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What Is a Registered Orthopedic Technologist (ROT)?

A registered orthopedic technologist (ROT) assists physicians with casting and bracing. ROT certification is only available through the American Society of Orthopedic Professionals (ASOP), but you have other certification options if you're not an ASOP member. Continue reading to learn about becoming an ROT, and find out what other certification options are available for orthopedic technologists.

Registered Orthopedic Technologist Overview

As an orthopedic technologist, you'll work as part of a team to provide orthopedic care and services to patients. This includes setting and removing casts, applying sprints and braces, caring for injured patients, preparing patients for surgery and assisting orthopedic surgeons during procedures. You may work in a clinic, doctor's office, hospital or other healthcare setting. You might work with patients of all ages or specialize in a specific age group, such as pediatrics.

Important Facts About Registered Orthopedic Technologists (ROTs)

Median Salary (2021) $46,670*
Job Outlook (2019-2029) 12% growth (for all medical appliance technicians)**
Key Skills Excellent observation, attention to detail, close listening, clear communication, reading comprehension, good judgment and decision making
Similar Occupations Orthotists; prosthetists; testing technicians; calibration technicians; hyperbaric technicians

Sources: *Salary.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

ROT Designation Requirements

The ASOP's ROT designation is available only to members within their first years of membership (www.asop.org). To earn the ROT designation, you must pass a free, online exam that assesses your knowledge of casting, bracing and other orthopedic procedures.

The ROT certification program was designed to help build the ASOP's membership base with certified professionals. It also provides a certification option to the orthopedic technology field, in which state licensing doesn't exist. The ROT designation allows you to demonstrate your skills as an orthopedic technologist to prospective employers.

Orthopaedic Technologist Certified

Another option, if you are not an ASOP member, is to earn the Orthopaedic Technologist Certified (OTC) designation. The OTC designation is offered by the National Board for Certification of Orthopaedic Technologists, Inc. (NBCOT). To earn this designation, you need to pass the NBCOT certification exam (www.nbcot.net). Becoming an OTC allows you to show your competence in casting, splinting, patient care, surgical preparation and safety in the orthopedic field.

Certification Training Options

The minimum education requirement to work as an orthopedic technologist is a high school diploma. However, you might want to complete a formal training program to prepare for the certification exams. The ASOP offers a workshop in casting and bracing that allows you to meet the educational requirements to sit for the ROT exam. In this workshop, you'll study topics including splinting, sports bracing, fracture bracing, casting techniques and injury prevention.

Some technical and community colleges offer programs designed to prepare you for the NBCOT exam. These programs take 1-2 years to complete and lead to a certificate or associate's degree. In such programs, you may learn about anatomy, physiology, casting, patient care, orthopedics and surgical procedures. These programs may also include practicums or externships, in which you'll gain hands-on experience with orthopedic techniques and procedures in clinical settings.