Nurses Performing Footcare?
Nurses have a long history of going where the care is needed, including in the homes of clients. Home care nursing in the U.S. started based on home care in England that began around 1859. Soon Florence Nightingale was asked to help develop the home care model. Naturally, home care nurses would perform routine foot care as part of caring for the patients. Doctors doing house calls would address more complicated foot issues. However, beginning in the 1950s the practice of doctors going into homes waned, and was a thing of the past by the 1960s.
In the modern era we have a gap with more advanced services needed in nursing homes, retirement communities and in-homes. Thus, again nurses fill a gap and become specialists in a needed area, as certified footcare nurses.
Why is Footcare Important?
Lack of routine footcare can lead to several complications, which are unfortunately common among individuals with diabetes, aging, or other diseases. These populations face increased risk of developing dry skin, odor, and ulcerations as a result of high blood sugar, poor circulation, or ill-fitting shoes. Further, diabetes can lead to arterial or vascular disease and fungal or bacterial infections. The development of cellulitis is 40% higher when hemoglobin A1C levels reach 7.5% or higher.
With aging, feet elongate and widen causing shoes that once fit to become tight, leading to calluses and corns. Once experiencing pain in the feet, elderly often limit walking. The increase in size of the foot is the result of falling arches, this can lead to bunions and hammertoes; both painful conditions.
Toenail fungus affects up to one-third of the population over age 65. Toenail fungus is easily identified by footcare nurses, and multiple effective treatments are available. It is very important to keep the toenail from thickening and thick toenails apply pressure to the nail bed leading to pain, leading again to the avoidance of walking.
And while you may gain fat and padding as you age, you actually lose the fat pad on the ball of the foot- and that is painful.
Another problem is that the skin looses elasticity and oils, leading to dry skin and often, cracked heels. Dry-cracked heels may hurt, but this problem can be avoided with regular exfoliation and moisturizers applied to your feet. Footcare nurses can help avoid the development of cracked heels with medical grade footcare methods and products.
Ingrown toenails can happen at any age but are more common in older individuals. Nail care technicians are taught to cut nails straight across, whereas footcare nurses are taught to cut with the natural curve of the nails. Simply cutting the nails properly can prevent the development of ingrown toenails.
Ill-fitting shoes can contribute to bunions, corns, calluses, hammer toe, claw toe and other problems. Footcare nurses will assess your footwear and make recommendations.
Other Foot Problems
Other common problems of the feet include plantar fasciitis, bursitis, achilles tendinitis and similar problems. At Arizona Foot and Wound Care by Nurses, we use shockwave therapy to heal these problems.
Foot Problems are Common, but Arizona Foot and Wound Care by Nurses Can Help
In summary, foot problems are common, affecting about 75% of the population at some point in their lifetime. Foot problems are more common with age, but most problems are preventable with proper footcare. At Arizona Foot and Wound Care by Nurses we are passionate about healthy feet and want to help you keep your feet in tip-top shape.