Free Orthopaedic Technologist Certification Practice Test

The Orthopaedic Technologist Certification (OTC®) Exam is a certification examination written and administered by the National Board for Certification of Orthopaedic Technologists that is designed to determine whether or not an individual possesses the knowledge and skills necessary to prepare or apply casts, splints, and a variety of other orthopaedic appliances.

This exam assesses the individual's knowledge of patient assessment techniques, orthopaedic appliances, traction, and surgery preparation procedures and methods. This exam is required in order to receive the NBCOT Orthopaedic Technologist Certification. However, an individual may not need the NBCOT Orthopaedic Technologist Certification if he or she has a similar certification, equivalent training, or equivalent experience depending on the specific position that the individual is pursuing. The exam consists of 165 multiple-choice questions, 150 of which are scored and 15 that are not scored, that relate to the following topics:

  • Patient Assessment (34 questions)
  • Casting, Splinting, and Orthopaedic Devices (70 questions)
  • Traction (19 questions)
  • Surgery (27 questions)

The exam-taker will have 3 hours to complete the exam and the exam-taker will receive a pass/fail grade based on whether or not he or she makes a number of correct responses that equals or exceeds the threshold set by the NBCOT. Currently, the threshold set by the NBCOT requires that the exam-taker make 101 correct responses to successfully pass the OTC® Exam. In order to register for the exam, the individual interested in pursuing certification must have 2 years of full-time training in a supervised orthopaedic setting, completed an orthopaedic technologist program and have at least six months of orthopaedic experience, have completed an orthopaedic technologist program recognized by the National Association of Orthopaedic Technologists (NAOT), have a certification from an orthopaedic field and at least 1 year of orthopaedic experience, or have an Athletic Trainer certification or license and at least 6 months of orthopaedic experience. If the individual meets one of the above requirements, he or she may register for the exam by submitting a written application to the NBCOT. The current registration fee for the exam is $375.

Orthopaedic Technologist Certification Practice Questions

1. A patient has a splint on the wrist and forearm but has developed window edema between the securing straps. In addition to elevating the extremity, which of the following is the best initial solution?

  1. Remove the splint until the edema subsides.
  2. Apply wider straps to better distribute the force.
  3. Leave the straps loose until the edema subsides.
  4. Replace the straps with bias-cut wrapping, from the distal end to the proximal end.

2. A patient is to have side arm skin traction for a fracture of the left humerus. Where are the traction tapes applied?

  1. To the upper arm, extending past the elbow and to the forearm, extending to the wrist.
  2. To the forearm, extending beyond the hand.
  3. To the forearm, extending to the wrist.
  4. To the upper arm, extending past the elbow, and to the forearm, extending beyond the hand.

3. A patient must wear a wrist immobilization splint, but the splint tends to migrate as the patient moves her fingers and elbow. Which of the following initial measures is indicated to reduce friction force and migration?

  1. Change the size of the splint.
  2. Cover her skin with a stockinet or elastic tubular bandage (such as Tubigrip).
  3. Increase the number of straps securing the splint.
  4. Tighten the straps securing the splint.

4. When conducting a health history, the four most important areas to assess for a patient with musculoskeletal problems are

  1. Pain, comorbidities, swelling, and range of motion.
  2. Age, goals, limitations, and pain.
  3. Onset of symptoms, degree of pain, age, and range of motion.
  4. Onset of symptoms, degree of deformity, paralysis/paresis, and pain.

5. When positioning a supine patient for surgery, the ulnar nerve may be protected by

  1. Positioning the arm on an arm board with the palm down (pronated) without further padding.
  2. Resting the arm on the trunk with padding under the wrist.
  3. Positioning the arm on an arm board with the palm down (pronated) and padding above and below the elbow.
  4. Positioning the arm on the table parallel to the body.

Answers

1. D: To reduce window edema, the straps should be replaced with bias-cut wrapping, applied from the distal end to the proximal end, until the edema subsides because this evens out the distribution of pressure on the skin. The splint should not be removed or the straps loosened so much that the splint is ineffective, leaving the joint unsupported. Wider straps can distribute force better than narrow straps can, but if they are too wide, they may interfere with the range of motion of unimpaired joints.

2. D: For side arm skin traction, sets of traction tapes are applied to both the forearm and the upper arm with the upper arm traction tapes extending past the elbow and attached to a spreader and pulley weight equipment to exert a horizontal pull on the humerus. Forearm traction tapes extend beyond the hand and are attached to a spreader and pulley weight equipment to provide a lateral or upward pull and to suspend the arm in a vertical position.

3. B: Some migration is normal with movement because of the friction force between the skin and the splint. Often, covering the skin with a stockinet or elastic tubular bandage (such as Tubigrip) will be sufficient to reduce the friction force that results in movement (kinetic friction). Friction force relates to both the coefficient of fiction (depending on the material) and contact force (the degree of securing and tightening). The friction coefficient of a splint may be increased by lining the splint with foam or applying additional straps, which increases the force of contact.

4. D: Onset of symptoms: Note how and when the symptoms started and any contributing factors, including a review of treatments. Degree of deformity: Evaluate pain, swelling, stiffness, and reports of limitations. Observe for changes such as enlarged joints. Paralysis/paresis: Note the onset and extent and any changes such as regression or progression of symptoms. Pain: Note the type of pain, where it's located, the severity, duration, any contributing or precipitating factors, and any other symptoms associated with the pain (such as increased weakness).

5. C: The ulnar nerve may be protected in a number of ways:

  • Positioning the arm on an arm board with the palm down (pronated) and padding above and below the elbow.
  • Positioning the arm on an arm board with the palm up (supinated).
  • Positioning the arm across the chest with padding under the upper arm.
  • Orthopaedic Technologist Certification Test Blueprint and Breakdown

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    Last Updated: 03/01/2017


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