Hello, I am a foot nurse from California. Last summer I spent 10 days in England (remember when it was 105 degrees? I was on a tour at Windsor Castle on that day). I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a full day at a diabetic foot clinic at the King's College with Dr. Ali Foster, an extraordinaryily remarkable D.P.M) I asked her if she knew of any foot nurses like myself in the UK.
(I specialize in preventive foot care for non-high risk diabetics, providing nail trimming, corn and callous care and fungal nail debridement. I have an independant practice and have been in business for myself for 8 years.)
She said she knew of only 3 nurses in the UK who could cut nails. Surely she can not be right! I am writing to try and connect with any nurses who do this sort of thing. I would love to find out more about how routine foot care is provided in your country and if whatever system it is, is adequate. Foot Nursing is a wonderful specialty and I am on a mission to spread the word that it is up to the nurses of the world to help prevent the complications of diabetes that can be so easily prevented with proper nail and foot care and patient/caregiver education.
Diabetes in a global problem and I am very interested in someday starting an international foot nurse association so we can share ideas and techniques (as well as travel to foreign places and meet new and meeting exciting people!!! plus get continuing education and have a great tax write-off)
Anyone interested, let me know. Would love to hear your comments.
May 23, '04
I work in community care and have been a nurse for years, I have always been taught not to touch nails on feet without the proper training, if patients need feet care we generally if diabetic refer them to Podiatry or advice patients they need to find a private podiatrist. I generally let the experts deal with it, if something happened to a patient after I had cut their nails and accidentally cut them (especially if diabetic) I would not forgive myself. Podiatry in the UK I believe is a 3 year university course.
May 23, '04
The general advice that all patients needing nails on the foot cutting or other footcare problems are referred to a podiatrist.
May 23, '04
Thank you so much for you quick response. It sounds as if the situation in the UK is very much like it is in the US. Almost every nurse I have ever met here in the states, believes that nurses can not trim nails. They think it is out of our scope of practice. I personally remember being taught in nursing school (30 years ago) that we could not cut nails, that they had to be referred to a podiatrist or the family had to do it.
However, it is now known that nail care is within our scope of practice, but there are very very few training courses out there. It is a delema! The Canadian nurses are far ahead of us. They have 40 hour courses in their colleges for training in foot care nursing, as well as courses in how to start your own foot care business. I had the pleasure of attending a foot care seminar in Winnipeg last fall. It was incredible! I was in a room with 100 other foot care nurses. Yous see, I am one of a very few nurses who do foot care in the states. I am the ONLY foot nurse that I have heard of who has their own office. I also do home visits. I was trained by a podiatrist 10 years ago. When I discovered that it was both legal and possible to have my own business, I started in very gradually starting to build up a practice. I now have over 350 regular clients and a very satisfing life. I have 2 daughters and have been able to participate in their lives much more so than I did when I worked in a hospital or clinic setting.
But my main point of all this is that in order to prevent foot amputations from diabetes, that there has to be A WHOLE LOT MORE medical people performing quality foot care and nurses are the most logical choice. I am hoping to get back to London the next time that Dr. Andrew Boulton holds his diabetic foot course. If I am really lucky, I may be able to do a short presentation there or at least have a booth at the Vendors Fair. It is an area of great need and great reward. I am hoping someday to have a traveling nursing foot course to teach any nurse anywhere how to safely perform foot care. My professional goal is to help as many nurses to become educated in this field so that they in return can help their diabetic patients keep their feet right where they are supposed to be, attached to their legs.
So if any of you are looking for a new field. You might see if a podiatrist would hire you in their office.
Thanks again so much for answering my questions.
Apr 17, '12
Looks like you did what you set out to do Laura!