Orthopedic technicians (or orthopedic technologists) typically assist orthopedic surgeons by creating and maintaining casts, braces, splints and prosthetics for patients, ensuring a good fit and proper mobility. This profession, as part of the field medical appliance technology, is expected to grow by 11 percent between 2008-2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are no official requirements to pursuing a program in orthopedic technology other than a high school diploma or equivalent; however, some schools offer certificate or associate's degree programs to train students for entry-level employment or further certification.
Boston Reed College
This adult vocational school in California offers classes in many locations across the state. It currently offers a well-known certificate program for orthopedic technicians, combining classroom study with 240 hours of externship at a designated facility. Topics include anatomy, physical examination, bone disorders, sports injuries and managing trauma. Boston Reed also offers this program around the nation in partnership with other community colleges, such as Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland.
Boston Reed College 2799 Napa Valley Corporate Drive Napa, CA 94558 800-201-1141 bostonreed.com
West Valley College
Located in Saratoga, California, this school offers a certificate program for orthopedic technicians in partnership with two area hospitals. Topics include communication, emergency procedure, patient care and sterility procedures. Coursework is followed by 240 hours of internship to complete the program.
West Valley College 14000 Fruitvale Ave. Saratoga, CA 95070 408-741-2001 westvalley.edu
NHTI, Concord's Community College
This school in Concord, NH offers a certificate program in Orthopedic Technology, completed in two semesters of classwork followed by a summer semester externship. Topics covered include orthopedic anatomy/physiology, casting and splinting, traction, and patient care.
NHTI, Concord's Community College 31 College Drive Concord, NH 03301 603-271-6484 nhti.edu
Central Georgia Technical College
With numerous campuses in Georgia, this school offers both a diploma program (70 hours) and an associate's degree (90 hours) in orthopedic technology at its Macon Campus. Courses include orthopedic anatomy/physiology, orthopedic surgical techniques, medical terminology and more. The associate's degree includes general education requirements; both programs include a combination of coursework and practicum.
Central Georgia Technical College (Macon Campus) 3300 Macon Tech Drive Macon, GA 31206 478-757-3400 cgtcollege.org
Jeff McQuilkin, a freelance writer in Denver, Colorado, has been writing for over sixteen years. A graduate of Oral Roberts University with a degree in music composition, he covers the Denver music scene as a web content writer and blogger, and is currently contributing to a book on classical music.