This is the second part of a three part series on Prosthetics and Orthotics (P&O) education and training in Canada. The first part can be found here: https://winpo.ca/blog/prosthetist-and-orthotist-education-and-training-in-canada/
Once the P&O student graduates from their education program they must complete a residency of a minimum of 3450 hours (approximately two years) under the direct supervision of a Certified Clinician in the specific discipline of study (Prosthetics or Orthotics). After their Residency the Resident is able to challenge a 2 stage national certification exam that constitutes written and practical segments.
Once the Resident passes this exam they receive the credential of CP(c) or CO(c), Certified Prosthetist or Certified Orthotist. A certified practitioner therefore requires a minimum of eight years of education/training to become a Certified Clinician in one discipline.
Certified Clinicians are able to obtain credentials in both disciplines, after completing another residency period and passing the national exam in that discipline, giving them the credential of CPO(c), Certified Prosthetist/Orthotist. A dual certified P&O practitioner therefore has received a combination of education and training that spans a minimum of 10 years!
The George Brown College (GBC) students in Winnipeg are currently in their first term and year of their formal P&O education. They are less than four years away from being eligible to challenge the certification exam, and they have spent their first term learning foundational clinical skills here at WinPO. This involves the students working alongside our clinicians and technicians as well as many hours of online learning with their peers in Toronto. The staff at WinPO as well as the patient volunteers, who have graciously volunteered their time, have found this both educational and rewarding.
Being part of their education at such an early stage is truly a great experience for all of us at WinPO. We have a front row seat in watching them develop into the next generation of P&O Clinicians.
To learn more about the program, visit: https://www.georgebrown.ca/health-sciences/health-wellness/prosthetic-orthotic-programs