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How to become a podiatry support worker

You can become a podiatry support worker by doing a Modern Apprenticeship or applying for a vacancy on our recruitment website.

What is an podiatry support worker?

Podiatry support workers work with podiatrists to treat common problems, assist with minor surgeries, and give advice to patients for good foot and nail health.

Starting your career as a podiatry support worker

Choosing subjects at school

To become a podiatry support worker, you'll need a good standard of education. There are no specific entry requirements, but useful subjects include:

  • Science
  • English
  • Maths

Speak to your guidance teacher about subjects offered at your school.

Work placements and volunteering

You may find it helpful to get some healthcare experience by doing a work placement or volunteering. You’ll get training, increase your knowledge, and learn new skills. This could help you when applying to university, college or a new job with NHSScotland. 

Modern Apprenticeships

A Modern Apprenticeship will help you get the knowledge, skills, and experience you need to reach your career goal.

Learn about the Modern Apprenticeship in Healthcare Support.

All Healthcare Support Modern Apprentices study 3 mandatory units:

  • communication
  • health and safety
  • learning development

You'll choose your remaining units from the clinical pathway options for podiatry.

Get to know the role

As a podiatry support worker, you'll give clinical support to the podiatrist, making sure they have all their equipment needed to treat patients. You’ll also prepare patients for treatment by cleaning their feet and making them comfortable. Once the podiatrist has assessed the patient and recommended a treatment plan, you’ll carry out simple foot and nail treatments. You could then take insole templates, cut toenails, or apply dressings.

You'll care for people of all ages with a range of conditions including:

  • arthritic conditions
  • skin conditions
  • diabetes
  • heart and blood disorders
  • disorders of the nervous system
  • sports injuries to the foot and lower limb

Tasks include: 

  • provide advice about personal foot care
  • provide wound management advice
  • diabetic foot screening
  • carry out therapeutic ultrasound
  • clinical environment management

You'll need these skills:

  • caring 
  • communicating
  • creativity
  • motivating people
  • problem-solving
  • relationship-building

Podiatry support workers work with other healthcare professionals, including: 

  • podiatrists
  • orthotists
  • dietitians
  • doctors
  • nurses
  • other healthcare support workers

You could work in: 

  • health centres
  • a person’s own home
  • nursing homes
  • hospitals

Learning and development

When joining the NHS, you will work through the Mandatory Induction Standards. These standards are designed to help you work safely and must be completed within the first 3 to 6 months of employment.

You may also be encouraged while in the post to work towards further education qualifications. These may include:

Career development

Getting experience as a healthcare support worker can be very helpful if you decide you want to go to university and study to become a registered podiatrist.

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