Jesse Cornell, CPO(c)
Linda Laakso, CO(c)
There is high demand in the profession, which is perfect for people who love to help, find solutions to challenges and work with their hands.
While volunteering with a Prosthetist, Linda Laakso helped manufacture a prosthetic leg. When they gave it to the patient, tears streamed down his face as he thanked them for helping him walk again. That sealed her decision to go into the profession.
“Having that impact on somebody’s life, it’s very profound. Every day, we’re able to help people get moving or to reduce their pain,” says Laakso, a Certified Orthotist and President-Elect of Orthotics Prosthetics Canada.
A Certified Orthotist evaluates, designs, fabricates, fits and delivers orthoses (braces or splints) for all parts of the body, from head to toe. A Certified Prosthetist designs, constructs and fits prostheses (artificial limbs). A Registered Orthotic or Prosthetic Technician provides technical expertise in the design and fabrication of orthoses or prostheses. Jesse Cornell, President of OPC, who is a Certified Prosthetist Orthotist, says the profession is perfect for someone interested in science, technology and biomechanics. It is suited for people who like variety in their job, enjoy finding solutions to challenges and love working with their hands.
There is high demand for Orthotists and Prosthetists and this is only expected to grow as the population ages. Orthotists and Prosthetists require a university degree, completion of a two-year program in prosthetics and orthotics, a two-year residency in their chosen discipline and credentialing exams. Technicians can go into a two-year program following high school, before completing a two-year internship and credentialing exams.
“We have a large role to play to benefit patients of all ages,” says Cornell. “We help people get back to work and back to play and give them a better quality of life.”