Podiatry case study
What does a Podiatrist do?
Podiatrists are healthcare professionals who have been trained to prevent, diagnose and treat the feet and lower limbs. Podiatrists assess and treat people with skin and nail conditions, foot and leg pain, sports injuries, and medical condition such as diabetes and arthritis which can lead to foot problems. Podiatrists work both in hospitals, clinic settings and out in the community. There are opportunities to specialise in diabetes, wound care or biomechanics. Podiatrists work with a team of other health professionals including GPs, hospital doctors, nurses, and physiotherapists. You can work in the NHS, private healthcare, with sports clubs or run your own business.
Hear from Usha, a podiatrist at East Coast Community Healthcare
Brief description of my role: I have a clinic based role seeing diabetes related wounds and pre/post amputation wounds, also some high risk patients as a preventative measure. Part of my remit is to provide education on the diabetic foot to medical students, nurses and support workers. I also get things ready for incoming podiatry students for their placements. I take part in a variety of non-clinical meetings like equality diversity and inclusion, recruitment and retention of staff in the organisation and shareholder council, which all helps develop our network internally and externally.
We have a diabetic foot multidisciplinary team where we see patients with the endocrinology, vascular and orthopaedic consultants to take forward a plan for complex wound patients.
Where/how long I trained: 4 year full time honours degree at London Foot Hospital and University College London
Happy healthy people providing excellent compassionate care
Career progression so far: I knew early on in my career that I wanted to specialise in the care of diabetic foot ulcers. With a lot of work on developing my clinical skills and with an excellent team of podiatrists to work with, this became a reality and my aspirations are to be a leader in my field. I believe there is a lot more to learn and share to ultimately reduce the loss of life and limb due to diabetes complications.
What I enjoy about my job: I am privileged to be part of an amazing team of podiatrists that have skill sets to complement each other. We are a small team but cover a relatively large population and geographical area. I love that we have the multidisciplinary team up and running as it took a lot of work to kick it off, and I am certain some of the patients seen there as well as in community would have had a poor outcome without the right team of professionals being involved at the right time. Apart from the professional relationships that we develop, we naturally have forged a bond within the team that makes it a pleasure to be at work.