Why Assessment is Important in Foot Care

When a potential client phones or emails McDermott Footcare to ask about available services, I briefly explain that since I offer a nursing procedure, my first visit includes a very short assessment to find out what medications the person is taking and any medical conditions that affect the feet and toenails (and there are many).  Most people are fine with this.  On rare occasions, a person doesn’t want  the assessment  and decides not to have me come in.  That’s OK.  However, here’s why the strictly confidential assessment is so important:

  • As a Registered Nurse, it’s necessary to know what’s going on medically so I can give the best care possible.  Anyone who’s diabetic, has a heart, lung, blood pressure or circulation condition, is arthritic, has low immunity,  has difficulty walking, bending or seeing is going to be concerned about more foot care issues than overgrown  toenails.
  • Some commonly prescribed medications for the above conditions will cause changes to the health of the feet and toenails.  For example, long-term antibiotic use increases fungal infections to the toenails and skin of the feet.  Different types of steroids used in conditions of the lungs, the joints and cancer treatments make nails brittle and increase fungal infections of the feet and nails.
  • Past surgeries to the lower limbs and hips may cause poor circulation to the feet.  Fungal, thickened, discoloured toenails, lack of feeling in the feet (known as neuropathy) and poor skin condition are the result.  These surgeries may cause a change in the way we walk and the way we carry our weight.   In turn, corns and calluses may develop, making walking painful.

It seems to me that most of us don’t see the connection between what goes on in our feet and the rest of our body, but everything is connected very intricately.  That’s why conscientious, properly trained, certified foot care nurses get to know the whole person – not just their feet.

In my experience, not everyone wants a nursing assessment and decide that their needs are better addressed elsewhere.  On the other hand,  those who take the few minutes needed to answer the confidential assessment questions receive personalized, holistic, quality nursing foot care.

Copyright Terry McDermott. May not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission of author

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