For a couple of years now, since the need for more Professional Foot Care has become obvious, we have focused mainly on Diabetic care.
We have learned a lot and hopefully will continue to Educate ourselves. We know we need to start our service with a Consultation. We know we shouldn't have our water temperature to high. We know we shouldn't cut, use blades or sometimes not even take a metal implement to a Diabetic client.
Many have changed their Diabetic Foot Care service to a dry service only. Many have taken classes specifically related to Diabetic care. Many have segregated their Business to Geriatric facilities whom primarily focus on Diabetic care.
This is all great, and since I started my Foot Care only Distribution, I have seen many changes in our Foot Care arena. Heck..now there is a Summit developed specifically for Foot Care.
However, have we segregated ourselves too much?
What about Foot Care for Cancer patients?
With the Diabetic client, we know the symptoms of someone with Diabetes are life long. Diabetes is the cause of dry skin, cracked heels and many more skin related issues. As long as the client has Diabetes, they will more then likely have these symptoms.
However, with Cancer patients, even though we know the symptoms of dry skin, itchy skin, red skin and nail deformity will more then likely be a result of chemo or radiation, we need to also realize these symptoms are not or do not have to be life long.
In fact,with Cancer typically the symptoms come during or after treatment. With Diabetes, many times we have the symptoms and those symptoms help diagnose the cause.
We recently found out my Dad has cancer. It's a rare form of cancer and fortunately, thanks to lot's of prayer, it is isolated. However, it is not operable and because of his age (89), they probably will not offer chemo as a treatment.
We don't know all the facts yet, but the presumption is 5 weeks of radiation, 5 days a week. I know many younger people who have endured this. It will not be easy.
Amongst many concerns, I think about how to keep him comfortable. I've read many articles on the side affects of radiation. His skin will be terribly irritated and there could be internal chemical changes which happen. All of which could affect his skin, his nails, his hair.
All this got me thinking about what I need to do for him before he starts his treatments. Clip his toenails, clip his fingernails. Make sure he has a good hydrating cream to use on the targeted area AND the rest of his body. Review practices with him in keeping the targeted site clean. And of course, make sure he's eating properly and exercising religiously.
This brought me back to my Salon where I had a various amount of cancer clients over my 24 years in Business.
I remember working "gingerly" on them, providing them with products and helping them restore the life of their hair, nails and skin once their treatments were done. The reality is, there is another whole life of targeted Business visiting our Salons. Why are we only concentrating on the Diabetic client?
There are many like factors when it comes to servicing the Diabetic client and the Cancer client.
- EDUCATION-Knowing your trade is one thing. Knowing specifics of your trade is better.
- WATER TEMPERATURE-Sensitivity is a like concern.
- NO CLIPPING-Why take the chance? The last thing we want to do is cause portal of entry.
- PRODUCT RECOMMENDATION-At home care maintenance is important.
With your clients who have Cancer, there are a couple of extra steps which can be taken.
- At the first word of Cancer, it would be beneficial to recommend to your client to get started on a good "Personal Care" routine. Nails and skin are often the most affected.
- A good cuticle oil to promote healthy nail growth
- A hydrating product for their skin. Not just any product, they need a product which will process gently into the layers of the epidermis. A product which promote healthy, regenerative effects.
- During their treatment, the least amount of stress they experience, the better.
- Offer a relaxing leg and foot massage for your client to experience on a weekly basis. Pampering, relaxing, calming.....all things which aid in quick repair and recovery.
- During treatment, be happy.
- I would imagine, staying positive would be a difficult task. So when they come to you, be happy and joyful. Do some happy face nail art or colorful colors to brighten their day.
- Lastly, but certainly no the least important.....Consult, hear what they are saying, listen intently.
- Our consultation should include asking your client how they feel. Maybe they aren't feeling well enough for the 45 minute service, but they showed up because they didn't want to cancel at the last minute.
- Knowing how they feel, you can customize for them.
- Knowing how they feel, you can become their cheerleader.
- Asking how they feel, will make them feel special. Special IS how we should make them feel.
The hard reality is, our days in the Foot Care Salon of just "doing Pedicures" are over. More and more of our clients are coming to us with immune deficient systems. We not only have Diabetes, we have Cancer. We have Fibromyalgia, MS and many more auto immune conditions which can be affected by an improper Foot Care service.
Don't just know your Trade, be Educated!
CJ'S PARTING THOUGHT!
August is "Back to School" month....have you thought of your theme?
How about offering Apples as a healthy snack for your clients