A day as a prosthetist/orthotist

Your day begins in a specialist mobility centre when your first patient arrives. He is an elderly man who has lost some weight and his artificial leg (prosthesis) no longer fits him. You will need to look at the changes and then take a cast of his stump to make him a new prosthesis. Your next patient is a young girl who has damaged her prosthesis and needs a repair.

After a quick lunch break you are back to work and start by checking who on the hospital ward needs your help. There is a man on the orthopaedic ward who has fractured his spine, so before clinic you visit him and fit him a collar to hold his neck and head still so he can get out of bed.

You then see several more patients including a lady who has had a stroke who may need a brace to stop her shoulder from dislocating. Your last patient of the day is a young boy with cerebral palsy who uses leg splints and a frame to walk. They are too small and his walking has changed so you need to look at his muscles and see what is going on. You notice his muscles are too tight and so give some advice about stretching alongside taking new casts to make some new braces.

Real-life stories

Lauren Jennings

Find out more
Careers A-Z

Does this sound like you?

You communicate well with others and are compassionate. You are practical and hands on and don’t mind problem solving.

What's next after GCSE?

You'll need a minimum of five GCSEs (or the equivalent), including science. You'll probably be applying for three A level subjects (or the equivalent) at college or sixth form including maths and a science.

What's next after A level and beyond?

After achieving a minimum of three A levels (or equivalent level 3 qualifications), you'll need to apply for an approved three or four-year degree in Prosthetics and Orthotics at university.

Degree apprenticeships in prosthetics and orthotics may be available in some parts of the country and you'll usually need the same level of GCSEs and A levels or equivalent qualifications.

Entry requirements for university courses and degree apprenticeships vary, so it's vital to check these well in advance.