Posts Tagged ‘Orthotics & Prosthetics’

About 25 prospective and current students attended the college’s Public Policy and Administration information session, held earlier this month.

Public policy pic

A crowd takes part in St. Petersburg College’s Public Policy and Administration information session held July 8.

St. Petersburg College is hosting a series of information sessions in July targeting several programs. Upcoming sessions are:

The Public Policy and Administration information session, held July 8, offered those interested a chance to learn about the program, which provides a foundation in policy formulation, implementation and analysis.

Another session, this time focused on the Elite Educator program, was held July 10. This program is a partnership between SPC and Pinellas County Schools and provides graduates with a paid internship and job with PCS when they successfully complete it.

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Bay News 9 reported on the college’s new Orthotics and Prosthetics Technology Associate Degree, which will be available to students this fall. Program Director Arlene Gillis was interviewed for the story and said the degree, the only one of its kind in the state, will “teach students the fundamentals of designing and fabricating prosthetic and orthotic devices.”

Research suggests the number of patients who will need this kind of care is increasing and current practitioners are retiring.

News about the degree also was posted in oandp.com, SmartBrief and Healio.com.

Video from the report also is available on the college’s YouTube channel.

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St. Petersburg College, a national leader in orthotics and prosthetics training, is accepting applications through June 30 for its new two-year Associate in Science degree in Orthotics and Prosthetics Technology, the first and only associate degree for orthotic and prosthetic technicians in Florida.

Register Now
For our info session:
Monday, July 14
4-6 p.m.

Health Education Center
Apply for admission by June 30

The coursework, offered at SPC’s $11 million J.E. Hanger College of Orthotics and Prosthetics at the Health Education Center, meets a growing demand for certified technicians who can fabricate, repair and maintain quality orthotics and prosthetics under the direction of certified orthotists and prosthetists. The college has had a bachelor’s degree program in orthotics and prosthetics since 2005. This degree expands the options for students.

Unknown“St. Petersburg College is the only educational institution in the United States to offer orthotic and prosthetic education of all levels and scopes,” said Program Director Arlene Gillis. “Our Comprehensive Innovation Center houses O&P continuing education courses, certificate classes, an associate degree, bachelor’s degree and master’s level education. Having a complete orthotic and prosthetic career ladder means that SPC is a ‘one-stop shop’ for O&P education and students can enter the field in a variety of ways, adding to their credentials if they choose to continue their education.”

Orthotics and Prosthetics is an expanding health care field that involves evaluating, fabricating and custom fitting artificial limbs and orthopedic braces to help rehabilitate patients with disabling conditions. Demand for O&P professionals who can treat conditions brought on by age and rising rates of obesity and diabetes continues to grow, as do the educational requirements.

A recent study by the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education estimates that without an increase in O&P graduates, the number of practicing orthotists can serve just 61% of patients who need them. The study also projects the number of people using prostheses to increase by 50%. Currently, more than 54 million people experience functional limitations due to impairment or health conditions.

Careers in orthotics and prosthetics include practitioners (certified orthotists and certified prosthetists), pedorthists, assistants, fitters and technicians. The practitioner level provides comprehensive care, including assessment, treatment plans and practice management, and requires a master’s degree. Those who assist practitioners at various levels need post-secondary training and certifications.

Last year, SPC received part of an $11-million federal Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant aimed at expanding the number of trained, certified health care workers with expertise in orthotics and prosthetics.

In addition to the new A.S. degree, SPC also offers:

  • A Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Orthotics and Prosthetics that can lead  to a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering, with a specialization in Engineering Management of Orthotics and Prosthetics at Florida State University
  • Continuing education credits for O&P professional license renewals
  • Mastectomy and Orthotic Fitter certificates that can apply to the associate degree

To help students master the computerized planning process, materials fabrication and professional patient skills they need on the job, SPC offers extensive facilities. These include 5,151 square feet of lab space with 48 individual work stations, 12 specialized fabrication devices, an overhead and wall projector system, and four industrial sewing machines; and 3,443 of lab support space for CAD/CAM systems, machining, laminating, plastering, thermal forming, mill/lathe and material testing.

For more information or to apply for the Orthotics and Prosthetics program, go to www.spcollege.edu/op or call 727-341-4153.

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The Tampa Tribune reported on the story of Army Sgt. 1st Class Billy Costello who, with the help of St. Petersburg College’s J.E. Hanger College of Orthotics and Prosthetics, is designing a device that would allow him to return to the level of activity he had as a Green Beret combat diver.

On Sept. 20, 2011, Costello stepped on an improvised explosive device in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. He lost his right leg above the knee.

Arlene Gillis, the college’s Orthotics and Prosthetics program director, is coordinating the effort. SPC is part of a consortium with Florida State University offering a master’s in industrial engineering, a specialization in the management of orthotics and prosthetics, the Tribune reported.

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HEC Career

St. Petersburg College students learned about jobs/career opportunities and spoke with local health-related companies at Career Day Oct. 29 at the Caruth Health Education Center. Some of the participating vendors were BayCare Health System, HCA Hospitals, Gracewood Rehabilitation, Florida Hospital Carrollwood, Sunstar Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and more. As students visited vendor tables, they received a stamp on their attendance card. Once they had at least 10 stamps, they were entered into a drawing for three Publix gift certificates. HEC Career Day is held every spring and fall.

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St. Petersburg College’s recent research on underwater prosthetics in the Florida Keys with the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge was recently detailed in O&P Business News.

The online publication is produced by Healio.com, an in-depth specialty clinical information website featuring news reporting, multimedia and question-and-answer columns.

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pirate_campAmputee youth from ages 4 to 17 joined their friends, families and 25 students from St. Petersburg College’s Orthotics and Prosthetics program at the Second Annual Adaptive Sailing Never Say Never Pirate Camp in Clearwater in October.

Sponsored by the Never Say Never Foundation, Pirates of the Care Free Being and Sailability Greater Tampa Bay, the three-day event was held at the Clearwater Community Sailing Center. Events were designed to teach ocean appreciation and sailing skills and the importance of following dreams. SPC students helped with the obstacle course and mobility and agility exercises and offered pilates sessions to the kids.

SPC senior Shanna Rousseau was as excited as event organizers because SPC’s attendance meant kids would get more individual attention.

“Any time I can work with kids, it’s uber rewarding because they don’t really think of themselves as having disabilities,” Rousseau said. “They can do anything.”

Last year, 11 families and 23 aspiring pirates took part in the event. The camp is supported solely through donations, which means campers and their families participate at no cost.

“This is a great event to help pediatric amputees and the community,” said Arlene Gillis, program director of the J.E. Hanger College of Orthotics & Prosthetics Program at SPC. “It’s really an amazing learning opportunity and allows our students to give back.”

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