An orthopaedic technologist is trained to assist the orthopaedic surgeon in the practice of medicine. Responsibilities include instructing patients about plaster and synthetic cast application, as well as traction technique, assisting the surgeon in the operating suite, and fitting and adjusting crutches, canes, and walkers. Orthopaedic technologists perform casting services primarily in hospital fracture rooms.
Online education is available from national symposiums held through the National Association of Orthopaedic Technologists, established in 1982. In addition, there are NAOT-recognized schools and programs in California, Illinois, and Texas, for those wishing to pursue the appropriate degrees. Individuals can also obtain professional certification through the National Board for Certification of Orthopaedic Technologists, which offers an examination consisting of 150 multiple-choice questions.
Professional Orthopaedic Technologist Associations
There are also professional associations in California, Maryland, New England, Texas, and Virginia, for networking with others closer to home. International associations exist in Canada, Australia, the UK, and Korea. At association meetings, orthopaedic technologists can meet surgical technologists, X-ray technicians, medical assistants, and other allied health professionals in the field of orthopaedics. This would be an ideal opportunity to exchange ideas, gather technical tips, and network with colleagues outside of the work environment.
Once you?ve obtained the proper degrees, career opportunities are usually plentiful. A recent check of NAOT?s employment link revealed job openings throughout the U.S., with hospitals, physicians? practices, and HMOs. As with almost any career, the future looks bright as long as you?re prepared.
Association of Orthopaedic Technologists California
National Association of Orthopaedic Technologists
Publish date: February 10, 2011