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Prosthetic Technician

Career Highlights

  • Assist Prosthetist specialist
  • Pets can receive prosthesis assistance
  • Help create and make prosthesis pieces
  • Enhance a personís life

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Career Summary

Prosthetists design, build, and fit replacement limbs, such as arms, legs, hands, or feet. The appliances are called orthoses and prostheses. They repair and maintain appliances that break or wear out. Prosthetist technicians assist prosthetist by making or assist in the production of artificial limbs which is necessary for rehabilitation. Technicians are trained and skilled to provide wide-ranging support services.

Prosthetic needs come from different backgrounds. Some are from a disease process or a traumatic injury or could be congenital in nature. The prosthetic technician provides a vital service to the rehabilitation medicine community and to each client they make prosthetist limbs for. Designing, fitting and matching cosmetic replacement limbs is very complex and extremely personal but also very rewarding. Prosthetic services is both an amazing service and remarkable artwork.

The prosthetic technician has a wide variety of responsibilities. Some may include:

  • Recording the dimensions of replacement parts.
  • Use of prosthetic saws and knives in the making of replacement parts.
  • Use of drills for rivets and screws.
  • Making wax or plastic impression of patient's amputated area.
  • Preparing a mold from impression, and or pouring molten plastic into mold to form cosmetic appliances, such as artificial ear, nose, or hand.
  • Mixing pigments according to formula to duplicate skin coloring of patient and applying pigments to outer covering of prosthesis.
  • Polishing finished replacement part.
  • Helps conduct tests to ensure prostheses freedom of movement and stability.

The design of the prosthesis includes the selection of appropriate materials and reflects the needs of the client based on a thorough physical assessment, including fitness and activity level, lifestyle and X-ray evaluations. Advancements in materials technology have led to the development of more sophisticated artificial replacements.

Types of Prosthesis Devices / Products:

The Utah Arm is the premier myoelectric arm for above elbow amputees. The electrodes are installed in the socket of the missing limb when the arm is fitted, then connected to the electronics of the Utah Arm system. Small, stainless-steel electrodes are placed on the skin where they sense the electrical activity of the muscles. These muscle signals are electronically amplified and used to move the hand as desired.

Other prosthesis services include Cosmetic prosthesis, which consists of custom made products such as ears, eyes and even full facial reconstruction. Some prosthetic technicians work as a dental technician or assistant creating prosthesis dental implants such as dentures, crowns and bridges.

Even pets can receive prosthesis love. A licensed veterinary technician was inspired by a horse that refused to give up on life regardless of his injury. Thor received a customized prosthesis for his hoof and acts as an ambassador at Adventure camp for amputee children.

Physical therapy assistants as well as medical assistants are the best entry-level careers to build a bridge into a prosthesis technician career. Other valuable education and careers that will create a successful prosthesis technician career includes health and exercise, art careers and psychology.

Prosthetic technicians help create, build, make, repair and maintain replacement limbs for people. But while they are paid to do a job, the rewards that come with knowing you have personally enhanced a personís life is immeasurable.

Salary

$46000*

Education

Requires a degree in

  • Physical Therapy
  • Medical Assistant
  • Prosthesis Technician

Career Skills

  • Mechanical ability
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Organizational & planning skills
  • Time management
  • Good interpersonal and verbal skills

Additional Information

References

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*Salary ranges based on location, experience, and demand. This number represents a rough nation-wide average.