University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences
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Master of Orthopaedic Assistant

Master of Orthopaedic Assistant Program

The mission of this program is to educate highly competent and compassionate Orthopaedic Assistants who excel in meeting the health care needs of Orthopaedic Physicians across the United States.


What is an Orthopaedic Assistant?

Orthopaedics is an area of health care that deals primarily with the musculoskeletal system. The care of this system is shared among a number of professions including physical therapists, athletic trainers and orthopaedic surgeons. With increasing participation in sports, and with an aging population, orthopaedic services will continue to be in demand.

The Master of Orthopaedic Assistant program is a program that was inspired by the current Orthopaedic Assistant profession that has lacked any formalized didactic education for some time. Because USA is known for having a strong orthopaedics curriculum, the MOA program was designed to meet the needs in this specialty area.

About the Master of Orthopaedic Assistant (MOA) Program

The MOA degree program is delivered predominantly at a distance.  This two-year program combines a year of classroom/online learning with a full-year of orthopaedic-specific clinical rotations. Graduates of this program will be eligible to sit for boards conducted by the National Board for Certification of Orthopaedic Assistants (NBCOA). All students will be required to be members of their professional association.

The MOA program was designed to offer those who are passionate about orthopaedics a specialized program to fit their needs. The Orthopaedic Assistant supports the Orthopaedic Surgeon in the complete assessment of signs, symptoms, analysis, treatment and care for the orthopaedic patient.  Orthopaedic Assistants are commonly employed in private practice settings, within hospital organizations and within surgical assisting groups.  Currently the graduate of the Master of Orthopaedic Assistant program does not practice with a license, nor is the profession licensed in any states.  Graduates will practice under the license and supervision of the Orthopaedic Surgeon.

We strive to offer the highest quality classroom instruction and online courses while taking pride in making the entire educational experience accessible and interactive for students. This blended learning approach allows our students to have a vast range of learning techniques at their fingertips. All online courses were developed with an in-depth understanding of the educational needs of our students, how they will best retain the information provided to them and the ease of accessibility to key university support services and staff to offer assistance along the way.  Our lab classes are taught in a hands-on setting, while some portions of the course content are presented through a variety of interactive distance activities and augmented by in-class discussions.

The University’s pioneering efforts in Physical and Occupational Therapy education brought distance education and its associated technologies to our degree and non-degree programs. By using distance education, we are able to bring education anytime, anywhere and to supplement all programs with the ability to review and study online. Our students, even when on clinical affiliation, continue to receive instruction from the University through our distance education platform.

The University of St. Augustine currently offers our MOA program at our Austin, TX campus.

Professional Licensure

-  Graduates of the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences Master of Orthopaedic Assistant Program are not eligible for licensure as an Orthopaedic Physician Assistant or as an Orthopaedic Assistant in the state of Florida (nor have they ever).

-  Students will not be eligible to participate in clinical experiences as an Orthopaedic Physician Assistant in Florida.

-  Practicing with an Orthopaedic Physician Assistant's designation in Florida is considered by the Florida Board of Medicine to be the practice of medicine without a license and citations are issued.

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