Provide Foot Care

Care Plan:  Provide foot care to a resident. Soap and water is used and foot care is provided to only one foot. The resident is sitting in a chair. The resident’s sock and shoe are replaced at the end of the skill.


Click on each question to view the answer…

Will the patient always be sitting in a chair for this skill?

For the state exam, the patient will be positioned in a chair at the bedside.  In a clinical setting, this skill may need to be modified based on the individual needs and abilities of the patient. If the patient is unable to sit in a chair, the CNA will adapt the skill to the abilities of the patient, which may include consulting the nurse for specific accommodations.

Why am I only washing one foot?

For the state exam, only one foot needs to be washed to demonstrate proper technique. In a clinical setting, both feet will be washed using the same procedure.

When should I notify the nurse if I notice any abnormalities on the feet?

The nurse should be notified immediately upon noticing any bruising, wounds, rashes, blisters or any other abnormalities prior to proceeding with the rest of the skill.

What should I do if the patient refuses foot care?

Notify the nurse. If possible, find out from the patient why they are declining this skill. Does the patient have another activity planned, are they expecting company or do they have sensitive feet? Gathering more information can assist us in planning care appropriately for the patient.

How often will I have to perform foot care?

Foot care will be performed as often as indicated in the care plan. Diabetic patients, and patients with poor circulation, will require foot care more often as they are at a higher risk of developing foot ulcers.

Why don't we trim toenails?

Trimming toenails carries a risk of accidentally cutting patient’s skin or trimming too aggressively, causing ingrown toenails. In most settings, toenail care will be performed by a podiatrist to minimize the risk to the patient.

What should I do if I notice the patient's toenails need trimmed?

Notify the nurse. In most facilities, there is a list of patients that need to be seen by the podiatrist who visits the facility monthly. You may be required to add patients to this list as necessary.

What if I really don't like to touch people's feet? Can I refuse to do this skill?

Foot care is a vital component of personal care. If the resident is not able to view all surfaces of their feet, sores and other abnormalities may go unnoticed, which can develop into major medical problems that may require amputation. If you are emotionally unable to perform this skill, you may find employment as a nurse aide difficult to obtain. If you are assigned this skill for the exam and do not perform it, you will fail.