Screen Readers Skip to Content
🖶 Print page

Many Orthotists Want to Quit the Profession

Published: 2023-01-12 - Updated: 2023-01-17
Author: Anglia Ruskin University | Contact: aru.ac.uk
Peer-Reviewed Publication: Yes | DOI: https://www.magonlinelibrary.com/doi/abs/10.12968/bjhc.2021.0081
Additional References: Disability Employment Publications

Synopsis: Over a third of orthotists, specialists who improve quality of life for people with long-term conditions and disabilities would leave the profession if they could. The research found that the leading reason for orthotists wanting to leave the profession was treatment by their employer. The perception among orthotists that they were treated poorly by their employer appears to be the catalyst for a significant number wishing to leave their job and the profession.

advertisements

Definition

Orthotist

Orthotists are clinicians trained to assess the user's needs, prescribe treatment, determine the precise technical specifications of orthotic devices, take measurements and images of body segments, prepare a model of the evaluation, fit devices, and evaluate treatment outcomes. In the UK, orthotists assess patients and, where appropriate, design and fit suitable orthoses for any part of the body. They can accept open referrals for orthotic assessment without a specific prescription from doctors or other healthcare professionals. In the United States, orthotists work by prescription from a licensed healthcare provider. Physical therapists are not legally authorized to prescribe orthoses in the U.S.

Main Digest

Job Satisfaction Among NHS and Private Orthotists: A Cross-Sectional Comparative Study.

More than a third of orthotists, specialists who improve the quality of life for people with long-term conditions and disabilities, would leave the profession if they could, according to a new study.

Related Publications:

Orthotists provide gait analysis to patients and design and fit external devices. These include insoles, braces, and splints, to support and improve posture, function, and mobility and manage pain and deformity.

However, new research by Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) has found that 37% of orthotists working with NHS and private patients would leave the orthotic profession if they could, suggesting a potential retention crisis. The figure was roughly the same among those employed by the NHS and those employed by private companies.

Around 70% of orthotists in the UK work in NHS settings but are employed by private companies. The research found that the leading reason for orthotists wanting to leave the profession was treatment by their employer. Many respondents also reported they needed more time with patients during appointments and that facilities needed to be improved. Privately employed orthotists reported that their working conditions were significantly lower than those employed by the NHS.

Orthotic services provide financial value to the NHS. A previous report by the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency found that the health service could save £4 for every £1 spent on improving orthotics services because patients who access these services suffer fewer falls and require less pain relief or surgical interventions.

Orthotics services provide treatment options for people with a wide range of conditions, and orthotists work closely with several clinical specialties within the NHS, including diabetes care, elderly medicine, neurology, orthopedics, pediatrics, stroke, and trauma teams.

Dr. Nebil Achour, the co-author of the paper and Associate Professor in Disaster Mitigation at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said:

"This study highlights the substantial challenges facing the orthotic profession in terms of staff satisfaction and retention. The perception among orthotists that they were treated poorly by their employer appears to be the catalyst for a significant number wishing to leave not just their job but the profession overall. This vulnerability in our healthcare sector needs to be addressed urgently."

"A resilient healthcare sector requires all professions and capabilities to be ready to respond effectively during times of adversities."

Lead author Katie Prosser, who researched while studying for a Masters's Degree in Healthcare Management at ARU, said:

"These are concerning results with clear and considerable implications for the future of the orthotic workforce, as well as patients requiring their services. Usually, if people are dissatisfied with an NHS post, they can look to move into private roles. However, in this profession, it appears there is little to be gained in terms of job satisfaction or conditions by doing this, which may lead orthotists to want to do something else entirely."

Reference Source(s):

Many Orthotists Want to Quit the Profession | Anglia Ruskin University (aru.ac.uk). Disabled World makes no warranties or representations in connection therewith. Content may have been edited for style, clarity or length.

Post to Twitter Add to Facebook
advertisements

Disabled World is an independent disability community established in 2004 to provide disability news and information to people with disabilities, seniors, their family and/or carers. See our homepage for informative news, reviews, sports, stories and how-tos. You can also connect with us on Twitter and Facebook or learn more about Disabled World on our about us page.

Disabled World provides general information only. The materials presented are never meant to substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Financial support is derived from advertisements or referral programs, where indicated. Any 3rd party offering or advertising does not constitute an endorsement.


Cite This Page (APA): Anglia Ruskin University. (2023, January 12). Many Orthotists Want to Quit the Profession. Disabled World. Retrieved January 27, 2023 from www.disabled-world.com/disability/employment/orthotist.php

Permalink: <a href="https://www.disabled-world.com/disability/employment/orthotist.php">Many Orthotists Want to Quit the Profession</a>