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Education Plus

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COURSE CLOSE-UP

A successful career

R. SUJATHA

Technicians trained in developing prosthetics are in short supply, as only a few institutions offer a course in this niche area of healthcare


Subjects include biomechanics, prosthetics and amputation surgery

Subjects include biomechanics, prosthetics and amputation surgery




Life support: People who lose limbs in accidents and due to diseases depend on artificial limbs. Affordability and availability are key issues.

The Diploma in Prosthetics and Orthotics course is offered only by a few private and government-run institutions in the country. Qualified technicians from these institutes are much sought after.

“There is a huge demand for trained technicians. We need qualified professionals to develop prosthetics, but do not have enough of them,” says R. Chinnathurai, Director of the Government Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, K.K. Nagar (GIRM), Chennai.

Recently the institute had a request from the Indian Red Cross Society for a prosthetic technician. “We do not have a technician to spare. The IRC is waiting for the current batch to qualify,” he adds.

Besides the GIRM, a few private institutions such as the Christian Medical College, Vellore, and the Schiefflein Institute of Health Research and Leprosy Centre in Karigiri near Vellore offer the course.

Lateral entry

Recognised by the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI), the three-year diploma course is offered to students who have taken the science stream with biology in the higher secondary examination. Candidates must have scored above 50 per cent.

There is also a lateral entry in the second year for those appearing through the vocational stream.

Students are taught the basics of anatomy, physiology and pathology besides rehabilitation psychology and counselling in the first year.

The technical details of making prosthesis are taught at the Central Polytechnic College in Taramani.

In the subsequent semesters, the students are taught subjects such as orthotics, biomechanics and orthopaedics, electronics, prosthetics, and amputation surgery.

They are also taught the nuances of administration, management and industrial safety. Students must submit a dissertation based on their clinical studies and undertake a study tour at the end of the course.

Qualifying candidates are recruited as prosthetic draftsmen and experienced personnel in the government service receive the ‘gazetted officer' status. Some students set up their own units, says Dr. Chinnathurai.


Subjects include biomechanics, prosthetics and amputation surgery

Subjects include biomechanics, prosthetics and amputation surgery


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