Dale Ross (Graduate from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, 2015)
When I left school, I worked in the local pharmacy while I contemplated a few different options. I knew I wanted a “hands-on” job in healthcare, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what I wanted to do. A “lucky” foot injury introduced me to the world of Podiatry, as I received podiatric care and physiotherapy for my injury. Podiatry was something I had not considered, however I was amazed by how varied the job was and as a result I enrolled on the course after a gap year.
I was instantly struck with the course at Queen Margaret University but particularly enjoyed how hands-on the course was. I was constantly encouraged and reassured in my clinical practice by the lecturers and seminar based learning which coincided topically with the clinical learning. For example, when I learned about vascular assessment, I was guided in carrying out a practical vascular assessment on real patients soon after. I was consistently encouraged and supported by lecturing staff. The course at QMU puts a great deal of emphasis on evidence-based learning and self directed study and this is something you really reap the benefits from when you come to practice. In practice you don’t always have someone on hand to ask, and nobody knows everything, but with a deep understanding of evidence based learning and self directed study, you’re able to work something out for yourself and be confident in your clinical decision.
I graduated with a first-class honours degree and I am now self-employed, working as an associate podiatrist between two private practices. I regularly work in areas such as; general podiatry practice, nail surgery, biomechanics, diabetes.
Beyond the work in the private practices I also visit nursing homes which in itself encompasses gerontology, medicine and working with mental health and dementia.
Within my role as a podiatrist I regularly administer local anaesthetic, and make use of my prescription only medicines (“POMs”) license, where I can supply antibiotics, pain killers, and topical creams to name a few.
In addition, and aside from my “real” job, I work voluntarily with a group of podiatrists who volunteer to deal with foot issues at charity events such as ultra-walks and marathons (often in fields in the middle of the night). I also trained as a first aider with an events charity who seeks out health professionals to work at events such as The Royal Highland Show. A career in Podiatry is not a simple, clinic-based 9am-5pm job (unless you want it to be) but it is well worth it. No two days are ever the same. I really love my job!
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Until next time
The Podiatry Careers Team