The field of Orthotics and Prosthetics (O&P) plays a crucial role in enhancing the quality of life for individuals with limb differences or musculoskeletal disorders. Despite the increasing demand for these specialized services, organizations face a unique challenge in recruiting and hiring professionals in the Orthotics and Prosthetics field.
The Growing Demand for O&P Professionals
The demand for O&P professionals has seen a steady rise in recent years, driven by factors such as an aging population, advancements in medical technology, and increased awareness about the importance of prosthetic and orthotic care. As more people seek these specialized services, the need for skilled practitioners becomes paramount.
Factors Contributing to the Talent Gap
- Specialized Skill Set:
Orthotists and Prosthetists require a unique skill set that combines clinical expertise, technical proficiency, and a compassionate approach to patient care. Finding individuals with this blend of skills can be challenging.
- Educational Barriers:
The educational path to becoming an Orthotist or Prosthetist involves a combination of academic coursework and clinical training. The relatively niche nature of these programs can limit the pool of qualified candidates.
- Lack of Awareness:
Many individuals may not be aware of the opportunities and rewards associated with a career in Orthotics and Prosthetics. This lack of awareness further reduces the number of professionals entering the field.
Overcoming Recruitment Challenges
- Education and Outreach:
Organizations can collaborate with educational institutions to create awareness about the O&P profession. Offering internships, workshops, and educational sessions can attract students to consider this rewarding career path.
- Competitive Compensation Packages:
To attract top talent, organizations should offer competitive compensation packages that reflect the specialized skills and expertise required in the field of Orthotics and Prosthetics.
- Professional Development Opportunities:
O&P professionals are dedicated to providing the best possible care for their patients. Offering ongoing professional development opportunities can attract experienced practitioners and retain existing staff.
A New Talent Area at Lloyd Healthcare
As the demand for Orthotics and Prosthetics services continues to rise, organizations must be proactive in addressing the recruitment challenges. By investing in education, competitive compensation, and professional development, businesses can build a robust team of O&P professionals to meet the evolving needs of the healthcare industry.
With this vision in mind, Lloyd recognized the need for quality talent in the area of Prosthetics & Orthotics and recently expanded our recruitment disciplines to include this specialized niche in Healthcare.
This latest addition to our team is Chad Kay, an ABC certified and licensed Orthotist/ Prosthetist who is using his professional experience and hands-on knowledge of the profession to guide professionals in their career journeys. He is skilled in comprehensive clinical care from pediatrics to geriatrics, with expertise in cranial remolding. With more than 15 years of experience, he has joined Lloyd Staffing to lead recruitment and talent searches for organizations nationwide, supporting them in their missions to identify and hire only the very best people for their facilities.
Please take a moment to get to know Lloyd’s Chad Kay
Q & A with Chad Kay, CPO/LPO,
Director of Prosthetics& Orthotics Recruiting at Lloyd Healthcare Staffing
How did you get into the field of Prosthesis and Orthotics?
I knew a girl in high school who lost her arm in a car accident. The amazing functionality of her prosthesis compelled me to volunteer at a local Prosthetics and Orthotics company. It’s been 20+ years, and I’ve been in the industry ever since.
Why is this field on the rise, what technological advancements have impacted your profession?
Despite advancements in limb-saving surgical methods, there are many factors contributing to the rising need in the field. Some of which include: an aging population; prevalence of vascular disease and cancer, congenital disorders, and injuries sustained from war.
Does it require extensive one-on-one contact with patients?
It takes a team approach to achieve the best outcomes in this field. The team consists of the patient, caregiver(s), physician, orthotist/prosthetist, technician, and therapist. Some patients are only seen once for an acute injury, while others are seen throughout their lifespan.
What skills do you think are essential for anyone considering this as a career?
Excellent communication and problem-solving skills with compassion and empathy are required for this field. Everything else can be taught or learned (ie hand tools, gait assessment, etc)
How does licensure and certifications change your career options and advancement?
Certification and license (when state applicable) are required for this career.
Are there any areas around the U.S. that are in particular need of these skills? Is the majority of the work with veterans or is it varied populations?
Physical disability is the only minority group which anyone can join at any moment, worldwide. Unfortunately, there are not enough orthotists/prosthetists to serve the need of the community ranging from infancy to old age.
What made you decide to change from hands-on work in the field to working as Recruiter finding others with similar skills? How are they different OR the same?
There was a recent article published in a trade magazine which specified the high attrition rate in the orthotic/prosthetic profession as a factor limiting access to care. At the same time, I was having some internal career struggles about my beloved profession. I knew that using my skills of connecting O&P professionals with their dream jobs is the key to keeping talent in our field.
When a hiring company/client partner learns of your background, do you find you have immediate credibility in helping them identify candidates?
Absolutely! Anyone can learn the language of prosthetics and orthotics…but I am fluent! Twenty-plus years working the roles from stock-boy/custodian, technician, clinician, and manager, I am immediately relatable and feel like a trustworthy partner of the hiring team.
How did you come to Lloyd?
I was sharing my recruiting daydream idea with a close friend who happens to be a consultant at already at Lloyd. She recruited me to be a recruiter.
What goals do you have for your practice area?
The orthotics/prosthetics industry is very niche amongst all the healthcare roles. Within my first year, I want every employer and employee to know that they can call Chad and Lloyd Staffing to solve any of their hiring needs.
When you are not working, how do you relax?
I find my work very fulfilling, but at the end of the day, I can’t wait to get home to my wife and two young daughters. I’m a native South Floridan. We live an active life of biking, swimming, ice skating, camping and traveling. Maybe my active lifestyle makes me appreciate this field I’m in all the more and the need to give back to those who struggle with everyday living.
Chad Kay welcomes inquiries from employers seeking to hire and candidates looking for a new position may send him their resumes.
Let Chad put his pipeline of Talent and employment resources to work for you!