Prosthetic support worker
Prosthetic support workers work with prosthetists to design, make and fit artificial limbs for patients. Prostheses are used to substitute for or supplement missing limbs. These are made from a wide range of materials, such as special plastics, metals, leather and carbon fibre.
Starting your career
Choosing subjects at school
To become a prosthetic support worker, you need a good standard of education. There are no entry requirements, but useful subjects include:
- Engineering Science
Work placements and volunteering
You may find it helpful to get some experience of working in healthcare by doing a work placement. There may also be opportunities to volunteer. This could help you when applying to university, college or a new job with NHSScotland.
A Foundation Apprenticeship could give you the skills, knowledge and work experience you need to start your career journey as a prosthetic support worker.
Learn more about relevant Foundation Apprenticeships in:
A Modern Apprenticeship can give you the skills, knowledge and experience to start your career journey as a prosthetic support worker.
Find out about the Modern Apprenticeship in Healthcare Support.
All Healthcare Support modern apprentices study the three mandatory units of communication, health and safety, and learning development. For prosthetic support worker, you will then choose your remaining units from the clinical pathway options.
As a prosthetic support worker, you'll use the prosthetist's designs and specifications to make artificial limbs to help restore a patient’s mobility. Often, you’ll be involved in the design stage and will provide technical support and expertise. You will also be responsible for maintaining and repairing prostheses.
What you’ll do
Your main tasks include:
- manufacturing, maintaining and repairing prostheses
- making and modifying moulds
- supporting and developing manufacturing processes to meet quality standards
- making sure work areas and equipment are maintained and kept clean
- ordering materials and equipment
You’ll also need to keep up to date with the latest manufacturing techniques and technologies.
You’ll need these skills:
- motivating people
As a prosthetic support worker, you’ll need to have good practical skills and some knowledge of IT and CADCAM.
Who you’ll work with
You could work with:
- occupational therapists
You could work in:
- private clinics
To work as a prosthetic support worker in NHSScotland, you’ll need to:
- complete occupational health checks
- join Disclosure Scotland's Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme
Did you know?
The word prosthetist comes from the Latin root 'pros' which means to add.
Learning and development
When joining the NHS, you will work through the Mandatory Induction Standards. These standards are designed to help you work safely and must be completed within the first 3 to 6 months of employment. They will also support you in your first steps as a new healthcare support worker.
You may also be encouraged while in post to work towards further education qualifications. These may include:
- SVQ Healthcare Support (Clinical) at SCQF level 7
- Professional Development Award (PDA) in Rehabilitation Technologies
Getting experience as a healthcare support worker can be very helpful if you decide you want to go to university to study to become a registered prosthetist.
Learn more about becoming a healthcare support worker from NHS Education for Scotland's Healthcare Support Worker Careers Guidance leaflet.