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Student Blog

Carly Smith – Student Blog 7/01/24

This past week at the IIOP has been both fun and educational. Some of our students had the incredible opportunity to volunteer at the Warrior Games in Orlando, FL, working alongside our nation’s heroes. It was a truly inspiring experience and helped us gain insight into adaptive sports.

We also had the pleasure of hosting Ossur, who provided an informative session on their advanced prosthetic knees. In our coursework, we wrapped up prosthetic management of the lower limb by fitting our second transfemoral sockets.

Looking ahead, we are excited to dive into upper limb and fabricating our first transradial prosthesis.

-Carly Smith

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Laurel Harrington – Student Blog 5/30/24

And that’s a rap! Core 34 just finished up lower limb orthotic management 2! During this course they dove into GRAFOs, KAFOs, and the love-hate relationship with metal bending! It was a lot of hands on work during this course, many skills were acquired and pathologies understood. It won’t be too long until they jump into lower limb prosthetics 2, stay tuned!

-Laurel Harrington

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Carly Smith – Student Blog 5/17/24

Hi everyone!

Jumping in our third semester with Orthotic Management of the Lower Limb 2. This week we fabricated and fit our first Ground Reaction AFO’s and learned to fit off the shelf devices for both the knee and hip. To end this week we had a competition to modify and customize fracture braces with missing parts. We are already over halfway done with this class and are looking forward to casting and fabricating KAFO’s.

-Carly Smith

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Megan Merryman – Student Blog 5/15/24

Hello again everyone! 

The Zen 10 is now into the second week of our sophomore semester already! There are already many things to be excited about at the start of a new semester.  We completed our white coat ceremony last Friday, and we finally are getting to work with all of the fancy equipment in the lab.  Our first class with Mr. Martin included a number of projects to give us experience working with all of the machinery such as the grinders, band saws, sewing machines, and even the sand blaster.  We are thrilled to be able to do some hands-on work and are looking forward to our upcoming classes in orthotic management of the spine, and orthotic and prosthetic management of the lower limb!   

Until next time!

Megan Merryman

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Laurel Harrington – Student Blog 4/16/24

Hi Everyone!

Core 34 has launched into the world of prosthetics with incredible patient models for patellar bearing sockets and ABC prep. Midterms are over and core 34 is moving on to their total surface bearing socket projects. Along with understanding sockets they are gaining knowledge in components, liners, alignment, and patient encounters. Core 34 extends an immense appreciation to the patient models and looks forward to the continuation of the IIOP process.

-Laurel Harrington

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Megan Merryman – Student Blog 4/15/24

The Zen 10 have been enjoying the calm before the storm of finals, which will already start with the gait final this Friday!  In the meantime, we’ve been having fun in gait class with our various labs.  One involved analyzing each other’s gait while wearing a number of different orthoses.  We were also privileged to have Doug from RunDNA spend a day with us and even look at our running gait using the Helix 3D software.  Outside of class, we enjoyed an amazing BBQ lunch, provided kindly to us by Grace Prosthetic Foundation, and we had the opportunity to see the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team play!  

Stay tuned for my next post to see how the Zen 10 are fairing during the midst of finals!

Megan Merryman  

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Carly Smith – Student Blog 3/20/24

Hi everyone!

This week at IIOP we made our first solid ankle Ankle-Foot-Orthoses (AFO). We made much use of all of the equipment here at IIOP during the fabrication process. We practiced patient interactions, gait assessments, and completed checkouts with our instructors. Looking forward to diving deeper into various styles of AFO’s.


– Carly Smith

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Megan Merryman – Student Blog 3/19/24

Hi everyone!

I am writing the first post ever for Spring ’24 cohort, the Zen Ten!  Despite our name, we are full of energy and eager to be in our first semester.  It is crazy to say that we have already reached the halfway point of semester one and have survived almost all of our midterms, with the clinical gait analysis midterm still looming ahead of us this week.  

The Zen Ten will complete their individual presentations this week in our pathology and neuroanatomy classes, with many interesting disorders and case studies being covered.  Lots of time, effort, and creativity were put into these presentations, which can be seen in the pictures!  

I look forward to sharing more with you all as we continue on our journey this year!

Megan Merryman

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Laurel Harrington – Student Blog 1/30/24

Core 34 is moving right along! Fresh in their white coats, in the past few weeks they’ve learned all about tools and how to use them safely. From the bandsaw to the drill press, from bending metal to riveting, they have gotten comfortable quickly in the lab and have moved into clinical evaluations such as range of motion testing and manual muscle testing. They are looking forward to putting all their new learned skills together!

Thanks for reading!

-Laurel Harrington

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Laurel Harrington – Student Blog 11/30/23

What an amazing couple of weeks for Core 34! From the Special Olympics in Orlando to a festive Thanksgiving gathering, from gait outcome measures to touring the RCAI facility in St Pete, Core 34 is sailing through the last bit of this semester. Preparing to wrap up finals while reflecting upon all of their experiences so far. Grateful, and ready for winter break to refuel ourselves for next semester!

– Laurel Harrington

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