Podiatry success: from student to Senior Lecturer at 25 years old

At only 25, our very own University of Brighton, BSc (Hon) Podiatry graduate, Dao Tunprasert has been promoted to Senior Lecturer and for anyone who knows her; this is so well deserved!

Dao Tunprasert Senior Lecturer Podiatry A member of our highly enthusiastic and well qualified podiatry team, Dao has kindly taken some time to speak to us a little bit about why podiatry is an important health profession, and why studying  at University of Brighton is the best place to be.

1. How did you first become interested in podiatry?

I am Thai born and my dad who is a surgeon, was the one who introduced me to podiatry.  Although I applied (and got accepted) to medical school in Thailand, I wanted the opportunity to explore the world as an international student.  I became interested in the uniqueness of a profession that doesn’t really exist in Thailand.  At the time, as far as I was aware, there were only four qualified Thai podiatrists in the world, and none of these work in podiatry in Thailand.

2. Why Podiatry?

I like learning about the human body.  One particular thing that I am passionate about is gait, which is how people walk.  How people walk, the muscles, and bones fascinate me, especially learning about the simple tasks that we do every day without thinking.  The Musculoskeletal (MSK) system which is bones, skin and muscle, is the area that I find fascinating. Once I researched this, and learnt about how the nervous system controls the MSK, that was it for me – I was hooked!

3. How did you learn about podiatry and become involved in teaching?

As there are no podiatry courses in Thailand, in 2010, I came to the UK and started the International Foundation Year in Sciences and shortly after this, I began my BSc in Podiatry at University of Brighton.  It was during my third year of study that I became a leader for the Peer Assisted Study Session (PASS) where student volunteers are trained and supervised in leadership, facilitation and communication skills.  As part of this mentoring programme I helped 1st year students learn about the anatomy.

After my MSc in Biomechanics, I joined the University of Brighton Podiatry team in January 2015.  I started my teaching qualification in September 2015, and will be finished by this July.

As a module leader, I teach 2 undergraduate modules and 1 postgraduate module. I also teach on other modules including the ‘Analysis of Function’ (physiotherapy and podiatry) and on ‘Musculoskeletal & Immune Systems’, on Gait for the Brighton Sussex Medical School. (Dao’s full academic profile can be viewed here.)

I love teaching which is why I applied for this job.  I like learning and working and as a lecturer you are paid to learn. I get to read all the news and be up to date with accessing journals, books and sitting in on other people’s lectures.  It is definitely a perk of the job if you like learning.

Dao Tunprasert and Podiatry students


 “I like learning and working – as a Lecturer you are paid to learn”.



4. Why do you think students should consider podiatry as a health topic to study?

It gives students a real opportunity to explore various aspects of healthcare.  I believe that there is something in podiatry for everyone.

Sports injuries
For example, a sports person may want to focus on MSK (bones, skin and muscle) part; treating injuries, making insoles and doing gait analysis.  In fact I know a number of  podiatrists that are working for famous football and rugby clubs in the UK.

Wound and ulcer care
However, if MSK and sports are not your thing, you may be interested in wound care.  If you are ready to make a difference to people’s lives by saving their limbs, wound care is something to consider.  You could directly be involved in the prevention of loss of limbs, and possibly loss of life.  Ulcer care is an area that you would also learn about.  As part of knowing how to treat these patients, you would identify and be able to treat those that are high risk, and those who are likely  to develop ulcers due complications from diabetes.

Podopediatrics (development of children’s feet)
There is opportunity to look at the development of children’s feet and the milestones of this development.

Provide relief to those in immense pain
We often have patients come in and they are in a lot of pain.

“It is really satisfying that we can  provide instant relief for those people that are in immense pain – they often leave stating they feel like they are walking on air.”



Podiatry as a preventative measure
Podiatry is not about cutting toe nails, but cutting nails for patients can form part of an important preventative measure.  In the event that a patient has a loss of sensation, and can’t reach their feet to cut their toenails, the nail can potentially dig into their toe, and create a wound.  Because the patient has a loss of sensation, they don’t always know it’s there, which can lead to a number of issues.  The NHS service sometimes offer nail care to those they believe may be of an ‘at risk’ background, and if these patients are not supported with their nail care, they may develop other complications that may lead to loss of limb or life.

5. Why do you think that students should come to UoB to study it?

In addition to being supported to study the area of podiatry that interests you, there are a number of reasons why you should come to the University of Brighton.

Our facilities

The excellent facility that we have at the Leaf hospital in Eastbourne, is unique in that contains a 21 cubicle clinic that is used to treat NHS patients.  As a teaching hospital, we have a number of teaching facilities, including our anatomy room.  Here students from Year 1 can do their own dissection on the cadavers under careful supervision, and in a respectful and controlled environment.  

The minor surgery suite teaches the ‘gold standard of infection control and procedure’  when it comes to minor surgery operation, including nail surgery and electro surgery.

Dao Tunprasert and podiatry students doing minor surgery


 “With our own NHS clinic, our students have the autonomy to have their own caseloads where they can follow patient progress from year 2 until the end of their degree.


Specialist lecturers, many of whom are current practitioners/clinical educators in their field
If our students have specific interests, they are encouraged to learn more about these and include them on their case load.   We have a supportive staff team with different expertise, which in turn brings different strengths to the team in terms of teaching.  We have a number of experts who work full-time in NHS / practice, but who also work as trained clinical educators.

For example at the moment we have an extended scope MSK podiatrist (Band 8), a nail surgery specialist and a wound care specialist working as clinical educators. Each of these are experts in their field and give up one day each week of their time to come and teach, share their up to date knowledge and experience with our students.

Supportive environment to learn from your tutors and your peers
Our students can explore their opportunities further and explore their weaknesses further. We can really offer them an environment where they have the support of the tutor and also be able to draw on the support of  their peers. After all, it’s better to learn now, in this environment, before you qualify and go out to work.

“Our podiatry students start seeing patients very early from year 1”

6. If you are happy to share – please tell us something about yourself that would surprise us!

I love photography.  I was a President of a photography club in high school. I still enjoy taking my camera to go on a stroll in the city or the countryside and take photos.

 7. What advice would you give to those thinking about podiatry as a career? How could they best prepare?

Come in and observe Leaf Hospital.  If you are not sure if this is the profession for you, we are more than happy for students to come in and observe our clinics at Leaf Hospital.  You can do this by e-mailing me direct on mailto:T.Tunprasert2@brighton.ac.uk to arrange this.   If you can’t get to us at the Leaf Hospital, the alternative is to find a local podiatrist who are willing to welcome students to observe their clinic, and you can do this via the Careers in Podiatry website.

Find out more about studying podiatry at University of Brighton and join our new student podiatrists starting in September.

Pippa Hillen’s MoonWalk to help fight breast cancer

If you haven’t already sponsored Pippa Hillen’s moonwalking, dig deep into your pockets and your hearts to wish her well this weekend as she walking 26 miles to raise money to support the fight against breast cancer. This will be her 7th London Moonwalk and 5th London Full Moon (26.2 miles) walk, but it’s certainly no easy feat!

“Thank you very much to those of you have sponsored me every year. It is greatly appreciated and is so encouraging when training and walking, especially on the last 8 miles of the night! This is a great cause, so please support it if you can.  Any amount you give will be valued and used well” said Pippa who is Deputy Head of School for Practice Learning and Principal Lecturer in Nursing at the University of Brighton.

The event is set up by Walk the Walk.  Walk the Walk came into being 20 years ago when just 13 women ‘Power Walked’ the New York City Marathon in their bras to raise money and awareness for breast cancer. As the UK’s largest grant making charity they work with charities big and small that are involved with breast cancer, this includes supporting research as well as to support those that have cancer now.

Wearing bras is their unique trademark, the girls and, yes, the guys too, all Walk the Walk in decorated bras.  Whilst it is not the normal sight for a Saturday night in London, it is a vision to behold and one that succeeds in not only raising awareness but millions of pounds for them to grant to their benefiting breast cancer causes.

Please help support Pippa, and all the others who are doing the moonwalk this weekend by sending your well wishes and donating to: http://wtwalk.org/moonwalklondon2017/pippa-6

BSU Awards 2017 – Nominations for School of Health Sciences

Following the recent announcement by the Brighton Student Union (BSU) of the Union Awards for 2017, the School of Health Sciences (SHS) are pleased to announce that we have received the following nominations in the BSU Awards 2017:

Society of the Year (Group)
For the society that has done amazing work to develop their offering for students.
They may have significantly increased their membership, created new events and activities and opportunities or developed strong working relationships within the University, the local community or nationally to enhance the experience for their members.

The Midwifery Society
The Brighton Midwifery Society’s aim is to spread knowledge and information around pregnancy and birth. They are open to Midwives, Student Midwives, prospective Student Midwives as well as mothers and fathers who want to expand their learning pertaining to this pivotal time in their lives. Midwives are the experts in normality and the Society aims to promote normal birth, in all its different incarnations, whilst building up a community of like-minded individuals with a passion for Midwifery.


Best Feedback
For the tutor who provides the most helpful feedback on your work.

Helen Fiddler
Helen qualified as a physiotherapist in London. She gained an MSc Research in Remedial and Caring Practice from Loughborough University. Helen then worked for many years as a physiotherapist specialising in treating both adults and children with cardiac and respiratory problems.
She is currently programme leader for postgraduate courses in the School of Health Sciences, course leader for the MSc Physiotherapy and teaches on both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the School of Health Sciences.

The Union Awards are a great part of the academic year in which we get to celebrate the achievements and hard work of staff across the University and the Union. Whether it’s an inspirational lecturer or a student volunteer – every effort is made to celebrate the work of everyone across campuses.

BSU stated that, “There was a phenomenal response, with 630 nominations submitted across all awards categories for amazing people at the University of Brighton. It’s simply brilliant that this many people have nominated somebody that they think are fantastic!”.
The winner’s will be announced on the Tuesday, 16th May at the award ceremony being held at Komedia, Brighton.
Well done and good luck Helen and The Midwifery Society!!

Visit us 13th April to see PARO the robotic responsive seal with therapeutic benefits!

The public is being invited to view a robotic baby seal that is bringing therapeutic benefits to people with dementia and learning difficulties.

The furry Harp seal ‘PARO’, which responds to touch and speech, was invented by Professor Takanori Shibata from Japan and is being researched by Dr Penny Dodds, Nurse Lecturer Practitioner with the University of Brighton’s School of Health Sciences. She is exploring the introduction of PARO to dementia care within Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Professor Shibata will be attending the open event at Room 129, Mayfield House on the university’s Falmer Campus, Brighton, between 9am and 4.30pm on Thursday (13 April).

Also attending will be Professor James Barilla, the USA naturalist who has written a book on robots inspired by nature. Dr Dodds will introduce PARO and Age UK representatives will speak on how the robotic seal has been received by day centre visitors.

Don’t miss out – Email P.Dodds@brighton.ac.uk to book your place now.

Students can join the Olympic gold rush

The Rio Olympic Games have shown that not only has Great Britain has some of the best athletes in the world but also how students can take up top careers to help achieve more to medal successes.

They include: head of performance, head of sports nutrition performance analysis, physiotherapists, podiatrists, engineers and sports journalists. Continue reading

New Postgraduate Certificate in Education- ‘Transforming professional practice through Education’


A new interprofessional Postgraduate Certificate in Education is expected to start In October 2016.  This new programme has been designed to critically develop health professional educator’s knowledge, competence and confidence to a strategic level for their educational role at work, both in practice and academic institutions. The aims of the programme are:


  • To enable health professionals to critically develop their competence and confidence in a range of teaching, learning, assessment and evaluation strategies in health, social care and higher education practice settings.
  • To develop the in-depth knowledge and skills of health professionals with an educational role or interest in teaching and learning so that they may design, plan, lead and manage creative, considered, supportive learning experiences which meet the initial and continuing learning needs of individuals working and learning in health, social care and HEI settings.
  • To provide the framework for exposure to exciting and comprehensive experiences in teaching, learning, assessment and evaluation that will achieve the UK Professional Standards framework for teaching and supporting learning in higher education requirements.

The course can be taken full time over one academic year or part time over two academic years. Students undertake three modules (20 credits each) and the course is delivered through a blended learning experience with attendance of learning activities and workshops expected at University alongside structured `e` activity.  All applications are reviewed and shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview.

If you have a question about this course, our enquiries team will be happy to help.

01273 644644


Channine Clarke   01273 643771   c.clarke@brighton.ac.uk

Tracy Szekely       01273 643947   T.szekely@brighton.ac.uk

Sara Hadland       01273 643873   S.Hadland@brighton.ac.uk


Source: Occupational Therapy newsletter – Feb 2016

Channine Clarke, Principal Lecturer and Tracy Szekely, Senior Lecturer

First National Conference for Occupational Therapists working or interested in diverse settings – 7th September 2016


Occupational Therapy Flyer

Channine Clarke and Sarah Mead are currently planning a one day conference / workshop for occupational therapists working in diverse settings. It will take place on Wednesday 7th September 2016 on the Eastbourne site and will include keynote sessions with Dr Jennifer Creek (speaking about her PHD research in this area of practice), Professor Gaynor Sadlo (application of occupational science in diverse practice) and Julia Scott from COT (reflecting on the way forward for OT practice). The day will also include facilitated workshops where OT’s can reflect on how their role can be evidenced against the HCPC standards for registration and explore gaps in research in this area of practice and how they measure outcomes. The day will cost £25.



Channine Clarke   01273 643771   c.clarke@brighton.ac.uk

Tracy Szekely       01273 643947   T.szekely@brighton.ac.uk

Sara Hadland       01273 643873   S.Hadland@brighton.ac.uk


Source: Occupational Therapy newsletter – Feb 2016

Channine Clarke, Principal Lecturer and Tracy Szekely, Senior Lecturer

CPD opportunities at the University of Brighton – Health Professional as an Educator Module

If you are looking to enhance your occupational therapy practice, at the University of Brighton we have opportunities for you. Our occupational therapy courses are part of the University’s Graduate Programme in Health and Social Sciences. The programme allows you to sign up for one module at a time and build your qualification as you go, from Postgraduate Certificate to Masters degree. It also gives you access to a range of interdisciplinary modules across a broad selection of health and social science subjects. Modules have been designed to make it easier to learn whilst learning, including online modules, which allow you to study at times when it is convenient for you.


  • Health Professional as an Educator Module.

Duration and mode: 5 days (4 days in sept and 1 day in December 2016)

Location: Eastbourne


Practitioners in many realms of health, social care and diverse practice settings have an increasing role to play in the education of students from Higher Education Institutions, service users, newly qualified staff, support workers, other professions and members of the public. The module is designed to enhance the skills necessary to enable professionals to develop their role as an educator in the work-based setting. The module will focus on professionals’ educational role with any learner, including students, staff, service users, families / carers, interprofessional teams, and the public. Successful completion of this module will provides accreditation with the College of Occupational Therapists (Accredited Practice Placement Educator – APPLE). Participants will also be eligible for accreditation with the Higher Education Academy as an ‘Associate Fellow’ (D1).

For further information please email Channine Clarke (module leader): C.Clarke@brighton.ac.uk



Channine Clarke   01273 643771   c.clarke@brighton.ac.uk

Tracy Szekely       01273 643947   T.szekely@brighton.ac.uk

Sara Hadland       01273 643873   S.Hadland@brighton.ac.uk


Source: Occupational Therapy newsletter – Feb 2016

Channine Clarke, Principal Lecturer and Tracy Szekely, Senior Lecturer

Contemporary Issues in the health and wellbeing of older people

One of our MSc post-registration modules, Contemporary Issues in the health and wellbeing of older people, now includes two dementia sessions on carers and the use of technology together with a presentation on compassion. These new sessions run alongside previous sessions and presentations from tutors and clinicians on current practice and research. Please contact Tracy Szekely, module leader for further information. T.szekely@brighton.ac.uk



Channine Clarke   01273 643771   c.clarke@brighton.ac.uk

Tracy Szekely       01273 643947   T.szekely@brighton.ac.uk

Sara Hadland       01273 643873   S.Hadland@brighton.ac.uk


Source: Occupational Therapy newsletter – Feb 2016

Channine Clarke, Principal Lecturer and Tracy Szekely, Senior Lecturer