Looking for a CHIROPODIST OR FOOT HEALTH PRACTITIONER in Dudley – What’s the Difference?
As a FOOT HEALTH PRACTITIONER working in and around Dudley, I occasionally get asked what the difference is between a Chiropodist or Podiatrist and where does a Foot Health Practitioner fit in?
As a Foot Health Practitioner I focus on the lower limbs and feet with minor ailments recognized and treated. The work of the Foot Health Practitioner (FHP) is non-invasive. External minor surgery without injected analgesia for the treatment of ingrowing toenails or corn removal is typical of the procedures I carry out. Assessment of foot positioning on walking, along with other external examination techniques are used in the assessment of the structure and condition of the lower limb and foot, all of which fall within the ability and remit of the Foot Health Practitioner. Thus the work carried out by an FHP far exceeds the abilities of those trained simply to provide a nail-cutting service.
In many cases, there is need for routine maintenance for diabetic patients, patients with arthritic hands, eye troubles, obesity, pregnancy and other debilitating conditions. Many patients will simply have difficulty reaching their feet for routine maintenance – others appreciate the help of a practitioner who they can trust to trim and maintain their nails properly. As a trained observer, the FHP contributes to the health of their patients by screening and alerting other practitioners to indicated diabetes mellitus, malignancies, potential ulceration and other conditions requiring onward referral. Ethics consistent with the medical professions are held, recognized and respected.
Knowledge of the patient’s medical status is taken into account in order to execute the work safely and cause no medical complication. Hygiene, instrument skills, communication skills and a good measure of dexterity are important to the task, as are record keeping and regular updating. Dressing, padding and offloading skills are essential, as is the ability to manage minor wounds. Foot Health Practitioners undertake Continuing Professional Development to retain currency, update and expansion of their skills.
Is the profession by which disease and pathological conditions are addressed. The podiatrist is capable of taking on those cases requiring specialist leg and foot support that cannot be delivered by the Foot Health Practitioner. The full skills of a Podiatrist would be needed and utilized in only a small proportion of the total of presenting cases.
Some Podiatrists choose to specialize in areas such as vascular studies, acute diabetic support and paediatric developmental conditions.