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Student Blog

Alyssa Noe – Student Blog 8/29/22

We are back from our clinical semester. It was so nice hearing about all my classmates and how their clinical semesters went. It is crazy to think we are Seniors now! Our last semester started this week with Orthotic Management of the Lower Limb. It has been a busy week learning about orthotic components, knee orthoses, fracture braces, and hip abduction orthoses. Today, we started our custom GRAFO project which I am very excited about! I’m happy to be back learning and improving my skills in O&P. Stay tuned for the next 4 months to see what we are up to! 
Check back next week!

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Brooke Merryman – Student Blog 7/28/22

Hey Everyone,

Summer is coming to a close as we have started our last class of the semester, Orthotic Management of the Lower Limb, just about reaching the half way point of our schooling at IIOP. We completed Orthotic Management of the Spine and Prosthetic Management of the Lower Limb. In the spine class, we made custom Bi-valve TLSOs for each other and also had a guest, Kristian, from the National Scoliosis Center where I worked before school to discuss pediatric scoliosis and methods to treat it using the Rigo Cheneau style brace. In the prosthetics class, we got to work with mock patients and make two different types of transtibial prosthetics: a patellar tendon bearing socket with a pin system and a total surface bearing socket with a suction system. It was neat seeing how each of us improved from making the first socket to the second socket and very satisfying to see amputees walk using prosthetics we made with our own hands.

The highlight for this week is John! He’s the one modeling the lovely Bi-valve TLSO. John is from Charleston, South Carolina and studied Kinesiology at Anderson University while playing D2 baseball as a pitcher. He worked at Floyd Brace Company as an Orthotic Fitter which led him to this school. In his free time, John enjoys playing golf, table tennis, playing with his cat, Schmidt, and beating everyone in Mario Kart.

~Brooke Merryman

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Brooke Merryman – Student Blog 6/9/22

Hey all,

This summer is already flying by as we begin our 3rd summer class. We finished Introduction to Lab Skills and Materials and Clinical Evaluation Tools and are now into our Orthotic Management of the Spine class. During the Lab Skills class, we learned how to use various machines and tools such as drill presses, grinders, band saw, sandblaster, sewing machines, and many more. We practiced making multiple tools out of plastic and metal and how to perform plaster casting. During the Clinical Eval class, we practiced various ranges of motion, manual muscle, and orthopedic tests on each other. In the spine class, we are learning about many prefabricated orthotic braces for the neck and spine and will soon be making our own custom Bi-valve TLSOs.

The class highlight for this week is Candace! She is posing in the plaster cast I wrapped. Candace is from Chattanooga, Tennessee, and got her Bachelor’s in International Studies with an emphasis in Spanish and a Minor in Graphic Design at Southern Adventist University. She has been quick to gain precise hand skills with the power tools and machines and knows how to make everything look aesthetic. In her free time, she enjoys going to the beach and hanging out with her cat, Henry.

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Carlie Kubit – IIOP Student Blog 5/31/22

Hello! My name is Carlie Kubit and I am in my 3rd semester at IIOP. I have had a very busy start to summer semester, but I have been enjoying every minute. Last week I had the opportunity to attend the 2022 AOPA Policy Forum in Washington D.C. as the student representative for IIOP. Students, practitioners, patients, and other individuals in the O&P field gathered from across the nation to speak to members of congress about the Medicare Orthotic and Prosthetic Patient-Centered Care Act. My group and I met with the staff of the 2 senators and 4 representatives from Ohio, my home state, in hope they would be interested in cosigning the bill. We shared our stories and discussed the four patient-centric goals the legislation would accomplish if passed. It was an incredible experience to be a part of and I was able to meet so many different people in the O&P field.  

On Monday I started my clinical rotation at Orthotic Prosthetic Center Inc (OPC) in Tampa. Throughout the upcoming weeks I will be rotating through other OPC offices in the area and cannot wait to work with more practitioners. It has only been one week, but I have seen a variety of orthotics and prosthetics all the way from fitting an off the shelf AFO to watching a patient learn to use their Ossur i-Limb. It has been a great experience so far and I am very excited to spend the next four weeks with other OPC practitioners. 

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Brooke Merryman – IIOP Student Blog 5/16/22

Hello everyone,

It’s been a while since the last blog post. Rewinding back to last month before stressing about finals, we took a trip to Busch Gardens and conquered many of the rollercoasters as well as the carousel. Then, we spent many many hours together studying for finals, and all of us passed them with flying colors. Most of us went home afterwards for a short but sweet two-week summer break. Now, we have started our first class of sophomore semester, Intro to Lab Skills and Materials in O&P. We each received our own toolbox and have started working with all the machines and power tools including the band saw, grinders, sand blaster, blow torches, and many more. This past Friday, we had our white coat ceremony and can now work with patients!

This week’s highlight is Zachary (on the carousel)! He hails from northeast Texas, and Zach studied at the University of Texas at Tyler for Kinesiology with a minor in Biology. He so far has been crushing it with using all the power tools and having great hand skills. His hobbies include fishing, hunting, kayaking, and anything outdoorsy. You will definitely want to be friends with him during a zombie apocalypse to survive.

Stay tuned for the next blog post with more photos and details of our summer projects!


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Trevor Bryant – IIOP Student Alumni Blog 4/22/22

Trevor Bryant, May 2021 Graduate, tells us about his time at IIOP, how IIOP impacted his career, and what he is up to now!

IIOP Alum, Trevor Bryant –

My time at IIOP was ideal for my learning style. I had a smaller class compared to other Orthotic and Prosthetic programs, which allowed intimate learning spaces. I was able to have direct contact with my professors who still aid me in my navigations through residency to this day. The ample lab time and hands-on practice were, at first, daunting. However, it has made me comfortable in lab settings and knowledgeable about machinery and tools. I am thankful for my time at IIOP and hope I make them proud. 

Currently, I am nearing the end of my prosthetic residency in Orlando. The past year has taught me about the O&P field, patient care, and who I want to be as a clinician. Morals and integrity come into play far more than I was expecting. I am happy to say I am proud of the clinician I am and continue to develop into. 

Most recently I have been trained in direct lamination for both transtibial amputees and transfemoral amputees. This method allows me to laminate a definitive socket directly over a patient’s limb. I think this is where the field could be headed.

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Alyssa Noe – IIOP Student Blog 4/19/22

Hi All,

Welcome back hope you all had a fabulous Easter! 🐰 Our class celebrated Easter on the beach, which was different for most of us, but we all had a blast. As we approach the end of the semester, we are excited to head into our clinical rotations. We are finishing up lower-limb orthotics in the next couple of weeks and this week, and our final is April 28th! We cast, fabricated, and fit accommodative foot orthotics, a UCBL, and a solid ankle AFO. Everyone’s turned out great, and we are learning many different techniques and methods when it comes to the fabrication process. Enjoy the many pictures attached and stay tuned next week for the final week before the summer semester and clinicals.


Alyssa Noe

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Brooke Merryman – IIOP Student Blog 4/12/22

Hi everyone,

Time has been flying by! We are in the last three weeks of our first semester. We have already completed our first class, Clinical Gait Analysis, and everyone finished well. One of the labs in Gait involved an orthotic gait analysis where we tried on different lower-limb orthotics and compared our gait patterns with and without the orthotic device. We have done a few more class bonding activities, including indoor rock climbing and Topgolf. We are currently giving our major presentations for Anatomy class with a thorough review of the upper and lower limbs. Finals are just around the corner, so we are preparing for the showdown of this semester.

The student highlight of the week is Jacob! (He’s the one waving on the wall) He is a local to Florida coming from Orlando and graduated from the Seminole State College with a degree in Science Management with a Biology focus. For our Student Government Association, he will be taking up the mantle as the president for the summer semester. In his free time, he enjoys hanging out with his cats and going rock climbing.



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Alyssa Noe – IIOP Student Blog 3/30/22

Hello All,

Last week was very exciting we created a Custom Bivalve TLSO. We went through the processes of scanning, carving, modification, fabrication, fitting, and delivery. Being able to create my very own TLSO helped me understand and relate to patients who use custom bivalve TLSOs. This week we finished up our Orthotics Management of the Spine Class on Tuesday with our final exam which went well. Now, we are onto our next class adventure in Orthotics Management of the Lower Limb. I am so excited because we get to create a pair of foot orthotics that we get to keep! So, stay tuned and check back to see my foot orthotics! 

Until next time,

Alyssa Noe

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IIOP Student Blog 3/22/22

Hello all!

After many hours of studying (shout out to Rachel for letting us use her apartment’s study space), we finally finished mid-terms last week, and everyone did well and passed! We had five exams total in a week and a half, along with our presentations for Pathology. Although we are enjoying the reduced workload, we are starting the following sections of our classes and learning new material for the finals. For our Gait Analysis class, we had a guest speaker, Dr. Sheila Clemens, the Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy at FIU, come in for two days to go over various gait deviations that result from pathologies and deviations from patients with lower limb prosthetics. We had the opportunity to work with two amputees to observe their gait and provide exercises to improve it.

This week’s student highlight is Terrance! He is a local to the Tampa area, living in Clearwater. He graduated from St. Petersburg College for Health Care Administrations. Terrance has the most O&P experience out of all of us since his dad is a CPO and founded the company Superior Prosthetics and Orthotics. He enjoys fishing, riding his Wave Runner, and hanging out with his nephews and nieces in his free time.

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