As a Registered practitioner many podiatrists work in the National Health Service, in private practice or both.
Working as a private practitioner the locations you work in will depend on the scope of your practice.
The locations could include:
• Patients' homes treating a wide variety of problems;
• A private clinic either in your home or often in premises on the high street;
• A GPs clinic working on a sessional basis;
• Sports clubs or fitness centres treating sports injuries;
• Residential / Nursing homes offering routine care to a large number of patients;
• Companies in industry and retail employ podiatrists as part of the occupational health team;
• Prisons employ podiatrists on a sessional basis.
There are many other varied and unusual locations that you could find yourself in. The chance is your work will be so varied that you will end up working in a number of these environments.
The NHS offers a wide range of working environments for podiatrists in either a community or hospital setting.
During the course of a working week you would find yourself working in a number of these varied locations and you could be working alongside lots of other healthcare professionals including:
In the community you could find yourself working in:
• Community health clinics large and small;
• GP surgeries running general or specialist clinics;
• Patient's homes doing visits for those who are housebound;
• Orthotics laboratories producing orthoses for patients;
• Residential and nursing homes whose residents often require podiatric support;
• Clinic based surgeries, conducting nail surgery;
• Mobile surgeries which are used in some rural areas.
If you were a hospital based podiatrist you may well find yourself working in many different locations which include:
• Wards, treating a wide variety of in-patients;
• Out-patients clinic, treating general podiatric problems;
• Specialist out patients clinic focussing on the care of diabetes or rheumatology, for example;
• Biomechanics clinic conducting patient assessments;
• Day case theatre conducting nail surgery.
There are, though, many other places podiatrists can work.
The leisure Industry is a growth industry which is creating exciting employment opportunities for podiatrists to work in the following areas:
• Sports Clubs
• Fitness Centres
• Large Hotels
Occupational Health (OH) is concerned with a two-way relationship of work and health. The emphasis of occupational health podiatry is on prevention. In addition the treatment of acute or chronic problems affecting an employee's foot health is essential to their mobility and ability to work safely. There needs to be a good working relationship between the company management and the podiatrist. For example, a company's business dress policy may require less suitable footwear than is recommended by the podiatrist, so a compromise agreement needs to be reached.
Working in higher education as a lecturer provides the opportunity for podiatrists to extend their clinical skill and academic achievement, within a challenging leading edge environment.
You could be working alongside fellow professionals, including other healthcare academics, researchers, undergraduate and postgraduate students.
The working environment of a researcher can be very varied depending on the focus of the research work. Some will be clinical and some will be laboratory based. Researchers could therefore find themselves working in universities, hospitals, community healthcare, commerce or more often a combination of these.
A podiatrist specialising in forensic techniques may be required to work in a number of areas. These would include forensic and health laboratories where evidence examination would take place also police stations, prisons or solicitors' premises, where evidence or suspect examination would be undertaken.
Forensic podiatry is a relatively new development and a podiatrist working in this area will inevitably be carrying out research on this subject. This will require you to attend conferences giving presentations on research findings.
As a podiatrist working in forensics you may find yourself working with scientists, police agencies, solicitors and other forensic experts.
Below we publish a case study which we hope you can find an interesting story to read: