Prosthetic Support Worker


The Role

Prosthetic Support Workers assist prosthetists by manufacturing artificial limbs, called prostheses, to help restore people's mobility. Prostheses are made to replace limbs lost through amputation or those missing at birth.

Prosthetists design artificial arms, legs, hands and feet to provide the maximum fit, function, appearance and comfort for the patient. Often, the Prosthetic Support Worker is involved in the design stage and will provide technical support and expertise in the manufacturing of the artificial limb. Prostheses can be made using a wide range of materials, such as special plastics, metals, leather and carbon fibre.

You would be expected to keep up to date with the latest manufacturing techniques and technologies, such as computer-aided design (CAD), and computer-aided modeling (CAM).

Your main tasks would include

  • manufacture, maintain and repair prostheses
  • make and modify moulds
  • support and develop manufacturing processes to meet quality standards
  • ensure work areas are maintained and kept clean
  • ensure manufacturing equipment is maintained
  • ordering materials and equipment

In a hospital setting, you may work with doctors, nurses, podiatrists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists as part of a multi-disciplinary team.

Skills, Interests and Abilities

Useful skills include

  • creativity
  • practical skills and an attention to detail
  • good design skills
  • problem-solving skills
  • strong communication skills
  • IT and CADCAM skills

 Useful abilities include

  • ability to use hand tools
  • ability to work with different materials
  • ability to work to deadline
  • ability to work from technical instructions and designs
  • able to work to deadlines

Entry Requirements

To apply for a job as a prosthetic support worker, you are likely to need a good standard of general education, including English, Maths and a science or engineering subject. Previous engineering or manufacturing experience would also be useful.

The specific entry requirements will depend of the Agenda for Change (AfC) band (2, 3 or 4) for the job. The qualifications asked for may also vary, depending on the recruiting NHSScotland board. You are advised to contact each individual board to find out its specific requirements.

You may also require or be encouraged to work towards an SQA SVQ Level 2 or 3 Healthcare Support (Clinical).

You will also need to be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme managed by Disclosure Scotland.

Modern Apprenticeships

Modern Apprenticeships  offer those aged over 16 paid employment with the opportunity to train for jobs at craft, technician and management level.

The Modern Apprenticeship in Healthcare Support (clinical) at SCQF Level 6 and SCQF Level 7 is a framework for people interested in working in a clinical setting.

Contact your local Board to find out if this Modern Apprenticeship is available in your area.

For more information about this Modern Apprenticeship framework, look at:

https://www.myworldofwork.co.uk/getting-job/apprenticeships

https://www.myworldofwork.co.uk/my-career-options/health-care-and-social-services

https://www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk/what-we-do/our-products/modern-apprenticeships/modern-apprenticeship-frameworks/skills-for-health/healthcare-support/

 

Learning and Development

Working as a Prosthetic Support Worker in NHSScotland, you will be given the training you need for the job including

  • an introduction to the department and its procedures
  • how to use the equipment
  • manufacturing processes for different prostheses

You can become a member of the British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists (BAPO).

BAPO provides courses, conferences and seminars where prosthetic technicians can update their skills and network with others doing similar work.

 

Professional Bodies

British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists (BAPO) represents the interests of prosthetic and orthotic professionals in the UK. It aims to enhance standards of prosthetic and orthotic practice through its commitment to continued professional development (CPD) and education. Find out more on the BAPO website.