The aim of podiatry is to promote foot health while also promoting movement, occupational and functional abilities. The work of podiatrists includes, in particular, the promotion of human foot health and the elimination of ailments. Clients’ own activities have a key role and their resources are harnessed to promote foot health.
During the first year (Active learner) you learn how to assess the function and movement of healthy persons by getting to know the human as a whole. In addition, you study the basics of assessing and promoting health, wellbeing and performance. As a student you develop into an active and responsible learner.
During the second year (Independent participant), you learn how to practice client-centred podiatry with the pediatric basics of examination, assessing functional ability, and influencing functional ability. You also learn how to evaluate your own actions.
During the third year (Proficient developer), you learn how to apply foot therapies so that you can already act independently in therapy situations. Practical training and innovative projects challenge you to new ways of thinking. You can be a critical learner and developer of your own activities.
During the last semester (Expert) you reinforce your research and development approach. At the end of your training, you can work independently and collaborate with other professionals in a variety of social and health work environments.
The last semester of the studies strengthens your expertise with your last clinical practice training. Also alternative professional studies and the bachelor’s thesis support your career planning. Each semester includes guided practical training which is initially implemented on Savonlinna Campus (simulation environments, functional ability laboratory, learning projects), and later, as your studies progress, in different working environments of podiatry.
Alternative professional studies provide opportunities to complement your skills according to your career plan and interests. These studies cover courses of professional studies, multidisciplinary studies and entrepreneurship studies.
Optional studies enhance your special skills and professional strengths based on your own choices. You can also choose courses from other degree programmes and universities of applied sciences.
Core competence of the podiatry studies (180 ECTS credits) consists of modules of 15?
30 ECTS credits which include the following:
Human being as a whole
Professional basics of podiatry
Health promoting podiatry
Research and development in podiatry
Developing expertise in podiatry
Working life skills in podiatry
You can complete your degree in podiatry through blended studies (part-time) on Savonlinna Campus. Blended studies begin in the autumn of 2020. Studies take about 3.5 years to complete.
The contact teaching of blended studies is carried out on Mondays and Tuesdays. Studies involve different learning methods and environments varying from independent learning assignments and exams to group work, online learning, working life projects and practical training. There is more online learning in blended studies than in full-time studies.
The studies include 75 ECTS credits of practical training, of which 40 ECTS credits are carried out on campus and in projects in a variety of practical situations. The remaining 35 ECTS credits take place between the 4th and 7th semesters of the studies as clinical practice training outside campus. You can also complete these training periods for example in your home region.
The beginning of the studies involves making a personal study and career plan based on which you receive advice to support, for example, your studies, clinical practice training, bachelor’s thesis and international choices. The personal study plan helps you design your studies according to your life situation as well as possible. Previously acquired skills can be recognized and accepted as part of your studies.
If you choose the so-called Scheduled track for your studies, they take place through group meetings and independent learning assignments following your group’s timetable. In this case, your studies proceed according to your group’s curriculum and its timing, and the standard time for completing the studies is 3.5 years.
You can speed up your studies through the Independent track, for example, by selecting online or summer courses or taking studies from the curriculum of an earlier student group. In this case, you become independently familiar with the study materials and complete the necessary learning tasks. Studies through this track involve more independent work and learning compared to the scheduled track. You can also speed up your studies by completing clinical practice training in the summer.
It’s also possible to complete a course or a module – partly or in total, through the Blended track ? in
your workplace or in projects, if you work in a podiatric organization or in a company close to podiatry.
In this case you need to demonstrate your competence according to the learning outcomes of the course or module.
Podiatrists work as self-employed entrepreneurs or are employed by others, for example, hospitals, health centers, rehabilitation centers, research and nursing homes. Also shoe design, sports and disability organizations, expert, educational and project tasks, social welfare services, day care centers and sports activities employ podiatrists.
At work, podiatrists assess clients’ movement, functional capacity and disability and use podiatry methods to care and prevent foot problems and to promote their foot health. The most common assessment methods are observation, interviews, manual examination, questionnaires and various tests and measurements.
Podiatry implementation plans and impact assessment plans, which base on clinical decision-making and podiatric diagnosis, are drawn up together with clients. Podiatry methods are evidence-based and include guidance and counseling for health and functional ability, therapeutic exercise, clinical foot care (nail and skin disorders), mobilization, massage, making insoles, off-loadings, silicones and wound care.
Podiatrists collaborate with many health professionals. The work is usually a day job. Competences needed in the work include skills in:
Podiatry research and assessment
Foot health promotion, guidance and counseling,
Podiatry care and therapy
Podiatry expertise in special groups
Entrepreneurship and social skills,
Podiatric development, innovation and technology competence
In order to develop professionally, podiatrists follow the latest research and acquire further education. Would your dream job be, for example, in one of the following?
Your own podiatry company
In shoe factory
Sports or other organization
As a product presenter
Only qualified professionals can work in the profession of a podiatrist. Upon graduation, you apply for professional rights at Valvira, National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health.
Students of podiatry are involved in research, development and innovation (RDI) projects. You can participate in RDI projects in different ways in connection with your courses and/or bachelor’s thesis. You learn to understand the meaning of RDI activities and their possibilities in the continuous development of working life. You learn to plan and implement innovative practices to develop working life in your field.
Xamk is involved in several research, development and innovation projects which develop services and products to promote the wellbeing of the population. Bachelor’s theses can be integrated to the regional RDI projects or they can offer information or products to serve working life needs.
Podiatry studies are carried out in various learning environments. You learn interaction, teamwork, self-management skills and responsibility which are requirements for working as a podiatrist.
Studies on Savonlinna Campus involve learning in a podiatry clinic, insole lab and home simulation environments, function labs and in work-related projects as well as in Xamk’s Active Life Lab in Mikkeli. Online learning and remote connections offer you flexibility for studies which are not bound by time or place.
A significant part of studying takes place outside the classroom in working life during your clinical practice periods in the field of health care and rehabilitation (in hospitals, health centers, rehabilitation centers and in private clinics). You can choose your practical training environments and complete a part of the practical studies abroad. In addition to the traditional work placement, you can participate in different kinds of working life projects.