Education

Certification: OPA-C/OA-C

Please note that certification of Orthopaedic Physician’s Assistants/Orthopaedic Assistants (OPA-C/OA-C) is handled exclusively by the National Board for Certification of Orthopaedic Physician’s Assistants/National Board for Certificiation of Orthopaedic Assisants (NBCOPA/NBCOA). The NBCOPA/NBCOA is a separate entity from the National Association of Orthopaedic Technologists (NAOT), which focuses on continued professional development and education of OPA-C’s/OA-C’s. Any questions and inquiries about existing policies, rules, regulations, verification and deadlines relating to certification or recertification should be addressed to the NBCOPA/NBCOA, using the contact information listed below.

Main Contact Information

National Board for Certification of Orthopaedic Physician’s Assistants/National Board for Certification of Orthopaedic Assistants c/o Melody Raymond, AAOS Special Society Services

9400 West Higgins Road, Ste 500
Rosemont, IL
Fax: (847) 823-0536
Email: raymond@aaos.org
www.nbcopa.org

The NBCOPA/NBCOA endorses the concept of voluntary, periodic certification for orthopaedic physician’s assistants/orthopaedic assistants working primarily in orthopaedics. The certification process is designed to promote excellence in the practice of orthopaedic physician’s assistants/orthopaedic assistants by:

  1. Recognizing formally those individuals who meet all the requirements of the NBCOPA/NBCOA.
  2. Encouraging professional growth of the physician’s assistant in orthopaedics.
  3. Establishing and measuring the level of knowledge required for a certified orthopaedic physician’s assistant/orthopaedic assistant.
  4. Providing a standard of requisite knowledge required for certification, thereby assisting the employer, the public, and members of the health professions in the assessment of orthopaedic physician’s assistants/orthopaedic assistants.

Exam Eligibility*

Although not a requirement, it is highly recommended that candidates have at least two years of college work in the sciences before sitting for the Certification Examination for Orthopaedic Physician’s Assistants/Orthopaedic Assistants.

Candidates must have completed an orthopaedic assistant program, a primary care physician assistant program, or a nurse practitioner program or completion of a related allied health care program and have at least five (5) years of experience in orthopaedic work with responsibility in surgical assisting, history and physical assessment, and immobilization techniques, under the supervision of a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon.

Please note that a supervising board-certified orthopaedic surgeon must verify eligibility and sign the Supervising Physician’s Statement on the candidate’s application.

*revised in May 2009

Apr/May 2017

Incidence and Prevalence of Dupuytren’s Contracture in the United States Correlated to a Local Orthopedic Clinic by Angela Frady, MS, ATC, OTC, NCT Dupuytren’s contracture is a disease that results in thickening and shortening of the palmar fascia. It usually affects...

Feb/Mar 2017

Treatment of Arthritis in the Ankle Joint by Cam Goslin, OTC When a patient who has been dealing with arthritis for years is finding no relief with physical therapy, injections, bracing or other methods of treatment, before an Orthotech makes a big decision about...

Dec 2016/ Jan 2017

Recognizing Cast Claustrophobia in Your Patients Third-Place Article (Tied), 2016 Paper of the Year Competition by Kara Jackson OTC, CMA Some people are lucky enough to go through life having never to suffer from a broken bone. On the other hand, just in the last...

Winter 2016

General Rules for Fracture Treatment and Traction for the Orthopedic Technologist Third-Place Article, 2015 Paper of the Year Competition by BreAnne Bibeau OTC, CMA The general idea of early fracture management is to provide pain relief and place the bone in a...

Oct/Nov 2016

Quadriceps Tendon Tears: What You Need to Know Third-Place Article (Tied), 2016 Paper of the Year Competition by Daniel R. Hinely, MEd, LAT, ATC, OTC A quadriceps tendon rupture can be a debilitating injury. Many older adults have had their active lifestyles put on...

Aug/Sept 2016

Bridge Enhanced Anterior Cruciate Ligament Repair Second-Place Article, 2016 Paper of the Year Competition by Stephen A. Petruska, OTC On Wednesday, March 21st 2016, orthopedic surgeon Doctor Martha Murray of Boston Children’s Hospital announced that she has...

Summer 2016

hinking Outside the Box for Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency First-Place Article, 2016 Paper of the Year Competition by Ruth Byers, OTC Inside a box of fiberglass are 10 rolls of unlimited potential. While we can use fiberglass to fix fractures, it can also be used...

Fall 2015

Diabetic Ulcers And The Total Contact Cast Second-Place Article, 2015 Paper of the Year Competition by Michael R. Pare, OTC Milroy Paul in Sri Lanka first introduced the Total Contact Cast (TCC) in the 1930s for treatment of non-healing ulcer in Hansen’s disease. The...

December/ January 2015

TIP OF THE MONTH: December 2014 / January 2015  Making Sense Out of Touch; Maintaining the Patient Connection In Our EMR World Second-Place Article, 2014 Paper of the Year Competition by Elizabeth Meyers, OTC, CST/SFAC Consider a time when you were touched and the...

June/July 2015

Repair and Management of Knee Dislocation with Associated Popliteal Artery Injury and Peroneal Nerve Injury First-Place Article, 2015 Paper of the Year Competition by Kellyn S. Hood, OTC Introduction Knee dislocation with a popliteal artery injury is uncommon (1)....

Spring 2015

TIP OF THE MONTH: Spring 2015  Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Third-Place Article, 2014 Paper of the Year Competition by Crystal Folds, Orthopaedic Technologist Student Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a disorder that is caused by compression of the median nerve in the wrist...

June/July 2014

TIP OF THE MONTH: June/July 2014  Use of Unloader Braces for Knee Osteoarthritis First-Place Winning Article, 2014 Paper of the Year Competition by Susank K Long, OTC, LAT, MS Per new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guidelines, clinicians now must use...

Apr/May 2014

TIP OF THE MONTH: April/May 2014  Clavical Fractures: To Fix or Not to Fix? by Lisa Joyce, RT(R), OTC, CFo Anatomy The clavicle is part of the pectoral girdle in the body. It is a slender, elongated S-shaped bone that starts at the base of the neck and runs...

Feb/Mar 2014

TIP OF THE MONTH: February/March 2014 The Laws of Material Concentration by David Gallant BSN, RN, OTC The application of casts and splints is affected not only by the products that are used but more often how the process is influenced by the physical laws of nature....

Dec 2013/ January 2014

TIP OF THE MONTH: December 2013/January 2014 Equinus Cast by Beth Meyers, OTC One of my favorite dilemmas in Orthopsedics is being presented with a need (obstacle) and coming up with a safe, comfortable, functional solution to satisfy the physician and the patient. My...

Oct/Nov 2013

TIP OF THE MONTH: October/November 2013 Serial Casting After Botox® Third-Place Winning Article, 2013 Paper of the Year Competition by Jacob Lookabill, OTC Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Pediatric Orthopedic department often uses Botox® (botulism toxin) as a way...

Aug/Sept 2013

TIP OF THE MONTH: August/September 2013 Bone Slurry: Superior Fixation for Cementless TKA Second-Place Winning Article, 2013 Paper of the Year Competition by Theresa Pecina, OTC, ST In our constantly busy total joint replacement practice, we carry out approximately...

June/July 2013

TIP OF THE MONTH: June/July 2013 How the Orthotech Can Play a Vital Role in Serial Casting for Achilles Tendon Repair with FHL Transfer First-Place Winning Article, 2013 Paper of the Year Competition by Sylvie Henley, OTC The Achilles tendon repair with Flexor...

Apr/May 2013

TIP OF THE MONTH: April/May 2013 Supracondylar Elbow Fractures In Children by Susan Coles, OTC The most common pediatric elbow injury is the supracondylar fracture, which is a break in the humerus bone, just above elbow joint. Supracondylar fractures account for...

Feb/Mar 2013

TIP OF THE MONTH: February/March 2013 Understanding Charcot Foot by Kristie Woolems, OTC Charcot foot is a condition that refers to progressive degeneration of bones and weight bearing joints in the foot. The condition is a complication of neuropathy (nerve damage)...