Online Prosthetics Programs: Education and Training Information

Fully online prosthetics programs do not exist because of the hands-on nature of both the patient and the construction side of the discipline. Hybrid and online continuing education programs in prosthetics, however, are available from different colleges.

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Overview of Online Prosthetics Education Options

Online Prosthetics Program Availability

Prosthetics is a hands-on discipline that includes both designing and building artificial limbs and mechanical devices, as well as fitting patients with them. Because of the hands-on requirements, there are currently no prosthetics programs available fully online. Students interested in this field can, however, find hybrid degree programs where they complete some of the basic education requirements via online courses and then attend campus for the portions of the program which cannot be completed online. Online continuing education programs for prosthetics professionals who wish to complete review or refresher courses are also available via the Internet.

Structure, Format and Communication in Hybrid Prosthetics Courses

Hybrid prosthetics programs include some courses that are completed via the Internet and some courses done in a traditional, on-campus setting. In this type of program, courses are normally either fully online or fully traditional courses, though some, like speech classes, may be hybrid classes in which students spend part of their time online writing speeches and doing research and meet a given number of times in person to make presentations for the class in real time.

Online prosthetics courses are usually managed through a Web-based education software that can be accessed from any Internet connection at any time for student convenience. Communication is handled via forums, e-mail and instant messenger, which are all built into the same interface so that students can discuss class topics with each other and their teachers in real time. Testing and grading are handled through the online testing functions, which present assignments and tests to students in real time, then grade their answers where possible as they complete their assignments.

Online Program Options for Prosthetics Education

Online Associate Degree Programs for Prosthetics

Hybrid associate's degree programs in prosthetics are available to prepare students for the American Board of Certification's examinations, which license individuals to work as Registered Technician Orthotics, Registered Technician Prosthetics or Registered Technician Prosthetics/Orthotics. Courses often include prosthetic fabrication, biomechanical principles and orthometry.

Online Bachelor's Degree Programs for Prosthetics

Partially online bachelor's degree programs for prosthetics are also available as entry level programs, preparing students for the same examinations as an associate's degree or for higher certifications such as the Orthotist and Prosthetist Certification from the American Board of Certification. Common subjects studied in online prosthetics bachelor's degree programs includes biomechanics, spinal orthotics, orthometry terminology and human anatomy.

Online Continuing Education Programs for Prosthetics

To maintain licensure, prosthetics professionals must complete a certain amount of continuing education each year. Continuing education classes and programs in prosthetics are available online from several accredited schools. These programs often have flexible schedules and include both lectures and exercises to keep working prosthetic professional current with industry trends and innovations.

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