Queensland Health offers enormous opportunities for podiatrists.
The public health sector gives clinicians the rare opportunity to use their clinical and prescribing knowledge to provide a broad range of prevention and management solutions for people presenting with foot disease.
Being a podiatrist means you play a critical role in changing the lives of people you treat, being part of a vibrant and supportive team and enjoy the career and professional development opportunities available to Queensland Health employees.
The podiatrist is a key member of the multidisciplinary high-risk foot team including other allied health professionals, diabetes nurse educators, endocrinologists and vascular surgeons working across a range of acute and community-based settings in rural, regional and metropolitan Queensland.
Hear from podiatrists working in Queensland Health
Multi-disciplinary team - video transcript
Within public health, working with other professionals is really good. You have a lot more contact with, say, diabetes educators and dietitians, and social work, and you learn a lot more about looking after a patient holistically.
There’s an end goal to working with wound care and you can quite quickly act on it, and I think working with other disciplines as well, you play a big role in a patient’s care, and it's not just about looking after their feet. You can find out, you know when the last time they spoke to a diabetes educator or who else is involved in that care; it's a bit like solving a puzzle really.
You can point them in the right direction and because you have those contacts, it's a lot easier to then pick up the phone to one of the other health professions and say ‘Hey, have you had a referral for this patient, have you seen them before, are they on your books?’. Whereas in private practice you're very much a sole practitioner and don't really have the same support from the other professionals involved in their care.
Type of person
Type of person - video transcript
The type of work that Mount Isa offers, rural work offers is they’re more flexible and family-orientated, so yeah, it takes a particular type of person, I think.
We've done it because it makes raising a family easier. You know, I've got no commute time. We can pursue our hobbies because it takes us 5 minutes to get home, and we can still fit everything in the evening. We've got that work life balance.
For staff retention here, it's perhaps not aimed at the new graduates that want to come and do three month or 12 month stints. But the type of people that would, you know, attract I suppose, are just level-headed, all-round people that they're willing to socialize, get out there in the community.
Everyone who works within allied health is, they’re all go getters, they're all here for fun really, and to work hard - career driven, wanting to progress because there are those opportunities.
Quality of life
Quality of life - video transcript
Hi, I'm Jess, inpatient podiatrist at Cairns Hospital. With my job, it was one of the first dedicated inpatient podiatry positions for Queensland, and it was part of a broader statewide project that they were doing at the time. I'm quite clinically focused and that really drew my attention.
Up here, I guess unfortunately, for our patients the severity of the disease is much worse. But I guess it's good to be able to have an impact and to help these patients as well. Ideally with our patients, you would be looking at trying to keep both their feet and keeping them intact, and unfortunately, that's not always the case. So it's about giving them quality of life - so what can we do that will make them be able to do things that they enjoy? Whether it's being at work, being with their families, you know, being outside if they like exercising, and that sort of thing so, ultimately, for me it's about quality of life.
Coming from a city, you’d think that moving to somewhere smaller, you won't have all the resources, but I guess places like Cairns, we've got a fantastic hospital, we have fantastic doctors and the opportunities are just as endless as what you’d get in the city.
High-risk foot service
High-risk foot service - video transcript
My name is Danielle, I’m the Director of Podiatry for the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service.
We've been building our high-risk foot service up over the last 10 years or so to be very interdisciplinary, so it was important when recruiting our podiatry team that they all bring something unique to the team. And they tend to get along well with people, which I think is really important. We, you know, we deal with the public. We also deal with other professionals from other disciplines with different treatment goal in mind for the patients.
They’re all cheeky, but it's great working with the team of professionals. It's much easier to bounce things off each other if you get a challenging case that comes through the door. You can always get a second set of eyes to look at some X-rays or results, and if you just don't know what to do with the patient, there's always someone else to get a second opinion.
It started off as ‘there’s a podiatrist and now it’s where's the podiatrist?’ so it's really good and we feel like valued members of the team, especially with the surgeons, orthopedic, vascular and the endocrine team as well.
Passion for podiatry
Passion for podiatry - video transcript
I’m Caitlin and I'm a high-risk podiatrist for the Cairns Diabetes team. Before then, I was working in Tasmania on the northwest coast, also with high-risk feet, but I was sick of the cold and just wanted a change in lifestyle, so I decided to migrate north.
I'm probably one of the stranger ones who actually picked podiatry as a first preference. I really liked the diversity within the role of podiatry - you can do anything from bio mechanics, nail surgery, specialize in paediatrics, but I was always drawn to wound care. I wanted to be on the forefront of foot health and protection, and really trying to keep people mobile and give them a really good quality of life.
You can quite quickly give people bits of information or provide a treatment plan for something that’s been yeah, frustrating for a long period of time, and with feet you're able to really help people with their mobility, and mobility affects so many other things in their lives, so giving them back that bit of independence.
Oh, I love being able to make a difference in people's lives and when you've had people who have been really struggling with a problem for a while and then you get them to that point where that is no longer a problem, it's huge sense of job satisfaction and a huge win. And you're not just empowering that person to look after themselves, you then empower them to go on and pass that message on to other members of their family and their community.
So, you find that it's a little bit of a ripple in a rockpool, and you can make a huge difference just from what you're doing.
Clinician from NHS
Clinician from NHS - video transcript
I’m Ben and I’m a senior podiatrist here. So originally, I came to Australia as a locum just on a working holiday. I ended up getting a locum position in Mount Isa and that's where I met my girlfriend, and then I stayed there for about a year and a half and then we moved to Cairns.
So, in the UK I worked for the NHS, I did that for three years. I guess the public sector here is very similar, which is probably why I enjoy it so much. The job satisfaction, I guess, the biggest thing is helping people - if someone comes in with a wound and you can get that to heal up and they can go back today to their day-to-day. I also like the challenge of it, so everybody comes in with a different problem or there's lots of other stuff going on. And I guess working a multidisciplinary team as well is really enjoyable.
To work in Queensland Health, you want to be the type of person that wants to help people, enjoys the challenge, enjoys working as part of a team, and yeah, wants to improve as a clinician.
Remote lifestyle - video transcript
I was working in vocational education and training as well as podiatry in private and public practice. I had all these contracts and then I had nothing, and that was where the Mount Isa opportunity came up, and it has been, you know, everything and more.
Coming out here was a really big change. What made me come out here was the career opportunities and to be supported to develop. What made me stay is lifestyle – you’re sort of brought into the real community feel, not just, you know, in our Department, but also in the hospital.
When I've lived in other locations, there is that missing piece of that sense of connectedness in that sense of community. When I'm doing my job at work, I want to do the right thing for my community and the people who are in my community.
Career opportunities - video transcript
I have always loved being a podiatrist, treating patients and working with people to meet their goals and their outcomes.
Having moved into Queensland Health, there has been a greater satisfaction. I've been working remotely at Mount Isa Hospital and working as a podiatrist. I was involved in recruitment processes, I was involved in service development, service delivery, training of other staff members, organizing student placements.
Definitely, I think working in a remote area helps in terms of those career opportunities and that progression. You get exposed to a lot more that has obviously peaked my interest a little bit, and so for me I've been able to progress into an allied health clinical lead. Now I’m working, not just as a podiatrist but across all the allied health disciplines, sort of helping with that day today.