Aisling McHugh – Podiatry – Level 3

Athens, Greece

On the 7th of May ten podiatry students and two lecturers travelled to Athens to visit the Podiatry students in Athens Metropolitan College (AMC). AMC have recently introduced the Podiatry module which is accredited by Queen Margaret University Edinburgh. This was a great opportunity for us as students to travel, experiencing another country while also experiencing a different university environment.

On the first day in Athens we went to their clinic and helped the Greek students with routine appointments. It was very interesting to see the difference in techniques and treatment plans and we also provided them with advice and tips as they are second year students.

The Greek students then took us to different historic sites of Athens including the changing of the guards at Syntagma Square below the Hellenic Parliament. The soldiers stand for an hour at a time and change over in slow motion, some say this is to allow circulation to resume after standing motionless for this period.

We then went to a rooftop restaurant to view the Acropolis from a height which was amazing. The students gave us an insight into the history of the Acropolis

The following day we met at the ELEPAP rehabilitation centre which included a gait analysis lab. The AMC lecturer provided us with information on the use of gait analysis. The purpose of the application of Gait Analysis is the diagnosis, evaluation of the progress of conservative treatment and effectiveness of surgery when conservative treatment does not prevent the expected results and also the evaluation of orthotics. We assessed a 16-year-old boy with Cerebral Palsy who has had previous surgeries such as tendon transfers to improve mobility and quality of life. He participates in jujitsu which requires balance, flexibility, endurance and quadricep and hamstring strength. Within this rehabilitation children hospital there were many different units providing a holistic intervention for the child including podiatry, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy to name a few. It was impressive to see this and how they help the children learn and develop through play.

During our time in Athens we also visited Mount Lycabettus, The temple of Zeus, The National Garden of Athens, Panathenaic Stadium, The Arch of Hadrian and of course we ventured to the top of the Acropolis.

Overall, I had an amazing time in Athens from making new friends within the group of QMU students but also making friends with the Greek students who I plan to keep in contact with. I think it would be great for other students to get the chance of a trip like this in order to improve their podiatry skills as well as a ‘bonding trip’ with our course group who may never usually take part in social events together. It is also a brilliant opportunity for students who are on a budget to take part in this trip as travel really is the best and most exciting form of education!

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