a result of vascular disease. An Australian Qualification Framework Level 7 qualification (Bachelor Degree) is required for entry to this occupation in Australia. This is reflected in public sector awards and the AOPA membership eligibility criteria. The only Bachelor Degree accepted for entry into the profession is a Bachelor of prosthetics and orthotics. Orthotist/prosthetists study the same core subjects as other allied health professions, such as anatomy, physiology, neuroscience and pathology. Further specific studies relevant to the profession include biomechanics, orthotic and prosthetic prescription and design and fabrication. An orthotist/prosthetist requires strong technical skills as well as a thorough understanding of clinical assessment, the application of orthotic and prosthetic techniques and research methodology to support evidence-based practice. A generalist health degree or alternative allied health qualification does not allow entry into the occupation.

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