Become a Chiropodist
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How to Become a Chiropodist
The term chiropodist is the older job title given to the medical field of Podiatry. That’s the field you will need to study to become a registered practitioner of chiropody.
It’s a varied role, where it’s unheard of to have two days the same.
For the most part, people generally think of the chiropodist as being someone who specialises in foot care. That’s the core of the job, but the knowledge and training to put into practice what a chiropodist really does is far from general foot care.
General foot care is only the starting point in the job. Working mainly in local communities, however, continual career development is mandatory, and once you start working, there will be a certain group of people you especially enjoy working with, or perhaps a part of the job that you prefer over others.
You only learn this about yourself, when you start working, and you can use that to pave the way of your future career. Not many career paths have the option to adapt your training after you qualify, without a total reversal for a career change. Usually it’s the other way around, where you train to become what you want to do in your career.
Podiatry is part of the field of medicine, requiring professional training to the highest standards, but unlike the patient advising aspect in more senior roles, this job is more hands on.
You’re directly working with patients, establishing where they’re experiencing pain points, and providing solutions.
An interest in science and human anatomy is essential in this line of work. All your work will be centred around your proficient expert knowledge on the feet and ankles.
Some of the patients and services you’ll be caring for will include working with:
- Diabetic patients
- Foot and ankle wound care
- Paediatric biomechanics
- Sports injuries
- Orthotic work
- Nail surgery
To qualify, you’ll initially start with all the pertinent skills you need, but as you progress in your career, you’ll be required to continue your training, and that’s where you can choose to specialise in any of the above sectors within the spectrum of chiropody
Training requires you study towards a BSc Honours Degree in Podiatric Medicine, and takes between three and four years to complete.
The problem candidates have is that within the UK, there are only 13 programmes recognised by the Health and Care Professions Council. (HCPC)
Upon completion of your training, Chiropodists are required to become a member of the HCPC, before they can practice.
As of part of HCPC requirements, ongoing training throughout your career is essential for re-registration, which occurs annually, therefore each year, you will need to be furthering your studies.
Submissions for your Podiatric Degree will be done through the University and Colleges Admissions Service, referred to as UCAS.
Some things to bear in mind for UCAS submissions:
1) Make sure your application is submitted earlier than the deadline date
2) Ensure you’re making an informed choice before applying. Research as much as you can, and when possible speak to other chiropodists about what they really do in a days work.
3) Where possible, include shadowing experience
4) Give clear reasons why you want to become a chiropodist
That last part is vital to your application and it can be tied into your personal statement too. You may be involved in a sports activity, when you’ve witnessed a team member being benched due to a foot injury. It could be that it’s dancing you done in your early ages, witnessing your tutor retiring early due to ankle problems.
The more information you have and can related to the field, the higher a chance you have of being accepted onto a training programme.
Funding for training is usually provided through the NHS Business Services Authority, as the majority of jobs upon completion will be within the NHS, starting on a Band 5 salary of between £21’388 – £27’901. (Subject to change)
When you first qualify and register with the HCPC, you’ll initially start working with the NHS.
There’s variety of places you could find yourself working, some of which include working within a GP surgery, a hospital, or within a local health clinic. There may also be travel required to attend patients who are residential nursing homes.
The NHS has chiropody caps on long-term treatment currently received by patients, which is increasing the amount of private practices.
As the private sector is increasing, there’s going to be more demand in the future for chiropodists, or you might even set up your own clinic.
There is the option to work within the private sector part-time while practicing privately part-time, which can help the funding of starting up your own practice.
Additional work opportunities can be found within gyms and other fitness faculties. Besides the UK, the BSc honours degree is accepted worldwide, so you could work overseas if you decide that would be something you’re interested.
A chiropodist can also be referred to as a podiatrist. Both roles are the same