Laura Wilson, Orthotist
How did you begin your career?
I began my career in P&O starting my studies at The University of Strathclyde, and graduated with a First-Class Honours Degree in 2017.
After graduating, I joined Steeper as a Graduate Orthotist in Sunderland. This was a great place to start my career with lots of learning opportunities as well as working alongside experienced staff that helped expand my knowledge and confidence. I had an interest in patient care and was looking for a hands on job that required creativity and problem-solving, and P&O fit the bill. It was the best decision and I can’t imagine myself on any other career path.
I have gained experience in paediatric clinics, working in specialist schools and also involving myself in multiple MDT environments (e.g. paediatric, stroke and diabetic clinics). I was also lucky enough to gain additional training through courses and online resources. At the beginning of 2020 I moved within the company to Burton-upon-trent, Dudley. This has expanded my capabilities as a clinician providing me with more responsibilities including growing and developing the high risk diabetic foot clinic independently and taking on a graduate helping integrate them into the team.
What attracted you to the profession?
What enticed me to this profession was the hands-on training, patient care and the theory behind the course. The variety of modules was also appealing, as well as the fact that it was a joint degree, meaning you qualified in both Prosthetics and Orthotics – it is then up to you which one you choose, or if you decide to practice both in your career. The profession itself offers a similar close-knit community, with plentiful networking opportunities (BAPO conferences as well as other training opportunities) and with a community like P&O there is always someone you can ask for advice should you come across a particularly challenging case.
Tell us about the different aspects of your job
My job as an Orthotist entails assessing and prescribing orthotic products, whether that be from a catalogue of stock products or creating a made to measure device by taking a cast, an impression or measures.
Maintaining integrity and care is of great importance and patient centred care is essential in providing the best service possible. What I love most is the variety of patients I get to help, the different professions I get to work alongside and the fact that you are able to make a real difference to people’s lives. Building a rapport with your patients is vital and spending an extra 5 minutes chatting can make a big difference to people’s day, especially over the past year during the pandemic when things have been so unsettled. It’s great, no 2 days are the same.