Since April is National Foot Care Awareness Month, one of our Foot Care Nurses shares a short Q&A about the Windom Area Health Foot Care Clinic!
My name is Danyelle Masters and I am a Registered Nurse (RN) at Windom Area Health. I have been a nurse for over 10 years and joined the team at WAH one year ago. I am a trained foot care nurse for Windom Area Health’s new Foot Care Clinic. Our RN Foot Care Nurses have taken the Foot and Nail Care Education Class by Sanford Health. I have put together some frequently asked questions and answers about our Foot Care Clinic.
What is our goal for our patients?
Our goal for you is to have healthy feet that you feel good about. We are able to inspect and do an assessment of your feet. Our purpose is to provide routine care to keep your feet healthy and at their best. Studies have shown RN foot care can prevent illness as we can catch small problems, before they become large problems. We are also able to educate on general foot care to help prevent injury, including falls. Foot care clinics can be thought of as “Prevention Clinics.”
What services can you provide?
We are trained to clip and file toenails and buff corns and calluses. With aging, toenails can become thick and hard to manage. Pain or inability to bend as people age, shaking or tremors, or loss of eye sight can make foot care challenging and even dangerous. Improper foot care can lead to wounds or infection. We don’t want that! However, we certainly don’t just see older adults. We can see anyone with challenging foot, vision or mobility problems. Fungal nails are more common than you think and we can get them shaped up and get you on the right track for healthy nails. Think of us as a pedicure without the polish.
What can I expect at my visit?
To start, a brief history will be obtained and medications and allergies will be reviewed. A waterless cleanser is used to wipe the feet. The feet are inspected for good circulation, sensation, sores, calluses, corns and potential concerning areas for breakdown. Nails can be trimmed using nippers and filed. We have a rotary tool we can use to grind down thick nails. Calluses, corns and nails will all be filed. And we end the visit with a brief moisturizing massage with lotion of the lower legs and feet. At the end of this visit, we hope that you will have better looking nails, less pain or discomfort and a better understanding of what you can do at home to maintain your foot health. Also, our nippers and grinders are all sterilized between patients with the same process as surgeons’ instruments. New patients can expect appointments to last 30-45 minutes.
How much does it cost?
We do not submit to insurance as this service is considered routine foot care and generally not covered. This service is $45 for your initial visit and $35 for following routine visits. Payment will need to be made prior to visit. All forms of payment are accepted. Patients generally need to return approximately every 8 weeks.
Does this replace a diabetic foot exam?
No, it does not. We are happy to do your routine care, but it is still recommended you see a medical doctor annually.
What if I’m embarrassed of my feet?
Then you have found the right place! Rest assured, we are happy to help you. If you’re hiding your feet, give us a chance to shape them up.
What are the most common conditions you treat?
Routine diabetic foot care, ingrown toenails, thick toenails, fungal toenails, long and hard to cut toenails, corns, calluses, and cracked heels.
What if I don’t know if someone needs foot care?
Ask them! Ask if they are able to take care of their feet. If they are diabetic, ask if they are able to feel their feet and inspect them every day for sores. Ask if they have pain in their feet or toes. They may be struggling and you don’t even know it. And we know foot care isn’t for everyone, so make an appointment and let us help.
What are some tips for healthy feet?
- Wash feet daily. Apply lotion, but no lotion in between toes.
- Inspect feet daily for red areas or sores. See doctor for any signs of infection, i.e. redness, swelling, warmth to area.
- Clip toenails straight across.
- Don’t go barefoot and wear dry socks.
- Wear comfortable shoes with good support. Shoes should not be tight or hurt to wear.
- Get help if you are unable to do good foot care on your own.
What if I need a referral?
We have a wonderful team here at WAH. We can refer you to any of the wonderful primary care providers in Windom. We also have a Podiatrist, Adam Nichols, DPM, that comes to us in Outreach 2 times a month from Sanford Orthopedics and Sports Medicines. If wound care is needed, the Wound and Hyperbaric Healing Center is able to take care of you here. We are also able to do telemedicine visits with specialist in Sioux Falls.
To learn more about the Foot Care Clinic or ask any questions, call 507-831-2400 I would be happy to share more information or visit the Foot Care Clinic page by Clicking Here.
By Danyelle Masters, RN, BSN, Clinical Nurse Coordinator