Why You Should Add A Medical Nail Technician To Your Practice­­

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Author(s): 
Robert Spalding, DPM

   Assistant only. In this scenario, the MNT would perform debridement, callus reduction and noninvasive services in the podiatry office to relieve the podiatrist of the time these services take in his or her practice. The podiatrist does the consultation and then introduces the MNT, who performs the care.

   Pedicurist only. The podiatrist refers patients to the MNT for monthly pedicures to ensure the safety of the patients during these cosmetic services. The office can also solicit people outside of the current podiatry practice patients for pedicures. Doing so may potentially lead to new patients when they come into the office for cosmetic pedicures.

   Nursing home assistant. The MNTs can take the pressure off the podiatrists when they are working in nursing homes by performing noninvasive care and allowing the podiatrist to see more patients.

   Technicians performing all of the above. In this scenario, the MNT performs medical assistant duties and cosmetic pedicures, according to the office schedule.

   Podiatrists often start the MNT in one of these roles and then increase the work relationship to another level after seeing the benefits of having him or her in the office. Utilization of an MNT seems to “grow” on podiatrists quickly.

   While podiatrists may be ready to incorporate an MNT into their practice as an assistant, few of us know how to set up an office to offer pedicures. However, with minimal suggestions, one can accomplish this in short order. Janet McCormick, MS, is proficient in aiding podiatrists in reworking their physical facility, designing their marketing and in hiring an MNT. She will readily provide support for one to accomplish this endeavor.

   Making this change has worked for me as a new way of practicing. I currently have a MNT working for me and I am enjoying the experience as well as the additional income.

Can MNTs Assist With Laser Care?

   I have found the MNT to be very valuable in supporting my laser care, even to the point of expanding my profits. The MNT cannot use either one of the laser models directly on the feet. In my state, I must be the one to hold the laser. However, the MNT can get the toenails ready by performing the necessary debridement and other care needed prior to the procedure.

   This reduces the amount of face time I need to spend with these patients. Accordingly, I can see other patients while the MNT is prepping the laser patient. If it were legal for the MNT to perform the laser care in my state, she would be performing the service after receiving appropriate training. (The MNT course provides a good introduction to the philosophy of the care.) In your state, the MNT may be able to perform the laser treatment care.

Recognizing The Benefits Of Offering Safe Pedicure Services

   There is one more thing these technicians can do that we have not had in our offices before. They can bring unencumbered, non-insurance dollars into our offices by performing pedicures. Patients can enjoy safe and relaxing pedicures in our offices by a licensed nail technician who is trained to work aseptically with at-risk patients through a structured course.

   These pedicure services are cash services that are immediately paid in full. The technician can then recommend good foot care products for these patients that will improve the comfort and appearance of their feet.

   One of my pet peeves over the years has been the infected nails that I routinely see on patients who have had pedicures in salons that do not perform proper infection control. It especially concerns me when at-risk patients are going into these salons as there has been many recorded incidences of injury, even death. I feel that at-risk patients should not be having pedicures in nail salons unless they have been proven to perform aseptic pedicures.

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Anonymoussays: August 24, 2009 at 10:18 am

I have been a nail tech for 20 years and have seen much change over the years in the field. I do believe with the boomers moving through that this is the next trend for the manicurist. Regularly I have clients that cannot afford the cost of podiatry services thus using my abilities. I do believe that these should be performed in a more clinical atmosphere.
The problem is there are only a limited amount of advanced/medical nail technology courses available and there are limited career opportunities at this time. Should anyone know of a podiatrist looking for a licensed manicurist please let me know. As this is the route in which I would like to take.
Tina
flowercld@yahoo.com

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misterscruffsays: September 2, 2009 at 12:02 pm

Medical Nail Technician - this position was unheard of until just recently. The expertise of a licensed manicurist can be invaluable to any podiatrist who is looking for specific skills that may otherwise cannot learn through school. Because of this fact, specialized medical assistant programs are now becoming more popular.

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