Medical appliance technicians combine a knowledge of human anatomy with math and power tools to create artificial limbs and braces. They work as assistants to orthotists and prosthetists, medical experts who use specially designed devices to help patients overcome a physical disability.
The t ...
echnicians read prescriptions and detailed information about what the patient needs. They often work from a cast or impression of the limb as a pattern, taking careful measurements with precision instruments.
A wide variety of materials are using in a wearable medical appliance. Technicians use hand- or power tools to cut and shape. They glue, rivet, or weld the parts together. The final steps include smoothing the surfaces and perhaps padding or covering them.
The devices are then tested for proper alignment and movement, and may go back to the workbench for adjustment. Most technicians repair and maintain the appliances they make. Mathematically inclined high school graduates can get an entry level position in this field, as employers look for coursework in shop, geometry, and algebra.
Most medical appliance technicians learn their skills on the job. By continuing their formal education in this field, technicians may advance to becoming certified orthotists or prosthetists themselves. Appliance technicians are medical mechanics. The appliances they build help people achieve physical function and form as well as independence and productivity.
Construct, fit, maintain, or repair medical supportive devices, such as braces, orthotics and prosthetic devices, joints, arch supports, and other surgical and medical appliances.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
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Service or repair machinery used in the fabrication of appliances.
Fit appliances onto patients and make any necessary adjustments.
Take patients' body or limb measurements for use in device construction.
Instruct patients in use of prosthetic or orthotic devices.
Read prescriptions or specifications to determine the type of product or device to be fabricated and the materials and tools that will be required.
Test medical supportive devices for proper alignment, movement, or biomechanical stability, using meters and alignment fixtures.
Bend, form, and shape fabric or material to conform to prescribed contours of structural components.
Cover or pad metal or plastic structures or devices, using coverings such as rubber, leather, felt, plastic, or fiberglass.
Polish artificial limbs, braces, or supports, using grinding and buffing wheels.
Repair, modify, or maintain medical supportive devices, such as artificial limbs, braces, or surgical supports, according to specifications.
Drill and tap holes for rivets and glue, weld, bolt, or rivet parts together to form prosthetic or orthotic devices.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Scheduling Work and Activities
Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Assisting and Caring for Others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
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.
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
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.
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
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.
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Quality Control Analysis
Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Complex Problem Solving
Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
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