I did it for over a year at a retirement center where the people were very wealthy. I learned from another nurse who was retiring. I felt privileged to do the job; some of my patients were in their '80 and '90s, and the stories they could tell! I felt honored to listen to them!!
A lot of them were concentration camp surviviors, or otherwise displaced by war; many came over here with nothing but the clothes on their backs and not speaking the language, and eventually worked themselves up into positions of great wealth.
Some of them had worked in the very early days of the radio and TV industries, and could tell their personal stories about Jack Benny and other celebrities of that era.
It was very enjoyable, and I took a great deal of pride into making their feet not only more comfortable, but attractive. One of my older male patients (98!) played golf EVERY DAY, and told everybody it was because of ME that he could.
The downside was when my patients died. Of course, it is to be expected; they were VERY elderly, but not ill. They simply died of old age. I really got attached to my patients--I really miss them, to this day.
You can get really good with the drill, which is indeed like a dremel--except you buy it at the beauty supply store, and it is called a Nail Genie. I used to buy specialty burrs from a place called Sunjean. They were meant for working on artificial nails, and they were very powerful--could smooth down the toughest calluses until the person's feet looked like baby feet. The burrs that come with the Nail Genie are too "wimpy" and wear out too fast--plus, they are difficult to disinfect.
I sold my business to another RN who was wanting to learn the business, mainly because I was neglecting my own LNC business, and I was also teaching and had to be out of town a lot. I charged $50 per session, and probably could have charged more. I did 6 appointments a day, once a week, and had a waiting list. People literally had to die for someone else to get a spot; I was that busy! The nurse before me did 8 patients a day, but she only spent about 20 minutes on each patient. I spent a good hour. I did not want them to feel rushed, and, anyway, I enjoyed the social aspect of it.
One perk: once you buy a Nail Genie at a beauty supply store, and let them know you have a foot care business, you get discounts on ALL products at the beauty supply store--just like hairdressers and nail technicians do.
One word of warning: your significant other and children will also want you to "do their feet."
Here's a tip: I used to buy generic denture cleaner at RiteAid to add to the warm soak water in my whirlpool foot bath, which you can buy anywhere, or at the beauty supply store. It turns the watere a beautiful ocean blue and smells good. When the water turns clear, they have soaked for 10 minutes, and you know it is time to start doing your magic with your nail cutters, cuticle lotion, and drill. Finish up with a nice, relaxing foot and calf massage. Your client will be putty in your hands! They will be ready for a nap.
My business was called Specialty Foot Care. If anyone entering the business would like to hear from someone who has done it, fell free to P.M. me! I can tell you what supplies to buy to get started with. Don't forget to buy the blue sanitizing stuff that you buy at the beauty supply store to soak your instruments in between patients; AFTER you have cleaned them thoroughly with antibacterial soap and water. Good luck to all you aspiring foot care nurses!
Oh, here's another tip: if you have a client who has sensitive toenails--perhaps he has an ingrown toenail -- you can ease the pain by putting on Numzit (you know, that stuff you buy for teething babies) for a few minutes before you file, drill, or cut the offending nail. I would have liked to have used Lidocaine jelly, but of course that is not available without a prescription. Numzit worked fine, though.
Also, if you note fungal infections such as athlete's foot, you can use either tea tree oil or Lotrimin cream to treat them; advise your patient where he can purchase his own supply (both are available over the counter.)
I used mink oil for my foot and calf massage--my clients LOVED it--but any good smelling cream will do. There is even one at the beauty supply store that can be warmed in the microwave for a few minutes.