Chat with Podiatrist, Sam Chidwick, about His Latest Training.

Hi Sam, can you tell us a bit about your recent training? 

Yes, I have been training for the past two years in the use of Ultrasound Scanning or POCUS (Point of Care Ultrasound Scanning). There are not many Podiatrists in the UK who offer ultrasound and it is something that I am really keen to bring to Supafoot so that I can enhance the service we offer our patients. 

I use ultrasound currently for helping to guide injections for the foot and ankle and sometimes, I use it for looking at the thickness of the plantar fascia or the achilles tendon in people with heel pain for example. This is not diagnostic in nature, but something I do alongside my normal clinical assessment when appropriate. 

For formal diagnostic imaging, we currently refer to the COBALT unit in Cheltenham. 

Sam, what actually is ultrasound scanning? 

An ultrasound scanner is a machine with a hand probe that sends soundwaves into the tissues we want to look at (for example the heel of the foot or the ankle). The soundwaves are then reflected back into the probe, which has crystals inside. These waves are turned into a picture of the part of the foot we are looking at which allows your podiatrist to identify what’s wrong. They might see swelling or a tear in a tendon for example. This information allows us to decide how best to help you. 

What can you offer when you are fully qualified in ultrasound? 

The goal is to be able to offer diagnostic scanning at Supafoot in one form or another. There are lots of regulations that we need to ensure are in place, and my training is ongoing. I have completed all of my written assignments now, and am working through a very extensive practice log. I also have exams this summer (which feels like I am back in school again!). 
I don’t ever want to stop learning though and the great thing about working for Supafoot is that I get supported in this learning. 

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