I have been qualified as a podiatry assistant for six years and work within Randell’s Footcare. There are three podiatry assistants in the practice. The practice has nine clinics in Norfolk and I am based at two of these clinics. I also do domiciliary visits for patients who have become unable to attend my clinics. All of my patients are referred to me by a podiatrist after having been assessed. As a podiatry assistant I can provide nail care, removal of light callus and foot health promotion to clients who are unable to manage the care of their own feet for a variety of reasons. My clients are often older people who have vision or mobility problems. They may have associated physical health problems for example diabetes, vascular disease and arthritis.
I work independently in my clinics as the podiatrists run their own clinics at other locations. I do have access to the podiatrist via the computer or telephone if I need advice. If during my consultation the patient expresses a problem or I identify a specific need, I have to make the decision how to treat that problem within my role. This enables the patient to leave the surgery comfortable with an appointment to be assessed and treated by the podiatrist, at a time and clinic which is convenient for them and within the time span that I have assessed the problem requires. Also as a podiatry assistant I am able to refer the patient for orthotic assessment, to the podiatrist for any type of hard/soft corns, a verruca and if the patient had a recurrent ingrown toe nail which may require surgery by the podiatrist. I do carry out diabetic foot screening using the monofilament, observation and history taking but all of my patients have an annual review by the podiatrist anyway. This ensures that they have diabetic, vascular and neurological assessment. After this review a treatment plan is discussed and implemented by myself under the advice of the podiatrist. All of my consultations are documented on the computer. This enables the podiatrist to observe what treatment I have carried out for the patient.
My clinics are always busy with a wide range of decisions to be made depending on the individual patient’s needs. I find this aspect of my role rewarding as this means I am constantly learning new skills and building good working relationships with my clients and the podiatrists. In the past six years my confidence has grown as my skills have developed which has enhanced my job satisfaction.