Qualification: Podologist
Code of the study programme: 41722
Length of studies: 2 years, 120 ECTS

Studies on budget resources provided by the state

Level of Education: short cycle of professional higher education
Studies take place: Jūrmala (Vidus prospekts 38, Bulduri), Rēzekne (N. Rancāna iela 23a, Rēzekne)
Mode of studies: full time studies
Previous education: secondary education
Head of study programme: Mg.sc. educ. Aelita Koha

Description of speciality

Podologist is a medical practitioner with 1st level of the professional higher education who takes part in healing, rehabilitation, education and health promotion process. A podologist performs podologic examination of a patient, which includes: examination and assessing the level of damage risk of joint system of foot bones, blood circulation, sensory feelings and soft tissue atrophy; foot-care, prevention work, mainly whilst working with high-risk patients.

Main professional tasks of a Podologist

  • To perform foot examination, assessment of health of feet, diagnostics of problems in health of feet in patients of all age groups.
  • To perform professional foot care, including care of diabetic foot, whilst choosing foot care methods in accordance with problems stated by the patient, to plan and realize educational activities on necessity of maintaining healthy nails and skin of feet.
  • To work independently, taking initiative and responsibility about the results of one’s professional activities, to perfect one’s professional knowledge and skills in process of continuing education and maintaining one’s professional competence.
  • To work in a multidisciplinary team, on collaboration with other health and social care professionals and institutions, to educate health care professionals, medical support persons and members of the public on the prevention of foot damage.

Goal of the study programm

To prepare highly qualified, contemporarily educated, competent and well-trained specialists in podology, able to compete in the labour market.

Practical realisation of study programm

Implementation of the study programme is carried out through various forms of studies and different learning methods, which include lectures, seminars, practical work both individually and in groups, as well as analysis of practical problems and situations.

In learning practices, which are carried out both in college primary-care consulting rooms as well as healthcare institutions, the lecturer works with groups of students (6-8 students each). In learning practices students reinforce their knowledge and skills while working with different groups of patients under the guidance of a teacher.

Study courses to be acquired

The study programme offers a chance to acquire general education, vocational training and professional study courses.

General education courses:

Psychology and Andragogy, Forming of Professional Competences in Entrepreneurship, Applied Information Technology in Medicine, Foreign Tongue, e.g.

Vocational study courses include:
Human Anatomy and Physiology, Pathological Physiology, General Medicine, Endocrinology, Dermatology, Orthophaedics and Basic Knowledge on Structuring of Prosthesis, e.g.

Professional study courses, such as:
Medical Foot Care, Methods of Nail Correction, Practical Skills in the Field of Podology, e.g. are targeted to ensure development of professional competences.

Collaboration partners

Collaboration is realised:

  1. between the college and employers, to create feedback and ensure that the knowledge and skills of graduates corresponds to the needs of the work market. Collaboration with employers is realised in several fields: ensuring of places of practice, guarantee of unity of education and practice, realisation of research and projects. Collaboration partners Riga East Clinical University Hospital “Gaiļezers”, Riga East Clinical University Hospital “Biķernieki”, Pauls Stradiņš Clinical Hospital of the University of Latvia, Centre for technical orthopaedics “Unihauss” Ltd, “Centre for health promotion and social services of Jūrmalas veselības”, “Veselības centrs 4” Ltd (“Health centre 4”) promote development of skills of students by both providing them with a place of practice, and also creating inter-disciplinary collaboration with endocrinologists, dermatologists, technical orthopaedists, blood-vessel surgeons and infectologists;
  2. between the college and other European higher education institutions with the goal to promote collaboration and mobility of student and academic personnel body between European countries. These possibilities are offered to the most academically successful students with good command of a foreign tongue;
  3. between the college and professional public organizations – “Latvijas Māsu asociācija” (“Association of Nurses of Latvia”), “Latvijas Ārstu biedrība” (“Doctors’ Association of Latvia”), “Association of Endocrinologists”, “Diabēta aprūpes māsu apvienība” (“Association of Diabetes Care Nurses”), “Ķirurģijas māsu apvienība” (“Association of Surgical Nurses”), “Latvijas Podologu biedrība” (“Association of Podologists of Latvia”), to include nascent specialists in real working environment and promote mutual contacts between specialists of medical branches kindred to podology;
  4. between college and patient organizations, for example, Latvijas Bērnu un jauniešu diabēta biedrību (“Latvian Children and Youth Diabetes Society”), Jūrmalas Diabēta biedrību (“Jūrmala Diabetes Society”), promoting collaboration between the members of care provider team and the patients themselves.

Possibilities in labour market

In labour market there is a demand for services provided by podologists. Professional activity of a podologist influences health condition of each individual, as well as the health of the society as whole. Podologist performs his/her professional duties independently or as part of care provider team in various medical institutions (out-patient clinics, health care centres, private medical practices) or in other institutions (social care centres, sports centres, Samaritans Association).

Further study opportunities

The graduates of the study program “Podology” have the opportunity to continue education in business and health care study programs.