Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked James Sheridan from Failte Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

James Sheridan

Restaurant Manager

Failte Ireland

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  James Sheridan

The best thing about this industry is you can get a job in the local hotel or restaurant, part time, and see if you like it.

Sit down with the manager and have a list of questions prepared. Don't make too many plans, just go with the flow, be nice/positive to everybody and things will go alright

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Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalists interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results, and prefer action to talking and discussing.
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Occupation Details

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Prosthetist / Orthotist

Job Zone

Education
Most of these occupations require post-graduate qualifications. For example, they may require a masters degree, and some require a Ph.D., or M.D.

Related Experience
Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialised medical training to be able to do their job.

Job Training
Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organisational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, aerospace engineers, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and most scientists.

€35k > 50 
Orthotist/Prosthetist
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€35 - 50 
Related Information:
Entrants: 35
Senior Orthotist: 50
Data Source(s):
FAS

Last Updated: March, 2011

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Shortage Indicator

The National Skills Bulletin 2015 reports a continuing shortage of skills for niche area specialists including radiation therapists, audiologists, orthoptists, prosthetists, orthotists. 

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Saves this course to your Career File if you are registered.

At a Glance... header image

Designs, attaches, and provides maintenance for artificial limbs, including robotic implants.


The Work header image

Orthotists and prosthetists are professionals allied to medicine who work at hospitals, clinics or within specialised rehabilitation centres. Prosthetists supply and fit artificial limbs (prostheses). People may have lost a limb in an accident or had an amputation following a disease. Sometimes, people are born without a limb.  
 
Orthotists supply and fit surgical appliances (orthoses) that are used to assist movement and correct deformities. People suffering from an injury or disease can also benefit from an orthosis. Typical orthoses include:

  • collars for the head and neck
  • braces, corsets and trusses for the spine and abdomen
  • splints for fingers and hands
  • callipers and compression garments for legs
  • orthopaedic footwear and insoles

Prosthetists and orthotists take precise and detailed measurements and often a plaster cast of the client. This will provide sizes for the technician, who will make the prosthesis or orthosis. The finished article is later fitted by the orthotist or prosthetist. They show the client how it works, what its limits are, and how to put it on and take it off.  
 
The orthotist/prosthetist closely monitors the effectiveness of any prosthesis or orthosis they have fitted, and may make adjustments, repairs or renewals at regular intervals. You will use the skill you have learnt to design and select the best possible prosthesis.  
 
A close relationship is built up during the rehabilitation process, as the client adjusts to their changed situation. Close liaison is also maintained with the team of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists who are involved in the welfare of the client.

 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Examine, interview, and measure patients to determine their appliance needs and to identify factors that could affect appliance fit.

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Fit, test, and evaluate devices on patients, and make adjustments for proper fit, function, and comfort.

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Instruct patients in the use and care of orthoses and prostheses.

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Maintain patients' records.

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Select materials and components to be used, based on device design.

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Design orthopedic and prosthetic devices, based on physicians' prescriptions and examination and measurement of patients.

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Make and modify plaster casts of areas that will be fitted with prostheses or orthoses, for use in the device construction process.

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Confer with physicians to formulate specifications and prescriptions for orthopedic or prosthetic devices.

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Construct and fabricate appliances or supervise others constructing the appliances.

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Train and supervise support staff, such as orthopedic and prosthetic assistants and technicians.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Assisting and Caring for Others:  Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Getting Information:  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

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Thinking Creatively:  Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work:  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Performing for or Working Directly with the Public:  Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

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Communicating with Persons Outside Organization:  Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates:  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Customer and Personal Service:  Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

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Medicine and Dentistry:  Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

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Production and Processing:  Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

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English Language:  Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Mechanical:  Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Active Learning:   Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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Writing:   Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Social Perceptiveness:   Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

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Complex Problem Solving:   Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

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Learning Strategies:   Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

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Operations Analysis:   Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

Many clients need to be treated with patience and sensitivity. They need to be encouraged to overcome their feelings of stress or embarrassment when faced with a prosthesis or orthosis, which may feel uncomfortable at first.  
 
Prosthetists and orthotists deal with a wide range of clients so you'll need good communication skills. A mature and caring manner will help you to gain the confidence of patients.  
 
Good practical skills are essential. You must be able to work carefully and accurately, and have an eye for detail. An interest and ability in biological and physical sciences is vital.


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Maxillo Facial Technician - from:  iCould [UK] Video
Go..Prosthetic Technician - from:  iCould [UK] Video
Go..Prosthetist-Orthotist - from:  N.C.S. [UK]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: UCAS
  Address: Rosehill, New Barn Lane, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL52 3LZ
  Tel: +44 (0)870 1122211
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: British association of Prosthetists and Orthotists
  Address: Sir James Clark Building, Abbey Mill Business Centre, Paisley PA 1 1TJ
  Tel: +44 (0) 845 166 8490
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Medical & Healthcare
Mechanical Engineering & Manufacturing
MedTech
Social & Caring

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