The American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics, Inc., announces a Registered Assistant credential designed for the orthotic and/or prosthetic provider who assists the certified practitioner with both the management of patient care and with the provision of technical tasks.
“We feel that this level of provider has a special place in the credentials we offer,” said Jack Uellendahl, CPO, president of ABC. “There are a lot of people who have a hybrid of responsibilities including both patient care and technical services. The Registered Assistant credential will recognize those individual’s contributions to the orthotic and prosthetic patients we all serve.”
Orthotic and prosthetic assistants qualify to be registered with the new credential upon completion of specific experience requirements established by ABC. The eligibility criteria will change as of January 1, 2005 and at that time an examination requirement will be put in place. The new credential is immediately available and currently has the following eligibility criteria:
· Three years of qualified experience under the supervision of an ABC certified practitioner. The application will include an attestation form with specific items attested to by an ABC certified practitioner and a letter of recommendation from a referral source in the community (MD, PT, OT, etc.), or,· Successful completion of an NCOPE accredited orthotic-prosthetic assistant/associate education program.
The required qualified experience is gained under the supervision of an ABC certified practitioner in the appropriate discipline. The clinical experience must be obtained prior to applying for the assistant credential and should include but not be limited to the following learning objective topics: componentry, documentation, ethics, fabrication, impression taking, instruments, manufacturer’s products, materials, measurement, orthometry forms, orthotic-prosthetic design, professionalism, psychology of the physically challenged, rehabilitation team practices, suspension techniques, system alignment, terminology and training and maintenance.
Once credentialed by ABC the Registered Assistant is bound by the ABC Canons of Ethics which are enforced by a professional discipline program and is obligated to support and conform to professional responsibilities that promote and assure the overall welfare of the patient and the integrity of the profession. Like the other ABC credentials, the Registered Assistant certificate will be awarded for a five-year period during which participation in professional continuing education is required. “There is a wealth of continuing education opportunities available for the Registered Assistant,” according to Steve Whiteside, CO, FAAOP, ABC's immediate past-president. “The combination of patient care responsibilities and technical services gives the individual freedom to explore the continuing education being offered by the Academy and a variety of other organizations.”
Application forms, the Book of Rules and additional information about the new credential can be found in the credentialing section and the documents/forms section of this website.