Qualification and registration requirements
A Podiatrist requires tertiary qualifications in Podiatry such as a Bachelor of Podiatry or equivalent (for a list of accepted course please refer to the AHPRA website). Podiatrists must be registered to practice as a Podiatrist through AHPRA.
What is a Podiatrist?
Podiatry is the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of disorders, medical and surgical conditions of the feet and the lower limbs. The Podiatrist's scope of practice includes assessment and management of lower limb problems in:
- People with chronic diseases that affect the feet (such as diabetes and joint disease)
- Older people who commonly experience painful foot problems that affect mobility
Podiatrists also manage injuries related to postural and structural problems of the feet and sports-related foot problems. Podiatrists can work independently and as part of a group of other professions such as medical specialists, nurses and other Allied Health professionals.
What does a Podiatrist do?
In the hospital setting a Podiatrist may treat a wound of the foot to prevent an admission to hospital. As part of this treatment an assessment on the blood and nerve supply to the feet would be undertaken. Following routine care of the wound, insoles, orthotics and footwear modifications may be made to take pressure off the wound that is being treated. They may refer the patient onto other people such as nurses or the patient’s doctor for antibiotics.
In the community, the podiatrist may conduct routine assessments on the feet to check the health of the feet before going onto routine treatment which may consist of cutting of abnormal or ingrown toenails or taking off painful corns and callus. The podiatrist may also have to provide education to a group of people such as those with diabetes.
For information on how to gain recognition of Allied Health qualifications obtained overseas, please contact the relevant professional association as per web links above.