Damian is an Orthotic Technician at Basingstoke Hospital, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Tell us about your role and the impact it has on those work with
Working as an Orthotic Technician involves creating assistive devices for patients with medical abnormalities or missing limbs. As an Orthotic Technician, I manufacture orthotic devices (orthoses) such as splints, braces, total contact insoles or special footwear to aid movement, correct deformity and relieve discomfort. I work with orthotists who assess patient’s needs. Then I manufacture a device using appropriate materials to help the patient. Many orthoses are made to measure, designed specifically for each patient. I work with people of all ages with a wide range of conditions, including:
- Cerebral palsy
- Spina bifida
Every product that is manufactured or modified by me is designed for improving the patient’s comfort and health, and to remove a health problem or contribute to the fact that despite problems, the patient can live and have a normal life without pain and suffering.
What attracted you to a role as a support worker?
Maybe I will duplicate the well-known slogans but being a Support Worker means making a positive difference in someone’s life. Making a real change to the lives of the people you provide support for. I feel satisfied that I have a positive impact on improving the quality of life of many people and their community of friends, family and carers. This job is rewarding. Every day you feel that you are doing something that counts
How has training and development helped you in your role?
I have had training in various forms to improve my skills and knowledge and obtain qualifications. While doing my job, I work with many different personalities from which you can learn all the time and constantly. Each of the orthotists is different, uses different techniques at work both in practice and in communication with patients. Training sessions support the whole process, and also convey the knowledge and experience of people who have been doing it for years. You learn new techniques, new methods of operation that have only a positive impact on the work and thus on the patient. Knowledge combined with experience is the best mixture that a patient can obtain from us. Success in this career usually requires a person with good communication skills and the ability to be involved in solving various medical problems.
What are you most proud of in your role?
I am proud to contribute to the improvement of the patients’ comfort of life. I am proud that I have an influence on the decision-making process concerning the orthoses production process. The fact that this process is often long and weary at the end is rewarded by the smile on the patient’s face.
What would you say to encourage others into a role as a support worker with AHPs?
If you feel that you would like to have an impact on the improvement of the quality of life, comfort and well-being of other people, you should not think about it, you should join us. From experience I can promise that the work will not be easy, but at the end of the day you will feel the satisfaction that is guaranteed when you do something good for others. When you see that someone is feeling better thanks to you and your effort, everyday activities do not cause him as much pain as before and he starts to live as before, you will feel joy and pride.
Don’t wait. Join us. Start enjoying helping.