John is an orthotist which means working with devices for people who have a physical disability. It’s a challenging job, but he says the best thing about the job is ‘being able to help people, whether that is as simple as lending an ear to listen or something as important as allowing someone to walk’.
What is your job? Orthotics
How long have you worked here? 4 years
Education: Prosthetics and orthotics degree at the University of Salford.
A-levels: Music, engineering, technology.
1. What was your very first job?
Waiter at an ice cream parlour.
2. What did you want to do when you were at school?
It switched between a vet and the actor who plays the evil villain in James Bond.
3. How did you find out about the industry?
A family friend is an orthotist, which means working with devices for people who might have a physical disability or limitation. It’s a healthcare role that is similar to prosthetist, who create artificial limbs. She offered me work experience during school.
4. How did find your technical theatre apprenticeship?
Through work experience and an interview at university following my UCAS application.
5. What is a typical day like?
A typical day would involve managing a work schedule between patient assessments, paper work and prescription management and rectification (the process of designing and modelling the orthotic devices). I also work with other prosthetists, orthotists, technicians, admin and other members of the healthcare umbrella. I would see patients daily; these range from children, elderly, severely disabled and athletes.
6. What’s the best thing about your technical theatre apprenticeship?
Being able to help people, whether that is as simple as lending an ear to listen or something as important as allowing someone to walk. It is a very rewarding job which varies daily, meaning that there are always new challenges to approach and different people to deal with.
7. What is the most challenging thing about your job?
Time management, because you are dealing with the public and with individuals and unique presentations [circumstances]. You must be adaptable to provide a thorough assessment with a high standard of care; this can take different amounts of time sometimes outside of your appointment schedule so you must be flexible and efficient whilst maintaining a caring attitude.
8. What advice do you have for people who want to do what you do?
I would advise contacting companies and hospital departments in order to find work experience. As the profession is quite small, everyone is always enthusiastic and approachable.
9. What things do you wish you’d known before starting your career?
I wish was less stressed in my first year of university! Although the degree programme and placement schedule was great, you still will have a steep learning curve when you start your first employment. Bu this is ok as everyone has gone through the same process and understands.
10. Where would you like to be in five years?
I would like to have gained increased experience in my occupation while taking on all the travelling opportunities it can also offer.
Lead image via Wikimedia Commons