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Industry future and insights advice needed

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by tondop, Jul 17, 2020.

  1. tondop

    tondop Member

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    Hello all, I am researching the world of Podiatry as I am thinking of a change of career. I live in west midlands and would have to do a science access course to meet the entry criteria for Uni as I am 47 and finished school in another country. My question is although I am enthusiastic reality bites and at my age I am looking at 4 years out of employment. In your opinions is Podiatry a career with good job prospects at the end? Is employment in the NHS at the end a strong possibility? All the research and stats I have looked at seem to indicate this as well as the funding support(£5000+) offered by NHS but I am hoping for a breakdown of the industry situation from those of you in the know - A negative counterpoint/realistic opinion will be most useful in my evaluation of the risk, many thanks
  2. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Aging population = good future for profession, regardless of what else happens.
  3. Cool Runnings

    Cool Runnings Member

    Some things to think about that I wish someone had told me;

    The Podiatry course has a ridiculously high clinical fail rate, which is based on someone's perception of your performance when assessing, diagnosing and managing a patient in a extremely stressful clinical examination, indeed 10 mins can determine the outcome of 3yrs of hard work . Half my class failed the 3rd year clinical exam on 1st attempt and a further 7 students failed the 2nd attempt and had to leave the programme with nothing to show for it apart from student loans. On reflection from 1st to 3rd year just under half my class had to leave for failing exams mostly clinical and a good number of other students dropped out , the number that graduated was very low, this is standard in podiatry .

    The Podiatry course runs its clinical placement days mid week during the academic year , if your not in University you will be out on placement which can be very mentally draining , this set up differs from other health care courses such as Nurses and Physiotherapy that have block placements during the festive period and in the summer. Basically you wont have time to work and earn money which I know can be a problem for mature students.

    Other healthcare courses are a lot easier than podiatry, it's actually not really like a healthcare profession but instead hardcore medicine, my girlfriend was studying Occupational Therapy and her course looked like a holiday in comparison to my workload. Some people might enjoy this level of studying however they normally get 5 higher As 1st sitting and are studying medicine or dentistry .

    People will never understand what it is your doing as a student podiatrist and think your at University learning to cut toe nails , as trivial as it sounds I found it rather demoralizing.

    Employment opportunities within the NHS are not great for newly qualified podiatrists , this can be observed with a simple search on the NHS recruitment webpage . A lot of pods work in private practice however like any other private business your face needs to fit , you need to look and sound the part and ultimately make your employer money. You could also start your own clinic ,having successfully completing University you will have just got over 1 huge mountain , do you really want to start building a business, getting people in the door ,building up a good client base , paying initial set up fee which is not cheap , covering your rent until you start making money , not to mention no holiday or sick pay and competing with the NHS who offer the service for free etc

    if you do successfully complete podiatry degree and are lucky enough to get a job in the NHS , you can have a nice mon -fri , relaxed career and the health service will take good care of you , however if I could turn back the clock I would have picked a different course .

    all just my personal experience and opinions , I respect the fact others will be differ

    good luck
  4. tondop

    tondop Member

    Thank you cool runnings, that is valuable advice - it is better to go into something eyes wide open than unprepared - the comedown is worse, I am juggling three choices at the moment so thank you for the insight - will help when making final choice
  5. Cool Runnings

    Cool Runnings Member

    I'm one of the failed students, was on track for a 2:1, had passed all my University based exams with decent grades on the 1st attempt, then failed the 3rd yr clinical exam twice and out the door , along with 6 of my classmates.

    I'm not exaggerating this but out of about 45% of my class that failed the clinical exam on the 1st attempt, 4 were straight A students , one student actually win student of the yr in 1st yr and was a contender in 2nd year aswell yet failed clinical, The straight A students I mentioned did go on to pass the resit , however if they can fail the exam on the day, anyone can. |The rest of the failed students including myself had done well enough to get to the end of 3rd year, so you can make your own mind up on that one.

    After some time away from podiatry I have been offered to attend a different University and basically resit my level 3 clinical exam , however one of my friends who transferred to this particular University said 10 students are just after failing 4th yr exams and she does not know how they done on resits . you honestly couldn't make it up !!!

    don't run the risk of being in my position, I believe if I had picked any other healthcare course I would be working on the NHS with a good career just now , instead I'm still stuck in a world of shit , up to my knees in student debt with nothing in front of me but uncertainty .
  6. tondop

    tondop Member

    I hope you can push through and get through the osce, it seems like you have gone so far it would be criminal not to clinch the final prize, thank you for taking the time to give me a realworld view into the course, for my part I am thinking of radiography or operating department practice as alternatives but I cant seem to come to a final decision - ive still got a way to go researching wise but your advice has been invaluable, much better to make a decision based on a realistic assesment, take a deep breath and go for it - I really hope you get through the assesment and get the life you want and worked hard for.
  7. Cool Runnings

    Cool Runnings Member

    Thanks , the clinical exam is actually not an OSCE we do them separately.

    I've also worked on the NHS staff bank for yrs as a HCA which has took me across a lot of different care settings and theatres . Another thing worth thinking about when picking a course is money, on the NHS you get what is called unsociable hours pay, so as a HCA if I work nights or a Saturday (all day) I get time and a half and for a Sunday I make just under double time. Unsociable hrs pay is standard for any healthcare professional and can make a big difference on your overall wage. if your a podiatrist or physio and work mon - Friday, you will be on a lot less money that say a staff nurse who has rotating shift patterns and is picking up just under double time every Sunday. A lot of agencies also pay big bucks for certain health care professionals, check out the Scottish Nursing Guild or some agencies down south , ur speaking about £60 a hr , it might be worth contacting agencies to find out if they employ ODPS as I'm sure they do and u will make serious coin.

    good luck
  8. tondop

    tondop Member

    Oh thanks very much , im sitting at the computer just trying to find out as much as i can and your info is great- re the point of unsociable hours that is something that occured to me in my trawlings so great that you can confirm this - hadnt thought of the agency aspect - will check it out. Can I ask you though if you would mind clarifying, the clinical assessment and OSCE , are they assesed independently, like a "board exam" or as part of the uni degree
  9. Cool Runnings

    Cool Runnings Member

    with regard to unsociable hrs pay my physio mates often joke I'm the highest payed band 3 on the NHS, I was making more money than them as a Nursing Assistant than they were getting as fully qualified physiotherapists, just because I was working constant unsociable hrs , it does make a big difference on your wage.

    So in my Podiatry course we had a OSCE exam every yr which consisted of different stations , u would have to undertake a different scenario each station and often it was performed on a member of clinical staff . scenarios could be check the patients range of motion of the various joints within the foot lower limb , perform vascular assessments , checking pulse points etc looking for signs of arterial or venous insufficiency. in large the OSCE was alright apart from some case scenarios that they threw into the mix which was more problem solving and could be rather difficult.

    Then we had a clinical exam, so you get allocated a random patient on exam day , u would undertake all your clinical assessments on the patient then present your patent to two examiners , what they are presenting to clinic with their PMH, risk factors, how u will treat and manage the patient , the examiners would subsequently ask you extremely in-depth medical based questions on your patient for 10 mins after which u would treat the patient , who knows what they are looking for as I was 100% confident when I left that I had passed the exam 1st attempt . this is the exam that has failed lots of students

    We also had to do a VIVA exam on local anaesthetics which is highly pressurising , you are put on the spot with a 3 scenarios that require the student to work out calculations in front of two examiners, u need to get all correct to pass , subsequently they ask questions regarding LA safe use and how u would know if a patient was taking adverse reaction etc which u have some room for error . a lot of students fail this exam 1st sitting due to nerves on the day and end up making stupid mistakes with calculations , i passed no problem.
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  10. tondop

    tondop Member

    many thanks
  11. Podrom

    Podrom Welcome New Poster

  12. Cool Runnings

    Cool Runnings Member

    Glad to share my experience , wish someone had informed me what it was going to be like . My initial class graduated this yr and very few have consistency with employment , some opened small businesses going around cutting nails and reducing callus mobile, others are picking up days in private clinics. The NHS employed a couple on the staff bank and i think 3 got real jobs with nhs health boards . A couple have invested in podiatry clinics and are building business however one of them is already talking about post grads.

    aw well good luck

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