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Residency and Professional Experiences

Learning in a Clinical / Technical Setting

Higher education has evolved considerably, but it is important to recognize that the objective of professional education is to train individuals to serve the needs of patients.  NCOPE is grateful for the support of future orthotic, prosthetic, and pedorthic professionals that occurs outside of the school setting.  The opportunity to apply lessons taught in a classroom and collaborate as a member of an interprofessional healthcare team is arguably the most meaningful learning experience.  We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to all of the individuals in our profession who help shape the understanding of current students and recent graduates, thank you.

Professional Experience Types

Supervised Clinical Experience

A clinical experience is a requirement for all CAAHEP accredited O&P Assistant, Pedorthist, and Orthotist/Prosthetist education programs.  During the clinical experience students must gain exposure to:

  1. Patient assessment.
  2. Implementation of an orthotic, prosthetic or pedorthic treatment plan.  
  3. Follow-up assessment and continued implementation of an orthotic, prosthetic or pedorthic treatment plan.
  4. Documentation of patient encounters for clinical decision making, communication, legal and reimbursement purposes.
  5. Communication among practitioners, patients, caregivers, and others.
  6. Business functions within the provision of orthotic, prosthetic and pedorthic services.
Supervised Technical Experience

A practicum experience is a requirement for all CAAHEP accredited O&P technician education programs.  During the practicum students must gain exposure to:

  1. Initiation of the treatment plan.
  2. Follow-up of the treatment plan.
  3. Fabrication and maintenance of orthoses and/or prostheses.
  4. Facility management.
Orthotic / Prosthetic Residency

An orthotic and prosthetic residency program is an educational program centered on clinical training that results in the resident’s attainment of competencies in the management of comprehensive orthotic and prosthetic patient care.  It is NCOPE’s fundamental belief that residency is the second half of orthotist / prosthetist’s education providing real-world experiences to complete the lessons learned during their schooling.

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