The Prosthetics and Orthotics laboratory provides students with a hands-on learning experience in prescribing, designing, fabricating and fitting prosthetic and orthotic devices.
Prosthetics (artificial limbs) and orthotics (braces and splints) are devices to support people who are missing all or part of a limb, or live with neurological, muscular or skeletal conditions. These devices assist people to participate in everyday activities including walking, gardening and sitting comfortably.
“The Prosthetics and Orthotics laboratory is equipped with instruments that allow our students to learn the entire process, from assessing a client’s needs, through to creating a device and fitting it,” says course co-ordinator, Nathan Collins.
The laboratory includes clinical spaces for client consultations and assessments, and a machine room with equipment to fabricate industry-standard prosthetics and orthotics.
Students work with volunteer clients in the clinical spaces, putting into practice theoretical skills learned in class to support the client’s goals.
“A client might, for example, want a prosthesis that enables them to run,” explains Collins. “Using our facilities, a student can take measurements and a cast of the residual limb, develop a prosthetic limb which supports mobility, fit it to the client, make adjustments, then continue to improve the device with the client’s feedback.”
“Understanding the needs of the client is the core of prosthetics and orthotics,” says Collins. “Our Prosthetics and Orthotics laboratory is the perfect practical learning environment for students to develop best-practice skills.”
“I enjoy working in the laboratory,” says Annabel Carr, a final-year prosthetics and orthotics student. “From the plaster and sewing rooms, to the assessment room and workshop, I now have the practical skills to complement the theoretical knowledge that I’ve learned in class.”
“I feel prepared for my placement and entering the workforce when I graduate. I’m excited to work in this field, and make a difference to the lives of my clients.”