A podiatry assistant is an individual who provides procedural and administrative support to a podiatrist. These individuals may work in a clinical or hospital setting depending on where they are hired, but perform more or less the same type of activities. Working as a podiatry assistant means that you will be handling two sides of the work – the medical and administrative ones. The former will require you to handle patient examinations, assistance with procedures and patient education initiatives. And the latter will require you to manage scheduling, patient registration and records keeping work.
Eligibility criteria to work as a podiatry assistant includes a high school diploma or a GED. However, some facilities may want to hire podiatry assistants who have a degree in podiatric medicine. Training is usually provided on the job though. If this is the work that you want to take up, you will need to be hands-on in handling foot, ankle and lower limb examinations, providing assistance with surgical procedures and ensuring that patients’ medical records are properly managed. In addition to this, you will be responsible for ensuring that examination rooms are properly cleaned and sanitized, and that patients are provided with information that will help them cope with procedures and surgeries.
As a podiatric assistant, this is what you will be doing on any typical day at work:
• Welcome patients as they arrive at the hospital or clinic and inquire into their appointment statuses
• Verify appointments and provide patients with information on wait times
• Schedule appointments over the telephone and in person, and provide timely reminders
• Perform first tier examinations to assess and record patients conditions and diseases associated with feet, ankles and lower legs
• Prepare patients for detailed examinations by the podiatrist, explaining what the procedure will include and what to expect
• Assist the podiatrist by setting up equipment and tools to perform procedures, examinations and surgeries
• Take and record patients’ vital signs and ensure that their medical histories are properly recorded and updated
• Make impressions of patients’ feet for the purpose of creating casts and orthotic fittings
• Assist with minor surgical procedures by applying bandages and sutures and ensuring that affected areas are properly treated
• Assist elderly or handicapped patients by removing their shoes and prepping them up for examination and / or surgical procedures
• Take and develop x-rays of lower limbs, ankles and feet to determine diseases and conditions as part of the patient diagnostic procedure