One of the favorite questions that patients often asks is “why did you become a podiatrist – I mean feet of all things!!”
It is a long story that began too many years ago to comfortably admit to……
When I left school, I trained to become a dental nurse. Dentistry is quite a family tradition, as my grandfather was a dentist, my brother is a dentist and my daughters have also helped in a dental surgery – even my very good friend is a local dentist. So it was a natural decision for me upon starting my career to work at the top end of the human body.
Several happy dental years later, where I learnt a lot about healthcare, running a practice and working with patients. I moved to live and work in Woking where I brought up my family of three children (recently joined by the next generation – my grand daughter).
Bringing up a family in the area has given me a chance to really get know the place and community pretty well in those years and what is so needed for the residents and people who work in the Woking area.
So when the local Woking Hospice was opening, I was very fortunate to be offered to work with a great health professional team starting as the Voluntary Services Manager and promoted to Operations Manager. My experience of working for 10 years in this holistic healthcare setting with patients and families allowed me to gain a sound understanding of quality care. Together with the opportunity to understand that you need to look at the person as a whole and not just the problem or diagnoses. Working closely with the Hospice patients I also learnt that their main concern was not only their health but loss of mobility and independence. Vital to us all.
We take it for granted that we will always be independent and able to make our own choices about what we do and where we want to go. Life is about living and we all need to be active and mobile throughout our daily life. One simple way is to make sure that your feet don’t give you any reason to stop this independence.
When I was working at the Hospice it was evident that there was a great need for the type of care Podiatry/Chiropody offers – whether you are young or old……. So, when it came for me to look at the next career change in my life, I wanted to be able to use the skills that I had gained throughout my life and add to them – becoming a Podiatrist fitted the bill perfectly.
Nevertheless, it was not an easy road! It required 18 months at college – then University of Southampton to retrain, complete a BSc degree and finally qualify – this was a little bit of a challenge to say the least.
It was no easy feat (sorry no pun intended) at my ‘mature age’, as my family and friends who patiently supported me throughout will verify. This decision is one that I have not regretted and now Parkview Podiatry is available to patients in Woking and surrounding areas. It has also meant that I have been able to take my podiatry skills help on a voluntary basis both here in the UK and further afield in India.
Woking and Sam Beare Hospices – www.wsbhospices.co.uk
Crisis at Christmas – www.crisis.org.uk
Haven Charity – www.havencharity.org
The time spent working for charities has allowed me to help and support people in great need whilst gaining great insight into how these patients from very different walk of life can inspire you to do so much more. Please take few minutes to look at the charities websites for some of the wonderful stories and achievements.
Now that I have finally ended up working at lower end of the human body, I have found that I am lucky to be able to put all my past experiences to good use and to be very happy in my work.