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Legal requirements regarding vision to work as a Podiatrist

Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by vibes_10, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. vibes_10

    vibes_10 Welcome New Poster

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    Hi all,
    Does anyone know of any legal/registration requirement regarding impaired vision that a podiatrist must have in order to be able to work? eg. if my vision was poor....how poor would it have to be to legally exclude me from working as a podiatrist?
  2. cornmerchant

    cornmerchant Well-Known Member

    Re: Legal requirements regarding vision

    Lets put it this way vibes_10
    I dont know any blind podiatrists!

    Would common sense come into this equation do you think?

  3. DTT

    DTT Well-Known Member

    Re: Legal requirements regarding vision


    If someone tells you your shaking hands with the patient instead of treating their foot ....... should give you a clue ?????? :eek:

    I sincerely hope so ;)

  4. footinmouth

    footinmouth Member

    Re: Legal requirements regarding vision

    I can't imagine how appropriately effective vision could be legislated for, but I can only too easily imagine how things might be in court, if it was found that a pod (who was facing litigation for some possible treatment 'error') already knew themselves to have impaired vision and had carrying on practising without having the impairment corrected.
    I think you would know if your vision was too poor, or even if it was borderline.
  5. admin

    admin Administrator Staff Member

    In what country?
  6. DTT

    DTT Well-Known Member

    Any bloody country !!!

    How on earth can you effectively /safely treat a patient if you have impaired vision wherever you live??

    It is a self limiting condition ?

    In the land of the blind , the one eyed man is king :rolleyes:

    Christ ask a silly question !!

    Sorry the common sense in me has taken over again:mad:
  7. vibes_10

    vibes_10 Welcome New Poster

    Re: Legal requirements regarding vision

    Yes, obvioulsy common sense would dictate however, i was wondering if there was actually legislation in Australia that stipulates the legal requirements to the ability of a Podiatrist to practice if his/her vision was deteriorating? For example, if a person has vision which is worse than 6/12, they a not legally allowed to drive. There are many ocular conditions that progressively gets worse and reduces vision with time eg. glaucoma.
  8. admin

    admin Administrator Staff Member

    The legal requirements and the legal consequences will be different in different countries.

    We have had a lot of 'generic' questions lately in which the answer will vary depending on which country they are talking about. eg:
    Computerized programs specific for Podiatry Clinics
  9. DTT

    DTT Well-Known Member

    If you would like to list the countries that support visually impaired pods please ???

    If you cant see you cant do..... end of :bang:

    It is as I said a self limiting condition which I would assume ( blood loss taken into account ) would be evident to all should any practitioner try to continue after a certain point in their visual deterioration, walking into walls and surgery equipment could be another indication :rolleyes:

    Gimme a break please !!


    Ps , I'm gonna get visually impaired myself now coz I'm going to bed closing my eyes and hopefully going to sleep if I can stop laughing at this thread :D

    PPS I promise not to try and treat anyone whilst I'm asleep :D:D
  10. Lab Guy

    Lab Guy Well-Known Member

    I believe its okay to be a Podiatrist with impaired vision...as long as you limit your treatment to angels and spirit guides but you may have a problem collecting payment.
  11. markjohconley

    markjohconley Well-Known Member

    GOOD QUESTION! that's "legal/registration requirement regarding impaired vision " relates to many aging clinicians and Vibes typed IMPAIRED not ******* blind!
    simple question, that I would like to know the answer to also
  12. Pretty straight forward to me on a personal level...

    If I'm not up to the task and visual aids (glasses and other specialist magnifying equipment) are not used for each and every patient... enabling all patients to receive the expected high level of quality care...


    I simply will have to retire...

    no buts or ifs...

    That is afterall why we take care of disabled and elderly... because they may not be able to care for themselves...

    Worse than that: How do you explain to a judge that you thought a half-arsed job was ok? Every patient deserves an accurate visual inspection.

    Good question though but I think its one of those issue that doesn't have explicit description in legislation. Its just tied up with competencies and is the proviso that governs whether you've actually done the examination. You can't have done it if you didn't inspect it.
  13. SarahR

    SarahR Active Member

    Typically being self regulated professions, we are supposed to be able to self reflect upon our ability to perform our tasks to the best of our ability. Some of the previous posters have alluded to this.

    If you can't see, don't do it. There is probably not going to be specific legislation regarding what visual acuity you require, but your college will have provisions that cover this. Some Ontario examples:

    "Not provide services when impaired by alcohol, drugs or any other substances or any illness that could put patients at risk." italics added

    "The member shall not engage in the practice of chiropody/podiatry while his or her ability to do so is impaired. "

    If you are found to be negligent in your care due to visual impairment and accidents as a consequence and one can investigate further and establish a pattern, it would not matter what degree of impairment you suffer. You are negligent and should have backed away from practice on your own. I have colleagues who have resigned their licencing due to medical deterioration, though not related to vision problems. They couldn't do a good job or could no longer handle the rigor of a client load, so they moved on in their career.

    Leaving when you should helps protect the integrity of our profession as a whole.

  14. DTT

    DTT Well-Known Member

    No one is saying ******** Blind !!

    Simple as that
  15. markjohconley

    markjohconley Well-Known Member

    Anyone without 20/20 has a degree of impaired vision. Vibes, and myself, wanted to know the 'line in the sand'.
  16. nigelroberts

    nigelroberts Active Member

    Just to add a note of surrealism to the discussion. When Michael Palin (he of Monty Python fame) did his first trip round the world for the BBC, he had a shave in India from a blind man using a cut-throat razor.
  17. cornmerchant

    cornmerchant Well-Known Member

    Yeah well, I bet the blind man didnt have to register with and be regulated by the HPC!

  18. Marion A Murray

    Marion A Murray Active Member

    Certainly I have heard of blind physiotherapists who are able to work with Assistive Technologies to voice record records, etc. I heard one speak at a conference in Guys Hospital some years ago when the UK Disability Discrimination Act was being launched.

    I think the area of visual impairment is one that could do with some clarification as it does cover a wide range of problems. Progressive degenerative eye disease obviously needs criteria that defines when clinical practice is no longer advised on Health and Safety grounds. Other eye disorders can be treated more successfully and vision restored to more satisfactory levels.

    An Occupational Health Eye Specialist may be able to offer some more definite help and guidance. Access to Work officers can help make reasonable adjustments and offer training in allowing someone with a visual disability to continue working where possible (through the Department of Work and Pensions). Their local knowledge may be limited, so I would seek out an Occie Health Eye Specialist.

    The DVLA sets out the standards expected of drivers on its website.

    Personally, I don't think the Society of Podiatrists offers much in the way of support for those who develop conditions that can impact on practice and as a profession we can haemorrhage talent rather than finding new ways for knowledge and experience to be utilised in satisfying ways. Perhaps it is something that will be raised with Professional Officers. Equally it may mean a change of role and support can be sought in this situation.

    Hope this is of some help. Well done, you, for asking tough questions
  19. DTT

    DTT Well-Known Member

    Agreed and those that don't wear glasses or other magnifying appliance

    = Self regulating = line in the sand.

    Why on earth the suggestion of regulation / legal restriction is required is frankly mind boggling.

    The practitioner must decide for themselves IMHO
  20. RStone

    RStone Active Member

    On the surface I would agree that common sense rules however vision impairment like neuropathy can have a very gradual onset. How many times do we explain to patients that we test them annually to pick up the gradual changes they won't notice ie the purpose of the monofilament test.

    How many patients have commented AFTER eye surgery or new glasses that they didn't realise JUST HOW bad,blurry or dull things had been?

    Does every podiatrist get their eyesight checked annually to ensure their vision hasn't deteriorated?

    Also depends on main type of podiatry - probably don't need as good vision for biomechanical exam or paeds as opposed to IGTN or surgery (although some practitioners probably believe that is more "feel" than sight anyway once blood is involved)

    I certainly don't want to see everything legislated though. I believe most of us are professional enough to assess properly but I know a lot of patients who didn't realise their eyesight was THAT bad until they were missing the skin off the end of toe. Not many people find it easy to realise they are "deteriorating" and "not as capable" as they used to be!

    IMO Good question - difficult to answer (still enjoy the humour though :) )


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