The prospect of working on The College of Podiatry account was certainly different for me, and like many I hadn’t given foot health too much thought in the past, let alone visited a podiatrist. So we thought it might be a good first step if I were to take a trip to Brightwell Chiropody Clinic in Reading to really get a feel for what podiatrists do first hand.
My appointment was with Vicky Watts Bsc (Hons)pod. Vicky opened the door with a smile and was extremely helpful in answering all of my questions. As a professional podiatrist, Vicky is a member of The College of Podiatry.
I asked Vicky why she had initially wanted to become a podiatrist, to which she had a lovely and inspiring response. Vicky explained that she had always wanted to work in the medical field and had looked into several occupations from osteopathy to speech therapy. Whilst taking part in work experience at a Podiatrist’s office through a family friend, Vicky was able to help treat an elderly blind woman who had been unable to leave her home for two weeks due to foot pain. The treatment given enabled the elderly lady to become mobile again, and to leave the house to have coffee with friends. This turned out to be a life-changing experience for Vicky who then took the path to becoming a professional podiatrist.
My session with Vicky began with a general overview of my feet such as the appearance of joints, skin and nails. Did you know, that hairy toes means good health? I certainly didn’t. Vicky then proceeded to carry out a general foot care regime on my feet – spraying my feet with an antiseptic spray, trimming the nails, removing any dry skin, using a buffing drill on the nails, and finally using a light foot cream.
We then moved on to looking at my feet and general posture when walking. I walked bare foot up and down a corridor as Vicky analysed different aspects such as how my hips moved, if my feet inverted, and how much I swing my arms. Vicky informed me, that on the whole my walking and foot health was pretty good – what a relief!
So what is an average day like as a podiatrist? Vicky explained that there is such a varied case load from fungal conditions to verrucae, in-grown toenails to general feet ‘tidy-ups’, and that no two days are the same.
My experience was really eye-opening, interesting and enjoyable! It is easy to neglect feet when they are often hidden by shoes or tucked away into socks, but they are an integral part of our bodies that enable us to live our everyday lives. June is Feet for Life Month, so why not take this opportunity to give your feet some TLC – and remember, if you’re unsure, always visit a podiatrist.
Visit www.feetforlife.org for more information about foot health for all ages and to find a registered podiatrist near you.