Placement at the East Coast Podiatry in Singapore involved observing and working with qualified podiatrists. It also involved learning about the various new technology devices available and using them to practice with and on fellow students on this placement. Part of the placement also included writing a brief weekly reflection and a presentation. This final instalment reflecting on my overall placement experience used the Gibbs reflective cycle as a framework.
My first day at the clinic was overwhelming. The clinic was a state-of-the-art podiatry clinic with well-mannered reception and staff who were very welcoming. The clinic was well equipped with a treadmill and various technological equipment for dynamic gait analysis. Clinical and consultation rooms had: an ultrasound device to scan for soft tissue damage such as plantar fasciopathy; a scan device to obtain a 3-D image of patient’s feet to aid in production of a prescribed insole; extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) devices to relieve patients of various pathologies including pain and muscle stiffness, and P.A.C.T equipment, which utilizes light wave at a certain frequency together with a gel to eliminate fungal nail infection.
I observed the procedure of politely getting the patients in for initial consultation, followed by a thorough holistic and biomechanical assessment while simultaneously conversing with patient to gain more information as to their condition. Following a full assessment, a diagnosis is achieved. The patient is informed of short term and long-term treatment plan available. The Podiatrist also informed that patients that they are ready to work with them to achieve mutual satisfactory results.
Apart from the feeling of being overwhelmed I felt grateful for being given the opportunity to observed, learn and witness first-hand the use of various evidence-based technological modalities available to the Podiatrist to treat various pathologies and encourages a holistic approach to patient care. This has increased my feelings of confidence and awareness of futuristic possibilities of technological developed modalities that could be available for treating patients with various pathological conditions.
This placement has reiterated my previous experience that trust and sharing of information and knowledge between colleagues in the wider health profession including international health professionals, is vital for personal development and growth.
My daily routine of spending time in the various clinics of East Coast Podiatry was very engaging. It involved conversing with other staff members as well as patients from across the world. This enabled me to witness peoples’ reaction to me being on a placement far from home. They also showed interest in the NHS and the development of Podiatry in the UK while comparing to the healthcare system in Singapore.
The use of ESWT was a highlight in my overall experience. Observing patients visiting with confidence in its application prompt me to write a brief reflective essay on my observation on its use in week 3.
This was an excellent experience as it broadens my knowledge as to what people from around the world think about the NHS in the UK. I also learned that it is important of develop, establish and maintain good working relationship with international health professionals including Podiatrist for growth and development.
Arriving at the various clinics for the first time was overwhelming. However, keeping an open mind, good communication and respect for staff members broke the ice and made observing and working along other Podiatrists an excellent learning experience.
My overall experience brought to reality the effective and efficient possibilities of using modern technology in the assessment and treatment of patients. It also enabled me to develop a transition from being a student to a graduate and the possibilities of being a Podiatrist in the private or public sector.
During placement, apart from the learning experience. I observed that there are a lot of notes to do in clinic as compared to student placements. This requires excellent time management and prioritising skills and hence I will have to develop a flexible and dynamic attitude to maintain and be an up-to-date working professional Podiatrist.
My take home plan from this experience will involve keeping an open mind to the possibilities of technological advancement, greater communication with other allied health professionals worldwide, and the importance of promoting and developing Podiatry as a serious profession. Finally, this experience has showed me that believing in yourself requires continuous communication with others to improve, develop and grow as a Podiatrist, which will convey confidence to the patient being consulted.