What is a foot care nurse? A foot care nurse is a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse (in the states the type of nurse can differ), who has taken in addition to their formal training as a nurse, specialized training in foot care. They work along with a team of health care professionals such as family doctors, podiatrists, chiropodists, ulcer clinics, physiotherapists, and others to help keep a person mobile and decrease their risk of developing foot ulcers which can lead to amputation.
Foot care nurses can help reduce heavy calluses, corns and trim deformed or thickened nails. Nurses also assess feet for circulation, sensation, edema (swelling), and assess for the potential risk of ulcer development and falls. A large part of a nurse’s job involves patient education and monthly to bimonthly follow up. They also refer to other health care professionals especially podiatrists, for additional treatments such as orthosis, shoe modification, further clinical evaluation (x-rays, MRI, surgery etc.) and/or for high risk patients such as those with arthritis, autoimmune disease patients, and of course, diabetes. Many foot care nurses fill the gap where podiatrists are unable to come out to the patients home because the patient is home bound and too sick to get to the podiatrist.
Depending on your province’s/state’s regulation and tax laws, the expense of foot care can be tax deductible if the receipt has the licensed nurse’s registration at the top of the receipt. This benefit does not apply to services in a salon by an aesthetician or pedicurist. Local laws vary and patients should check with their tax specialists for specifics.
Also, depending on province/state regulations, some types of nurses must have a prescription for foot care from your family doctor. For example, in BC, registered nurses do not require prescription from a physician but our licensed practical nurses do. Please check your local regulations to make sure you know the laws pertaining to these services.