Orthopedic Technologist Certification Examination

Benefits of certification as an orthopedic technologist include the opportunity for a higher salary, prestige, and a competitive advantage over non-certified orthopedic technologists. This certification also establishes a professional standard for orthopedic technologists, and helps patients make informed decisions about who will administer their medical care.

A prospective orthopedic technologist can take one of the following routes to gain eligibility to take the orthopedic technologist certification examination:

  • Two years of full-time on-the-job training in the orthopedic technology field, and under the direct supervision of an orthopedic physician,
    or
  • Completion of a recognized orthopedic technology training program, either through a school or through the United States Armed Forces,
    or
  • Certification or licensing as an athletic trainer, with a minimum of six months (1,040 hours) of full-time employment specific to orthopedic technology, and under the direct supervision of a physician specializing in the treatment of the musculoskeletal system.

The orthopedic technologist certification examination is made up of 150 scored multiple-choice questions, each with four possible answers. In addition, 15 questions are not scored and are part of the examination solely for the purpose of the examination board’s review. However, it is impossible to tell which questions will be scored and which questions will not be scored; therefore, it is very important that the candidate answer all examination questions to the best of his knowledge and ability. Three hours is allocated for the completion of the orthopedic technologist certification examination.

A breakdown of the topics covered on the examination, and the weight of each topic, is provided below:

Assessment: 40 percent (60 questions)

  • Use effective interviewing techniques to interview the patient and his family in order to obtain
  • a complete history of the patient’s complaints and condition.
  • Conduct a physical examination of the patient by using standard examination techniques, and provide the pertinent information to the surgeon.

Casting, splinting, and orthopedic appliances: 40 percent (60 questions)

  • Apply an upper extremity cast or splint to a patient; use accepted casting and splinting practices and techniques, and comply with a physician’s orders.
  • Apply a lower extremity cast or splint to a patient; use accepted casting and splinting practices and techniques, and comply with a physician’s orders.
  • Apply a torso extremity cast or splint to the patient; use accepted casting and splinting practices and techniques, and comply with a physician’s orders.
  • Apply a specialty extremity cast or splint to the patient; use accepted casting and splinting practices and techniques, and comply with a physician’s orders.
  • Utilize a cast or a splint to a patient’s specifications; use accepted practices and techniques, and comply with a physician’s orders.
  • Apply orthopedic devices to a patient; ensure a proper fit and placement, and comply with a physician’s orders.
  • Apply pre-fabricated orthotics and orthopedic appliances to a patient; ensure the appliances fit properly and comply with a physician’s orders.

Traction: 10 percent (15 questions)

1) Obtain the equipment and select the appropriate items for a traction apparatus; then apply traction therapy to a patient.
2) Apply the traction apparatus; use accepted practices and techniques to prepare for the application of skin or skeletal traction.
3) Drape, scrub, and assist in the application of skeletal traction therapy; use accepted practices and techniques and comply with a physician’s orders.
4) Apply skin traction therapy to a patient; use accepted practices and techniques, and comply with a physician’s orders.
5) Assist in discontinuing traction therapy; use accepted practices and techniques, and comply with a physician’s orders.

Surgery: 10 percent (15 questions)

• Position, prepare, and drape a patient for surgery using accepted practices and techniques.
• Apply and manage post-operative dressings on wounds following aseptic techniques.
• Assist the surgeon during reductions by supplying and applying the appropriate materials.
• Assist the surgeon using accepted surgical practices and techniques.

 

Last Updated: June 27, 2019