What do Chronic Illnesses Mean for Your Patients’?

How do these chronic illnesses affect the feet and lower legs of your patients?CIR782 WHO graph

The CDC, World Health Organization and countless others exert a lot of effort estimating the impact of chronic illnesses on today’s world population.  How do these issues affect you and your patients? One direct impact is the care of their feet.

 

Routine Foot Care – is defined by Medicare as the activities of trimming of nails, thinning thickened nails, reducing excess calluses and application of moisture.  These routine acts are often impossible for your patients to perform for themselves….they need your help!

Did you know there are nurses who are trained to safely perform the activities of Routine Foot Care (RFC)…and more!  They are trained to recognize any out-of-normal conditions of the feet and lower legs and make appropriate referrals to physicians when needed. YOU could become one of these nurses.

Often nurses in long term care facilities, home care employment and even floor nurses are the ones responsible for seeing to the feet and nails of their patients. If you are not well-trained and confident in your skills, you might put this type of care off as long as possible…which could be dangerous to a patient. Taking an online course is an excellent introduction to the process of becoming certified in foot care.

Wound Care – is a discipline unto itself. All nurses must be capable of working with wounds, but wounds of the lower extremities have real differences in their healing process. Do you know what is different about wounds of the feet? What should you be aware of when working with a foot ulcer? Are you familiar with the various off-loading therapeutic appliances?  These are topics that are covered in Prof-Ed’s courses.

Neuropathy – is a common side affect of both diabetes and PAD. Did you know not all manifestations of neuropathy are alike? It’s a continuum…from small occasional twinges of sharp pains or “pins and needles” through shooting pains all the way to complete constant burning. And then there’s the loss of sensation…from spots of inability to feel temperature differences to occasional numbness to complete loss feeling of any kind. It’s both too much sensation and not enough sensation.

Do you know the various assessment tools for determining LOPS (Loss of Protective Sensation)?  Helping your patients understand what their neuropathic symptoms mean for their lives is vital.

Foot Care Specialty – is a valuable commodity for your career. The need for this specific skill set is huge…and growing as the “Boomers” are aging. Approximately 25% of Americans have been identified as “Baby Boomers.” This is a huge patient demographic…and they will need help with their feet! Get yourself trained and ready to meet the demand.

 

 

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