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from teeth to feet

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by maxants33, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. maxants33

    maxants33 Active Member

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    Hello Podiatry community
    I am a trainee Dental Nurse in the UK and I am hoping to enter Podiatry school at some point. I have a good understanding of what I'm in for if I get accepted - I have done allot of research - but I have yet to find a Podiatrist to shadow and there is much still to find out.
    I have lots to ask about Pros and cons (may be similar to dentistry ?), ways of improving my chances of gaining entry to school ( I have read competition has increased much in recent years), difficulties podiatrists face - health - legal - financial ect, and other things.

    I am really keen, I have known I want to work in primary health care for some time - and so far Podiatry and dentistry are the two most interesting fields.
    * Soon I will be pestering you for information - but its late and probably time for bed.

  2. JulieR

    JulieR Welcome New Poster


    I was a dental nurse for 13 years and have just finished my podiatry degree in Edinburgh. It is well worth doing. I found that there were a lot of similarities in the two fields.

    I wish you luck in getting on a course. I found that due to working in healthcare already the universities were quite happy to accept me on the course.

    Were about to you live? I found that sending letters to NHS clinics was a good way to get a chance to shadow a pod. Even if you contact the uni you are interested in they may be able to get you a day of work experience even if it is shadowing students.

    If you need any help or advise please feel free to send me a message, i would be happy to help.
  3. turkeyfeet

    turkeyfeet Welcome New Poster

    I was also a dental nurse before moving to feet, apparently it's quite a common move!

    I completed an access course, as I was a mature student, before doing the degree and found the placements organised through this were very useful. I would advise you to contact some private practitioners to see if they will allow you to shadow them though, as I think the reality of practice can be very different from the picture painted by universities.

    I find the one thing I miss about dental nursing is the teamwork, podiatry can be a lonely if you are not careful. I have worked in places where, other than patients of course, it can be a solitary occupation. Not all private practices have other practitioners or receptionists and within the NHS you can be moving between so many clinics that you barely have time to say hello to anyone as you pass through!

    In saying that though, I absolutely love the job! There are so many different routes to take depending on where you want to go. I have never regretted leaving dentistry to do podiatry and I wish you luck :)
  4. maxants33

    maxants33 Active Member

    Hello and thanks for replying
    Its very interesting to hear that you both worked in dentistry as nurses. I am keen to know if you also had the Podiatry V dental hygienist debate ?
    I have dual nationality for both Australia and the UK - and as such I have sent a few applications to Hygienist school in Auz. If my applications are successful I will have to decide whether I want to accept in February.

    I have been researching both professions for some time now, however, dentistry has had the more focus, mainly due to the accessibility and my better understanding of it.

    What made you chose podiatry as oppose to furthering your career in dentistry ? and if you did have the Pod V D.hygiene debate - could you explain your reasoning ?
  5. turkeyfeet

    turkeyfeet Welcome New Poster

    Hi :)

    I had the hygiene vs. podiatry debate too. The deciding factor for me was the possibility of working independantly and running my own business that swayed me towards podiatry.

    I am not sure if things are still the same now but when I was a dental nurse, hygienists had to work within a dental practice and had to have a dentist on the premesis to use LA etc. The increased flexibility of not having to be linked to a dentist or doctor was very appealing to me.

    Another factor that helped make my decision was the fact that generally patients are much happier to see the podiatrist than the hygienist! I found it quite draining at times to hear almost every patient saying the same things about not liking dentists and hygienists, whereas 99% of patients enjoy having their feet done and treat it as an enjoyable outing. It helps morale!!

    There are a lot of positives to hygiene though. As I said before the teamwork and the social side of dentistry is a big plus compared to podiatry, along with a shorter 2 year course to help keep the student loan down!

    I think both are very enjoyable careers with a lot of positives. Most podiatrists and hygienists I know enjoy their jobs, but I think shadowing as people in as many different settings is the best way to help you make the right decision for you.

    Whichever way you decide to go good luck!
  6. maxants33

    maxants33 Active Member

    Thanks for your post, its very enlightening to hear your perspective on the Pod V Hygienist debate. Yes, unfortunately Hygienist still seem to be tied to the dentist who employs them, and while the Hygienists I have met have been very happy in there jobs, some have described the problems when you are employed by a difficult dentist and able to exercise very little autonomy. As far as I know, hygienists and therapists can use LA without a dentist on the premises - but only through a Patient Group Direction.

    I am still trying to find a Podiatrist to shadow, I have been emailing clinics all over Scotland, but so far none of my replies have been positive. I am wondering if I should try to gain access to a clinic as a patient ? - I have a strange situation in my ankles where my feet bend in-the-ways when I stand still (so my soles face each other) - if I cant get any where this week then I will try to check in as a pt.

    I am also wondering if any one can recommend any pod resources ? I have been trying to find a podiatrists assistant text book or similar introductory level manual type thing. I would like to get a better idea of how pods work and procedures that they undertake day to day.
  7. stephaniepod

    stephaniepod Member

    Hi, I was also a dental nurse who is now a podiatrist!
    I really wanted to be a dentist but unfortunatley did not get the A levels.
    I was thinking of becoming a dental therapist but heard that it was hard finding employment.
    I chose podiatry because I wanted a career with good career progression where I could work privately or NHS.
    The hardest thing I have found about podiatry is the lack of respect and regognition of what we do by members of the public and other health care professionals. Many think that we only cut toenails and have no medical knowledge. Hopefully this will change with more education.

    Good luck!
  8. Adam26

    Adam26 Member

    Hi, I recently started my podiatry degree in september, and i love it!! The range of learning requirements is vast and very demanding but makes it all the more interesting. I left school with no qulifacations whatsoever and joined the armed forces...... upon leaving i went from job to job until starting my own business in construction. Although earning good money i wasn't happy and after much thought decided to undertake an access course to gain relevent qualifications. Obviously their are entry requirements but shadowing a qualified podiatrist is far from essential as i was accepted on the degree course with no clinical experience at all, but a huge interest in podiatry and the willingness to learn. I wouldn't worry about not being able to shadow a podiatrist, your determination will become apparent within the interview process. Although extremely helpfull, shadowing a qualified podiatrist is far from essential and i wouldn't worry about it. I wish you the best of luck in the future.

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