What is a Foot Health Practitioner?
Foot health practitioners play more of an important role in healthcare than many people realise. When you think of healthcare, often the last things to spring to mind would be your feet. However, when you consider the fact they literally carry you throughout your entire life, it’s not hard to imagine the strain they can endure.
The average person will walk 216 million steps in their lifetime. This is roughly equivalent to 110,000 miles, or 5 times around the Earth!
This is before you consider the myriad of infections, conditions and disorders that can affect them. However, like many other aspects of our health, we only seek help for these when they become a problem.
This is why foot health practitioners are vitally important, to keep us on our feet and active for as long as possible. Without them, more people would struggle to be mobile, which would have significant knock-on effects with weight gain, mental and physical health.
What Does a Foot Health Practitioner Do?
A foot health practitioner provides treatments and gives advice to patients to aid and prevent the many foot conditions that can occur.
As a foot health practitioner, you would treat common conditions like bunions, corns and calluses. You would also help to hygienically care for patient’s feet who are unable to do it themselves, which often involves you cutting nails, removing hard skin and providing general foot hygiene
Other conditions you can treat include verruca’s, in-growing nails and helping to alleviate pain that occurs when patient’s move around. To prevent more serious conditions from presenting, you will monitor circulation and limb health, which is especially important in diabetics.
Should more severe conditions become evident, you will refer them to the necessary healthcare service. This could be a Chiropodist/Podiatrist, GP or the hospital depending on their needs.
You will prevent these scenarios as much as possible by teaching your patients how to properly care for their feet. Advising them on anything from the type of shoes and hosiery they should wear, to the benefits of good nutrition, and the best way to clean and care for the skin on their feet.
Ultimately, by caring for your patient's feet you can spot life-threatening conditions when they are still treatable.
What Equipment Does a Foot Health Practitioner Need?
There are a lot of supplies and equipment you can purchase when setting up as a foot health practitioner, but you may find that you end up buying more than you actually need.
To prevent you from buying an excessive amount, it’s best to think about the number of patients you will see a day and start off with the essentials for each treatment. Also consider if you need a set for each individual, or if you could sterilise your set’s partway through the day for use again in the afternoon.
As a rule of thumb you will need:
- Foot Files
- Nail Clippers
- Nail Files
- Swan Neck Round Probe
Should you perform Gait Analysis and other complementary therapies, you will need additional equipment. You can also opt to purchase single-use instruments and supplies to eliminate any possibility of cross-infection between patients.
What Do Foot Health Practitioners Charge?
If you’re considering this line of work, you will no doubt be wondering how much does a foot health practitioner charge. This typically depends on the capacity in which you work, as rates vary between employed foot health practitioners and those who run their own facilities.
If you’re employed, your expenses are less as the cost of your equipment and working space are usually covered by the employer. As such, wages range from between £21,500 to £23,000 a year depending on where you’re based.
Can I Work as a Self-Employed Foot Health Practitioner?
You can instead choose to be a self-employed foot health practitioner, where you cover the costs of your equipment, facilities or rented workspace yourself. This needs to be factored into your earning and again, depending on where you are geographically based, you could expect to charge between £20 to £40 per patient.
Many foot health practitioners opt to run a mobile service as your expenses are reduced without the need to pay for premises. In this case, you could expect to charge between £20 to £30 per patient. This option can be especially popular with the elderly or people with disabilities who find it harder to travel for foot health services.
How to Become a Foot Health Practitioner?
To become a qualified foot health practitioner, you need to study a foot health practitioner course that teaches you the theory and practical skills to effectively care for feet. This must cover human anatomy and physiology, as well as how to identify, treat and prevent commonly encountered foot problems.
learndirect’s Foot Health Care Practitioner (RQF) Diploma Level 3, for instance, teaches you all of this and more. It’s also nationally recognised, so employers and foot health patients can be assured of your skills and the level of training you have received.
Throughout the course, you will explore modules such as:
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Infection Prevention and Control for Foot Care Practitioners
- Understanding Pathologies and Treatments for Foot Health Care
- Managing Foot Care for Diabetics
- Preparing for Clinical Practice
- Setting Up and Managing A Professional Practice
You will also complete 5-days of practical training in a state-of-the-art facility to hone your skills and put what you’ve learnt into practice.
Where Can I Train to be a Foot Health Practitioner?
The best foot health care practitioner course for you depends on your circumstances and how you prefer to learn. Foot health care courses, UK, can be studied both on and offline.
So, if you prefer to learn in a classroom, surrounded by other students and working through the modules at the same pace, you can complete your qualification at college.
Alternatively, if you need a more flexible approach to learning, whether this is because your schedule is already packed with prior commitments or otherwise, you can get qualified online.
Online foot health practitioner courses allow you to work through the course material at a pace that suits you. Rather than progressing at the same rate as everyone else. This means you can complete your theory in much less time.
As the materials are all accessible online, you are also free to work through them whenever you’re available. As opposed to waiting for a teacher to deliver them in line with a set timetable. This makes it much easier to fit your studies around your lifestyle.
When you’re ready, you will complete your 5-day practical training to gain additional skills and experience under the supervision of qualified and experienced foot health practitioners. This training is held at our fully equipped foot health training centre in Birmingham.
You can find out more about why you should study an online foot health practitioner course in our blog.
Become a Foot Health Practitioner Through learndirect
If you’re interested in qualifying as a foot health practitioner and would like to do so through online learning, learndirect can help you take the next step.
As the leading UK online learning provider, you can be assured of the quality of your training. All our courses are designed with the help of industry specialists. So, you know you’re receiving desirable industry knowledge and skills from people with years of experience.
Find out more by talking to our Course Executives today. They will help you understand what to expect from this course, give you study advice and help you set up a flexible payment plan.