People who struggle to find employment in today’s job market can benefit by training for new occupations that reflect the current career climate and skill-sets employers are seeking in job applicants. Because northern Ohio is heavily concentrated with hospitals and healthcare facilities, medical employers have developed a strong need for qualified, highly-skilled orthopedic technicians (ortho techs) to work in the orthopedic field at their healthcare practices. This offers the public unique career opportunities and reliable employment in their local communities. Individuals who are looking to embark on a new career should consider orthopedic technology as an occupation that is in high demand.
Sheila Tonn-Knopf, Director of The Center for Orthopedics in Sheffield Village explains, “Orthopedic technicians maintain a very specific skill-set where they physically work with patients, who are often in a great deal of pain, to apply casts, braces, or splints to their injuries. This is a highly specialized skill that requires someone with comprehensive orthopedic technology knowledge and training and a pleasant disposition for patient care. These are the people we look to hire when filling orthopedic positions and unfortunately, there is a shortage of trained orthopedic technicians in our area.”
The Center For Orthopedics is one example of a medical center that relies on trained ortho techs to service the needs of their scheduled patients and the walk-in traffic they receive on a daily basis. Tonn-Knopf states, “In our clinic we often see 30 to 40 walk-in patients a day. Ortho techs are an integral part of our functionality and allow us to operate efficiently so each patient receives exceptional service.”
Because the healthcare community is experiencing a growing demand for orthopedic technicians, Ohio Business College (OBC) has launched an Orthopedic Technology diploma program that trains students two nights a week and Saturday mornings for twelve months. At OBC, students completing an Orthopedic Technology diploma program study orthopedic anatomy and physiology, casting and splinting, orthopedic patient care, and bracing and traction among other courses. The last phase of the curriculum is the student externship where students spend 200 hours at an area healthcare facility learning ortho tech skills for real-world application and experience. Several medical facilities including The Center For Orthopedics in Sheffield Village, EMH Healthcare in Elyria, and Orthopaedic Associates in Westlake, have partnered with OBC to become externship sites to help train students in orthopedic practices. These same externship sites will be some of the healthcare centers that hire OBC students as orthopedic technicians when their training is complete.
Dr. Daniel Zanotti, an orthopedic surgeon at The Center For Orthopedics in Sheffield Village states, “OBC students benefit greatly from training on-site during their externships because they learn the daily responsibilities they will perform as ortho techs in the field.” Zanotti, continues, “Orthopedic technicians have the rewarding task of working one-on-one with patients where 95% of the job is hands-on. They are touching and treating people with their hands, and work side-by-side with the orthopedic surgeon while the patient is being evaluated and treated.”
Although individuals who have no previous medical training can become orthopedic technicians, the training is also beneficial for individuals who have experience in medical assisting or sports medicine. These medical professionals can also become proficient in orthopedic technology which increases their skill-set and overall employability where they boast cross-training on their resumes. Healthcare employers prefer to hire individuals with several medically-trained capabilities because it allows them the flexibility to place employees in different roles depending on the needs for patient care on that day.
Cheryl Jankowski, Career Services Director for Ohio Business College in Sheffield Village states, “Healthcare operations find cross-training of medical personnel a win/win proposition. It allows for ease to plug gaps of skills needed, frames consistency in the operation, increases options, uncovers hidden talent and is a ‘patient pleaser’. It is a quality improvement tool, and has proved to save employers some $30,000 - $50, 000 a year in utilizing temp agencies for gaps they cannot cover. For the medical professional, it increases multiple career options and advancement opportunities in a myriad of therapeutic environments, thereby increasing continued job market competitiveness exponentially.”
Northern Ohio has many healthcare facilities that specialize in different areas of patient care and this service remains a valuable resource to the people who reside in these communities and the employers who employ them. Hiring local people to fill available positions in the medical industry provides a boost to the area’s economy and utilizes a regional skilled workforce. The orthopedic technician occupation is a career that is on the rise and is needed in this area. It is ideal for someone who enjoys working with their hands and treating patients while maintaining work close to home.
For more information on training to become an orthopedic technician, contact Ohio Business College at 888.413.6070 or go to OhioBusinessCollege.edu for additional information on the Orthopedic Technology diploma program. For more information about OBC graduation rates, median loan debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit the OBC website at http://www.ohiobusinesscollege.edu/consumer-information.