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Nurse to podiatrist

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Charley82, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. Charley82

    Charley82 Welcome New Poster

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    Hello all

    Wondering if you can help, I am currently an NHS nurse but am considering retraining as a podiatrist. I am feeling a bit burned out, I work 12.5 hour shifts and we rarely get breaks, I am also sick of being viewed by the public as a doctor's handmaiden whose only function is to plump up pillows and give out tablets!

    I want to remain working in healthcare and become more of an autonomous practitioner, as podiatrists seem to be. However, are working conditions for podiatrists in the NHS just as dire as they are for nurses, being extremely short staffed and overworked? Is private practice a better option?

    I see that universities want to see experience gained in podiatry settings prior to application for the course, are private podiatrists amenable to being approached for a day or two of work shadowing or is it best to go to NHS podiatrists?

    Thanks so much for any advice!
  2. Lovefeet

    Lovefeet Banned

    Charley, there are hardly any NHS Podiatry jobs in the UK. Its been like that for years......

    You better off doing a Foot Health Practitioner (FHP) course (its a long distance course) and you your own boss. You allowed to do most things Podiatrists are allowed to do, except you not allowed to do Toenail Surgery and Podiatry POMS. The long distance FHP course only takes a few months and then you only require 1 - 2 weeks clinical training in a private podiatry clinic. After that....the UK is your oyster. Go forth and enjoy been your own boss, working with feet, no statutory regulation...absolutely no headache....

    As you are a staff nurse you are probably NMC registered. Well there is only 1 trade union in the UK that deals with Podiatrists and Chiropodists only, and that is The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, and believe me, if you a Podiatrist in private practice, they as useful as a hole in your head. They have done nothing to protect the profession and as such we have Foot Health Practitioners been allowed to work in nursing homes, with vulnerable people in their homes (all approved by The Dept of Health and Social Work Dept).

    I guess if the NMC was not on the ball you would have carers (statutory unregulated) doing staff nurse jobs such as working directly with the ICU Pts and in operating theatre, but not been held accountable for any work they undertook (because they were not statutory regulated), and no-one to report to. Sounds scary doesn't it???? Well like I say, The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists are not worth the time or the money and you better off doing a FHP course......

    Maybe one day when the Podiatry profession can be function protected, then go to uni and study to be a Podiatrist, but in the meantime....don't waste your time or money....Trust me I know been there - done that - got the T-shirt and the student debt...and now have to go back to uni to retrain for another profession.....

    Good luck!!!!
  3. William Fowler

    William Fowler Active Member

    I see at least a dozen: http://www.jobs.nhs.uk
  4. Lovefeet

    Lovefeet Banned

    William some of those Podiatry posts are not Band 5 or 6 - they for more senior Podiatrists. Those podiatry jobs that are for Band 5 or 6 are part-time or for 6 months.....Not good enough to warrant going to uni for 3 years!!!!!!
  5. Pod Shin

    Pod Shin Member

    Hi Charley!!

    I have friends and colleagues who have nursing background and re trained to a podiatry course.

    When I went for my interview in Brighton university, the interviewers suggested to shadow a podiatrist to get a flavour of working life. At the time, NHS Westminster PCT were unhelpful in allowing me to shadow a podiatrist.

    Working as a podiatrist in the NHS has been amazing. I started off in private sector but I always wanted to work for the NHS and work for Cambridgeshire trust. I see a variety of caseload and everyday is a different day.

    We have Northampton podiatry students which we work closely with the university as part of their clinical placements.

    If your not too far away from Hampshire, I think you should take up Blinda offer.

    Hope that helps,

  6. DamionH

    DamionH Member

    Dear lovefeet

    I feel compelled to respond to your recent statements. I am currently working on building up a part time private practice and aim to make this full time in the not too distant future. I don't feel that podiatry owes me a living and nor do I feel that I owe podiatry much either. However, I do feel that I owe a great deal to people like Dr. Kevin Kirby and Mr. Craig Payne and Mr. Mark Russell et al. I owe these people because they tirelessly promote podiatry around the world and do their utmost to drive the profession forward, thus giving myself and others like me opportunities to progress.

    Your comments on this forum remind me of a spoilt child who has failed to get her own way. You didn't get what you wanted and requested. Tough, that's life. Consider yourself lucky that you have the wealthy parents to afford you that second chance, some of us don't, so have to make the best with what we have. If you don't want to be part of that anymore, fine by me. Remember though, you have NO RIGHT WHATSOEVER to sabotage everyone else's efforts to make a go of this career we have chosen.



    PS. Bel, I read your comments regularly on pod arena and include you in those who work towards the promotion of this great profession of ours. If I may, I would be greatful if you and any other arena regulars would be willing to to advise and mentor me so I too can build a practice and make a difference.

    PPS. Charley82. The NHS is a great place to hone your skills. Be brave, make the break and go for it. To Paraphrase professor Dumbledore, there will always be help on podiatry arena for those who ask!
  7. Lovefeet

    Lovefeet Banned

  8. Julian Head

    Julian Head Active Member

    Welcome to visit us www.headandshort.co.uk for experience any time

    By the way several posters are wrong we take new graduates on at £30k plus pa and within two years expect to earn over £40k..... Seniors earn over £60k pa and no 12 hour shifts.....

    Life is what YOU make it......don't be swayed by people with low aspirations and low self esteem....

    Best wishes

    Julian Head
  9. Griff

    Griff Moderator

    Expand your scope of practice outside just cutting toenails perhaps....?
  10. Charley82

    Charley82 Welcome New Poster

    Thank you SO much everyone for taking the time to respond, it's much appreciated and raised some interesting issues. With regards to universities, are some courses better regarded and am I likely to receive a better quality of training at certain institutions rather than others? It's difficult to gauge this from the uni websites!
  11. Kaleidoscope

    Kaleidoscope Active Member


    I have stayed out of commenting on your negative and derisory comments tagged onto virtually every topic in the last month or so until now - hoping (like many others Im sure!) that you would eventually run out of steam and quit moaning.

    I believe the current economic climate is challenging many on here - whether newly-qualified, in NHS, or working within solid and grounded private practices, yet despite this fact many have offered to lend you a hand by engaging in discussion, giving salient advice and even offering you to shadow them.... but what do you do? You continue to gripe and indeed then turn on those that have been kind enough to engage with you.

    Forget, just for a moment, whether you have been hard done by re. the SCP/HCPC etc etc. and stop hijacking this (and all the other topics) and behalf like an adult! The OP was asking for advice and help and instead she reads your relentless rants, off-topic, and without adding anything new, just more moaning and now even spite - towards one of our experts on here!

    Blinda had been perfectly civil to you originally but has now had to stop reading your posts - so you decide to call her names!!!!!! You know nothing about her yet you harp on about her business! It is childish and does not behove you!

    If you had taken any of these people up on their offers, especially hers, or Mr. Russell's, Mr Isaacs or indeed the very knowledgeable Mr. Head, perhaps your business would be in a much better state! What surprises me is that for someone who appears to dislike Podiatry SO much, you continue to keep posting on here?

    To the OP (Charley82):

    You really should take Blinda up on her kind offer, as I travelled from Kent to spend a very worthwhile day with her as she kindly took time out of her very busy day to accommodate me. Her advice was both salient, sassy and sensational!

    I hope these negative comments have not put you off a very worthwhile and rewarding career which rewards those that put in the effort and take the trouble to learn from their peers.

    Linda Russell
  12. DAVOhorn

    DAVOhorn Well-Known Member

    When i worked for the NHS we regularly had potential students spend a week shadowing us.


    Well it was good to have young enthusiastic people visit the clinic.

    They would ask interestsing questions, sometimes they could be challenging.

    One of my favourite was WHY are you doing that. Made me think well why am i doing that. The pt would then join in asking also why. reflective Practice we call it now.

    Most of the youngsters, who were looking at Physio or Podiatry, really enjoyed their time with my dept.

    They would see general clinics, At risk clinics, nailsurgery and Bio Mech clinics.

    Some would decide Podiatry was not for them others would go off to do the degree.

    When working in Sydney Australia the clinic i worked in regularly had Uni Students on placements. The boss would assess as to whether they would be an asset to her practice on graduation.

    In fact one person who poasts on here did her palecemnt with me and is now in practice in Sydney now.

    I really enjoyed having the school kids and the Uni students.:drinks

    regards David
  13. gibson

    gibson Welcome New Poster

    Hello, I have never posted a message before, but I felt compelled to reply to your query. I too am an RGN of some mature years (29 & 100 months!). I have had a varied career in both hospitals & community. Some 8 years ago I stepped into the world of footcare by completing the FHP course. I loved the work so much but knew as a nurse there was an awful lot more to learn and being used to working within standards & accountability I decided to study for the full Podiatry degree to ensure that I practiced within agreed pod standards. I have been qualified now for over 2 years and just love it! My advice is keep both qualifications. Expensive yes because of Professional fees, insurances etc but that is because I choose to work in the private sector. Both professions complement each other & you will find your background knowledge as a nurse invaluable. Podiatry is not so hard on the back but do not be under the illusion its an easier life - just a different busy! If you choose to stay in the NHS - I am sure that you could work in both professions. Go for it and Good Luck!
  14. Tree Harris

    Tree Harris Active Member

    Hi Charley82,

    I am responding to the changeover from Nurse to Pod, and I would recommend it greatly. I made the transition many years ago, and whilst I miss the collegiality of the nursing environment, I love being in charge of my own work life. Having been in private practice in NZ and Australia, and developing my own interest in wound care and high risk foot types, I believe that I offer great value to the profession. It is what you make it.

    Scope out all your options. Do not be put off by the playground back chat. Every profession has it- you being a nurse should be able to appreciate that.
    Good luck in your endeavours.
  15. bartypb

    bartypb Active Member

    Hi just thought I'd add my two cents worth. I have been working in the NHS for 13yrs after graduating from Brighton. I was training to be an architect before but decided that I wanted to work in the health industry. I have nothing but good things to say about my time working as a podiatrist I have been lucky enough to work in all aspects of the profession and now generally work in MSK. Its true that the NHS isn't what it was but there are still jobs available, I also benefit from flexible working which has allowed me to mix work in the NHS, work in private practice and time to be with my 3yr old daughter. I found the degree very interesting and beleive me I am not a studious person at all, so if nothing else you will have a degree which no one will be able to take away from you. If you decide to do a FHP course then that is your choice, but I personally feel that you will be missing out on vital exposure to EVERYTHING dysfunctional that can occur in the foot and lower limb - which you can't possibly learn or see when doing an FHP course. With your nursing background you may even thrive in the tissue viability area of podiatry for example.

    Have a good look around and see if you can do some shadowing both in the private sector and the NHS - good luck!

  16. madmacaw

    madmacaw Member

    I got credit crunched 3.5 years ago and went to uni to retrain as a pod. It's the best thing that I have done. I have met some great people (3 of whom were on my course retraining from nursing!) and I am just starting my own pp.

    Go for it! It is a great career, you meet some lovely people, both colleagues and patients, and you can be your own boss!

    Good luck,
  17. sylvia.greenhalgh

    sylvia.greenhalgh Welcome New Poster

    When I did my training at Salford two NHS nurses were also on the course . both did well I lost touch with one but the other went on to do his PH. The reason they switch were not dissimilar to you. Both had a young family and was finding the long hours
    and the nights hard on family life
    Podiatry within the NHS will vary depending where you live but the hours are reasonable no nights and no weekends. In the private sector you work the hours you need to. When I was full time I did an early morning and two or three late evenings no weekend work. Go for it it is a very rewarding profession and as a member of the chiropody/podiatry society your qualifications will be recognised in many countries should you think of emigrating
  18. louisa50

    louisa50 Active Member

    I was a senior nurse for 25 years and finally got sick of the long hours and endless paperwork so retrained as a podiatrist in my 40's and I have to say I love it! I'm 51 now.
    I work in the NHS because I found private practise a bit dull round here - just toenail cutting, and I specialise in podopaediatrics. The hours are 9-5 and we get weekends off.
    NHS podiatry is quite demanding and most of my work is kids biomechanics and wound care so never a dull moment.
    I'm sure private podiatry is equally rewarding but I like the acute stuff so prefer NHS and you do gain valuable skills working for the health service.
    I'd say go for it definitely - I'd never go back to nursing now.
  19. louisa50

    louisa50 Active Member

    I'd also like to add I had no problem getting a job in the NHS and all the nurses I know who did a podiatry degree also got jobs, employers like them because they already know their stuff and can be trusted to work alone without freaking out.
    Me and my fellow nurse podiatrists trained at the Leaf Hospital (Brighton Uni). We actually have some jobs for newly qualified pods advertised at the moment.
  20. DActon

    DActon Member

    Dear All, I would like to say 'Hello' to the Podiatry community. I qualified as a podiatrist/chiropodist 28 years ago. I practised for 4 years before embarking on a career in medical sales, to which I did very well and enjoyed. I am now wanting to return to practice for a variety of reasons, all of which have been discussed in helping this nurse seek a career in Podiatry. I commend the overall positiveness to encourage others to join the profession and I am one for wanting to change careers to enjoy working life.
    What I find striking that we are all professionals yet some of the postings have been far from that. Yes this does happen in all walks of life, but suerly may we not keep derogatory remarks to ourselves.
  21. DActon

    DActon Member

    Dear Bel,
    Thank you for the welcome and I will take you up on your advice.
    I am starting my retraining programme soon so I'd be gratfeful for more guidance myself!

  22. Julian Head

    Julian Head Active Member

    Dear DActon

    Great decision, 210 hours of clinical supervision and 210 hours of private study seems a lot but you will find it really rewarding in the long run, having mentored several returners for hcpc registration I suggest you download the hcpc minimum standards of practice and outline study areas based on your strengths and weaknesses. You need to aim to cover all areas well so your standards are at least those of a new graduate. There is now a requirement for msk so principles of gait, recognising underlying msk problems causing lesions and conditions such as pttd and issuing orthoses are required. Some are scared of this but it does fall into place after a while.

    Prepare a clinic record/template (on excel or word) to record dates, hours invested, conditions seen, areasoif weakness identified so you can easily see where to invest your private study time. This also acts as a record of your activity which helps you to see what you have covered and what is left to cover and is vital proof for the hcpc of active learning. It's also great to look back and see how far you have come. With regard to reflective practice there are templates on the Internet you can use to ensure you reflect diligently on your learning in the right way (a vital part of modern reflective practice).

    I suggest you book onto some courses through your local branch for bls etc so you meet local practitioners who will be supportive and may be able to help you fill in knowledge/experience gaps (not all mentors can give you experienceoif areas required by hcpc regs).

    It is important to remember podiatry is a medical career not a "job" and you are joining a very different profession to ten years ago. Expectations and the public perception of our profession have changed dramatically and with that goes responsibility for a higher level of practice. Whilst this may seem to add pressure to your situation it really is the reason people like myself are so passionate about podiatry nowadays.....it is so much more than it once was and so much more rewarding for us as practitioners and for our patients.... we can now do so much more to help.....

    I would wish you "good luck" but actually luck doesn't exist.....in my experience the luckiest people I've met are the ones who invest more time and effort in their endeavours.....the harder you work the luckier you will be.....

    Be passionate and optimistic about your future it really is worth it, you can do it. Always see the future and where you will be, there will be times when you doubt in your ability to grasp something....that's normal. Mentors are there to help but can't do it for you, if you get stuck ask for help and guidance, you will be amazed how a few minutes chatting can refocus your efforts and make your study effective. Sometimes you are so close to the elephant all you can see is grey....mentors stand back a bit and can help you see where you are.

    Speaking of elephants.....how do you eat a whole one?*

    If you would like to speak to people who have been in your situation I am very happy to put you in touch with some of the people I've mentored and taught, they may be able to give you a few words of encouragement and wisdom to help you on your exciting journey.

    All the best

    Julian Head

    * one bite at a time!

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