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Nursing Home and Foot Care Nurse to Save Costs

Discussion in 'Australia' started by surfboy, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. surfboy

    surfboy Active Member

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    Hi folks,

    Would greatly appreciate your input please about this situation.

    I have been visiting a nursing home for about a year, and there has been a change in management. As a part of their cost cutting exercises, I was informed today when I arrived that they deem it unnecessary for all residents to be seen by the Podiatrist, and that they would like for one of their Assistants in Nursing to cut the majority of the nails to save costs.

    The manager then went on, and asked if one of the assistant nurses could sit in with me for some training. I am fairly easygoing and allowed this. I am not fussed if my workload in the home is reduced, I have enough work elsewhere. But I am very concerned about where Podiatrists stand when working with foot care nurses in nursing homes. - Are we responsible for supervising them??? What happens if they make a mistake and injure a patient or cause other harm, and then I am asked to fix the problem??? Where does that leave me legally?!

    The assistant nurse informed me that she was extremely uncomfortable that the manager had directed her to cut toenails, and told me she was very uncomfortable about the prospect of potentially causing injury to a patient or not cutting the nails correctly, as she had never done it before. She was concerned about liability and damage to her career if she stuffed up.

    Alarmingly, I checked the "equipment" that the assistant nurse was supposed to use. $3 nail clippers (not side cutters) from the chemist....

    I informed the manager of my concerns as did the assistant nurse, but they were dismissed. This manager then proceeded to ask me to do one more training session with the assistant nurse next week, "before I could sign a document to certify that the assistant nurse was competent".

    This is quite startling, as I have no familiarity in the training or certification of foot care nurses. I will be informing the manager of this. I am not signing any document certifying someone.

    I have tried to search everywhere for what training is required for nursing home staff to cut toenails. - What are the legislative requirements for foot care nurses in nursing homes and their education??? Are staff allowed to cut the nails without competing a training course?? What happens if the nurse makes a mistake and then they deliver the patient to me to fix it???

  2. omg 123

    omg 123 Member

    Don't agree to formal training as following problems may be seen as your responsibility.
    I think in the uk many trusts have training for social care but not sure of the legal precedence.

    Sounds very risky to sign something when it feels odd!

    Do you have assistants in podiatry in Aus ?

    I may be wrong but the assistants used to work under the malpractice insurance of the Pod.

    Sound like things are getting harder in Aus?
  3. rosherville

    rosherville Active Member

    Unless you're desperate for cash, walk away. There's no future there !

  4. ELM

    ELM Member

    I had a similar experience with the proposal to introduce "foot care nurses". In nursing homes, nurses that have completed an appropriate course (certified by the nursing registration body, such as the Mayfield Education course: http://www.mayfield.edu.au/html/ahafc.html) can cut toenails of low risk residents, but this is done completely separately to podiatry treatment, and is considered part of the showering/hygiene practices.

    Another health service have tried to introduce 'toenail cutters' in the community, and wanted the podiatrist to refer people into their system - advice received about this was that making a referral leaves the podiatrist liable for anything that happens forever!!!

    I most certainly wouldn't be signing anything either!
  5. ELM

    ELM Member

  6. donut queen

    donut queen Welcome New Poster

    Do not sign the document!!
    I work with foot care nurses and they had to complete separate training by an accredited organisation.
    They are only allowed to see low-risk non-pathological nails. I also check all of their clients once a year. The clients they see cannot have any blood flow issues, diabetes, involuted nails, corns, callouses etc.
    If you sign you are putting your self and your registration at risk.
    If a nurse has completed an accredited course and then makes a mistake it is not your issue. You are not the one hiring the nurse to complete the job hence making the responsibility of management.
  7. cwiebelt

    cwiebelt Active Member

    Seems all a bit strange
    Ok if management want to save some money that's up to them . I tend to think they need to find some nursing staff who are intrested in doing foot care and provide the appropriate training and courses.
    There is no way I would sign off on their training, if something goes wrong they may well come back to you and hold you partially responsible?
  8. podesh

    podesh Active Member

    Hi, the nurses are meant to have completed a footcare course at Tafe, one is run at Taree a few times a year. Cheers Esher
  9. Tin

    Tin Active Member

    Thanks for sharing,

    I don't do any NH myself but think this is ridiculous. Don't sign. WALK!

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