Chiropody assistant, footcare assistant
Podiatry assistants provide general foot treatments and nail care under the supervision of a podiatrist.
Salary range: £17,652 to £20,795
How to become a podiatry assistant
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- applying directly
- specialist courses run by private training organisations
You could do a college course to get into this job. Relevant subjects include:
- Level 2 Certificate in Work Preparation for Health and Social Care
- Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care
- Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care
Most health and social care courses include work placements and this can be a good way of getting experience.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
You’ll need to do an advanced apprenticeship as a senior healthcare support worker, which has a training option for podiatry assistants.
When recruiting, employers may select apprentices who have experience as a support worker.
You’ll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
You could start as a healthcare assistant and learn on the job. You could move into podiatry work through further training and promotion.
Volunteering and experience
You’ll find it useful to get some paid or unpaid voluntary experience in a healthcare setting or or a caring role with older people, or people with physical disabilities, or learning difficulties.
You could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for further advice.
You can apply directly for jobs if you’ve got relevant skills and experience from work like care or health-related roles.
Employers may ask for a qualification in a health-related subject, and experience of working with people.
You could be self-employed and provide routine foot care to the general public, rather than in the NHS.
You’ll need to take a Diploma in Foot Health Practice. You would then register with The Alliance of Private Sector Practitioners and work as a foot health practitioner.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of medicine and dentistry
- customer service skills
- thinking and reasoning skills
- the ability to read English
- the ability to use your initiative
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- excellent verbal communication skills
- sensitivity and understanding
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You may need a driving licence and access to your own transport for jobs that involve visiting clients in their own home.
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- preparing patients for treatment by a podiatrist
- supporting a podiatrist during a procedure
- treating patients who have already been assessed by a podiatrist
- cutting toe nails and applying dressings
- carrying out general clerical tasks and making appointments
- providing advice on foot and nail care, particularly for patients with diabetes
You could work at a health centre, at a client’s home, in an NHS or private hospital or at a GP practice.
You may need to wear a uniform.
Career path and progression
With experience you could move up to an assistant practitioner post. You could then apply to train as a podiatrist.
If you’re self-employed, you could set up your own business.
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