In The Spotlight – Eileen Sharp

Eileen Sharp, Practice Education Lead for Allied Health Professionals

Tell us a little about your job

I have two roles within NHS Forth Valley. I work clinically as a podiatrist in community clinics and I am the Practice Education Lead for Allied Health Professionals in NHS Forth Valley. This post is funded by NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and was introduced to support and facilitate the development of the workplace as a sustainable learning environment for our staff and our students when they are on placements.

Why feet?

I became a podiatrist as I wished to help people and found the instant difference you can make really rewarding. Stepping out of my clinical role to work with NES enables me to work across and with various professions and services, both locally and nationally. As a result, I have developed my skills in education and teaching. I find this role really rewarding, working with colleagues who are creative and innovative, and with students who are our future workforce.

Your recipe for keeping fit?

Dancing, dancing  and more dancing.  I love to dance. Dancing is a great stress buster as the sound of the music and the different types of dances and steps distracts from the day job and is great fun. I get to buy sparkly shoes and a girl can never have too many dresses!
My husband and I danced in our teens and took up dancing again 6 years ago, a decision we wish we had done earlier. I undertook exams to become a professional dance teacher; this was more stressful than completing my masters degree, and I currently teach ballroom and latin classes at all levels. We compete in competitions where we invent new dance routines called sequences which other people can then dance. My favourite is the ballroom and the slow foxtrot, a beautiful, elegant dance.

Difficulty in achieving a work-life balance?

I like to keep busy and enjoy both my day jobs working clinically with patients as well as working with colleagues and students. There is lots of really good innovative practice taking place and I feel very privileged to hear about and offer support and advice to my colleagues.  I relax by doing things. As well as dancing, I go to my daughter’s Zumba class and I have played badminton with my friends every Wednesday for the last 21 years.

The song that means most to you?

I enjoy music and sang for many years in the Grangemouth Choral Society. I love to sing in harmonies and classical music such as Handel’s Messiah. I sing in my church choir as an alto which stretches my ability to read the music and the words at the same time as I would normally sing mezzo soprano.

I never get the words to songs correct as my daughters keep on telling me and it always surprises me when I see the words at a Karaoke. We sang ‘Come on Eileen’ at my birthday and we were surprised at the words.

I love the big band sound and to I enjoy dancing and singing along to the songs such as Can’t Smile Without You and Fly me to the Moon.

Who would you like to invite to a dinner party?

I would love to meet the Strictly Come Dancing presenters and professional dancers as I feel they would be really good fun and I would be able to learn lots from them. They always seem to be having fun and perform to such a high level. That would be inspiring.

What piece of wisdom would you pass on to a child?

I have always told my girls to do their best in whatever they choose to do. We only walk this way once and I would encourage children to enjoy each present moment and to follow their dreams.

Unfulfilled ambitions?

To win an inventive dance competition.  I entered a recent competition where I danced a foxtrot, tango and jive. We reached the final last time with our jive.

Philosophy that underpins your life?

Treat others as you would like to be treated.