One of the largest most prominent and possibly useful piece of podiatry equipment is a workstation or trolley.
These pieces of clinic furniture range in design, features and cost. some have additional built in drills and functionality, including sockets for attaching lights.
In this article we take a closer look at the types of podiatry workstations, their features and uses.
If you’re looking for somewhere to store your drill or instruments prior to use then there are a range of brands on the market that offer generous spaces and surfaces.
Before you start
One of the most important aspects to consider is the position you are starting from. Are you upgrading from an existing unit or purchasing your first?
Space is a key consideration. Unless you are blessed with plenty of clinic space then you will want to consider the overall footprint you have to work with.
Do you know where other pieces of clinic will be situation in relation to he proposed cabinet or trolley?
Types of workstations and trolleys
Typically Podiatry storage solutions can be split into various categories some of the most common terms are workstations or cabinets and trolleys.
As well as offering basic storage workstations can also include built in podiatry drills and lighting.
The fully bespoke solution
Fully in-built bespoke cabinets and work surfaces similarly to dental clinics are used for adding additional storage in the clinic. They are usually designed in a similar fashion to kitchens.
A design would need to be taken and list drawn up of features and requirements.
Quite often podiatrists will want a handy easy to reach solution close to the patients feet that can be moved out of the way easily.
Stand Alone Trolley’s
Usually of metal or light wooden construction. Trolleys are a popular choice for practitioners wanting a simple solution. They cab be used for putting a drill, autoclave or instruments.
Trolleys are generally not stable enough to take a magnifying light.
- Easy to clean
- Usually on wheels
- Budget friendly
- Lack electrical connection
- Small storage capacity
- Unsuitable for lamp attachments
Workstations or Cabinets
Usually a more functional solution, podiatry workstations or cabinets provide additional options and functionality. Drill storage, lights and power sockets are all handy features that come with the majority of cabinets,.
- Larger drawers and surfaces
- Power sockets
- Magnifying lamp attachments.
- Larger footprint
- Spare parts required
- PAT testing for electrical safety
Overall the increase in efficiency far out ways the minor inconvenience of workstation maintenance and PAT testing. Having a workstation that’s both practical and easy to use can make clinic life much easier.
Fully integrated workstations
The last type of unit to mention would be the fully integrated solutions. These are larger units that usually incorporate a drill, light and storage solutions.
Originally manufactured for the dental market, these types of units whilst sophisticated and aesthetically pleasing, have additional maintenance requirements as well as cost.
- Stylish designs
- Built in drills and lighting
- High capacity
- Higher cost
- Additional Maintenance
- Larger footprint
What are workstations used for?
As expected most workstations and trolleys are used for storage. But they can be much more than that.
Many units are used for housing podiatry drills and lights. you can often fit your podiatry drill oin the apputure of the unit and attach your magnifying light with the use of a special bracket.
PRO TIP: Speak to your supplier about the size of drill the cabinet can hold or if brackets are included.
Typical Features of a workstation or trolley
- Metal or wooden construction
- Wheels or castors, some have breaking facility on one or more wheels
- Glass or metal work surface
- Internal Lighting
- Soft Close drawers & cupboards
- Drawers or shelves
- External Lamp brackets
- Power sockets
- Drill brackets
UK Brands of Podiatry Units
As with a lot of podiatry equipment in the UK, it is hard to track the brands that are sold.
Over the years the cost of cabinets has gone up due to the relative numbers sold and high import costs.
Currently the most widespread brand offered by most of the big suppliers is Gerlach, These are very good quality units.
Some of the other common brand names sold by podiatry suppliers include:
Algeos (own brand) – Nova, Windamere, Secretario
Berchtold – Mobile, Studio-Line S & Classic 6 Drawer
Canonbury (own brand) – Hampshire, Cotswold (pre 2015). Podosmart (post 2015)
Euroclinic – Roma, Verona,
Namrol – Futura, Duna, Activ, Stylo
Techniwork – Milano, Bologna
Justcare – Bedmed Wide & Slim
Gerlach – AT/NT, Jupiter, Compact
These are just some of the options available. It’s worth ringing round the suppliers to get an idea if there’s any deals or special offers.
Do I need a UV drawer?
In the early 2000’s a few cabinets turned up with UV drawers. the idea behind these was to be able to keep instruments in a cleaner environment than being left on a work surface.
Whilst this is a valid option the reality is that this is NOT a valid sterile field and should not replace any part of an effective decontamination procedure.
There is a big difference in the quality of the UV drawers found on podiatry cabinets.
Most are nothing more than a germicidal bulb (which attracts bugs) fitted inside a drawer.
One of the best UV drawers is found on the Gerlach cabinets, This features and dust free environment with seals round the edges of the drawer.
A bit about delivery
As with a lot of the larger bulkier pieces of podiatry equipment, you need to take into account delivery.
Many companies will charge delivery. There may be some who will offer free delivery but it will depend on how personalised a service you want.
Some cabinets will need to be delivered on a pallet to keep it safe. Are you able to receive and deal with any packaging?
A good quality, useful cabinet can be a real asset to a clinic. Used for storing and keeping your essentials close to hand can reduce inefficiency and improve posture from repetitive bending.
Do you use a workstation, what works for you? Let us know in the comments below.