Artificial Limb Fitters

Health Science > Artificial Limb Fitters > Working Conditions
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Artificial Limb Fitters

Artificial Limb Fitters - Working Conditions

In a typical work setting, orthotic and prosthetic specialists:

Interpersonal Relationships

  • Communicate with others daily by telephone, e-mail, and in person. Frequently write letters and memos.
  • Have a high level of social interaction with patients, lab assistants, and doctors.
  • Usually work with a group or as part of a team.
  • Are responsible for the health and safety of others.
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  • Occasionally deal with unpleasant or upset patients.
  • Are responsible for the work done by other workers on the health care team.

Physical Work Conditions

  • Always work indoors.
  • Sometimes wear uniforms, such as lab jackets.
  • Often wear protective gear, such as glasses or gloves, when operating saws or other fabricating machines.
  • Work physically very close to patients. They come into close physical contact when fitting and adjusting orthotic and prosthetic devices.
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  • May be exposed to hazardous situations and conditions in which they experience minor cuts and burns.
  • Are often exposed to patients' diseases and infections.
  • Are frequently exposed to loud sounds and distracting noise levels, such as from power tools.
  • Are regularly exposed to contaminants and hazardous equipment.

Work Performance

  • Must be exact in designing and making artificial limbs, braces, and supports to fit patients.
  • Must be sure all the details are complete for the best possible first fitting of appliances.
  • Must avoid errors since consequences can be serious in terms of lost time and discouragement for patients.
  • Make decisions on a daily basis that strongly impact patients. They almost always act independently.
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  • Almost always set their daily tasks and goals without talking to a superior first.
  • Work in a competitive atmosphere in which daily and weekly deadlines must be met.


  • Usually work an established schedule each week.
  • May travel to visit patients in rehabilitation centers and to attend trainings and professional conferences.
Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.