The American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics (ABC), has released the 2009 Practice Analysis of Orthotic and Prosthetic Technicians.
Throughout nine months in 2009, ABC’s Executive Director, Catherine Carter, and its Practice Analysis Task Force (PATF) worked with the Professional Examination Service (PES), New York, New York, to create and implement a practice analysis on orthotic and prosthetic technicians. The assessment included a validation study that identified priorities unique to the delivery of orthotic and prosthetic care. The goal of the practice analysis was to find current trends in the provision of prosthetic and orthotic services by technicians.
“We wanted to get an idea of what the modern technician looks like in order to meet the ever-changing needs of the profession,” said Anthony Wickman, RTPO, chair of the PATF. “We need to know what to expect of the technician and see that they are receiving the best education out there.”
In 1999, ABC preformed its first technician practice analysis and validation study, and in 2009 technicians were resurveyed to identify changes related to the delivery of services and today’s technology. The overall return rate was 34.5 percent, which “is a very positive return rate for this type of survey,” ABC noted in a press release.
“The technicians who participated in the survey have provided a great service to their profession,” Carter said. “Only those working within the profession can give us a comprehensive and contemporary look into their specific knowledge and skill sets.”
ABC stated that it will use the results of the practice-analysis survey to assure that its technician-credentialing exams are continually relevant for orthotic and prosthetic technicians entering the profession. The results will also be used to identify specific topics for in-service and/or continuing education programs as well as provide guidance for education providers in regard to curriculum review and/or program self-assessment.
“As a result of the survey, we’ll be able to provide the National Commission on Orthotics and Prosthetics Education (NCOPE) and the schools with pertinent information on what technician students need to learn and what information to disseminate,” Wickman said.
The ABC PATF included: Wickman; William Beiswenger, CPO, FAAOP; Stephen B. Fletcher, CPO; Chris Harrigan, RTP; Timothy E. Miller, CPO; and Steven Whiteside, CO, FAAOP.
To download a copy of the practice analysis of orthotic and prosthetic technicians, visit the ABC website.