How to Provide Patient Foot Care

Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is a journey that requires commitment, empathy and a wide range of skills. One important skill that CNAs need to master is providing foot care for patients. This lesson will walk you through the steps and techniques involved in delivering foot care ensuring the comfort and well being of those under your care.

Recognizing the Importance of Foot Care

Foot care goes beyond being a task: it plays a critical role in comprehensive patient care. Proper foot care promotes health prevents complications and improves the quality of life for patients. As a CNA you have a part to play in maintaining feet and preventing potential issues.

The CNAs Role in Foot Care

As a CNA your responsibilities extend beyond tasks to include support and advocating for your patients. When providing foot care you have the opportunity to build rapport with patients, observe any changes that may be concerning and contribute to their well being.

Essential Supplies for Foot Care

Before you begin providing foot care make sure you gather all the supplies:

  • 2 Washcloths
  • 3 Towels (One for tray table, one for left foot, one for right foot)
  • Chux Pad
  • 1 Pair of Gloves
  • 2 Basins
  • Soap
  • Lotion

By having these supplies ready beforehand you can ensure a smooth process when it comes to caring for your patients feet.

4. Ensuring a Comfortable Environment

 Before starting foot care, create an environment. Ensure privacy by closing curtains. Providing covering.

5. Communicating with the Patient

Openly communicate with the patient to build trust. Explain the foot care process. Make sure they understand and give consent.

6. Preparing the Patient and Equipment

Help the patient get into a sitting position and set up a basin for foot soaking. Fill it with water and a small amount of soap.

7. Soaking the Feet

Carefully place the patient’s feet in the water to soak for 10-15 minutes. This step helps soften skin and nails for cleaning.

8. Cleansing the Feet

Use a washcloth or sponge to cleanse the patient’s feet and nails paying attention to areas between the toes. Gently dry their feet with a towel.

9. Nail Care

Trim their toenails across without cutting close to the skin. Smooth any edges using an emery board filing in one direction.

It’s important not to cut your cuticles because they serve as a barrier against infections.

10. Keeping the Feet Moist

Apply an amount of lotion without alcohol to the patients feet excluding the spaces between the toes. Gently massage the lotion into the skin to improve blood circulation and prevent dryness.

11. Preventing Pressure Sores

Check for any signs of pressure sores or redness on the patients feet. Adjust their position as needed to relieve pressure points.

12. Addressing Special Situations

Patients with diabetes require attention. Inspect their feet for cuts, sores or any changes in color or sensation. Report any abnormalities promptly.

13. Proper Sock Application

Help the patient put on dry socks or stockings. Ensure that they fit well without being too tight which could restrict circulation.

14. Documenting the Procedure

Accurate documentation is crucial, in healthcare. Make sure to record all aspects of foot care in the patients chart, including nail care, lotion application and any observations made.

15. Educating the Patient

Empower patients by educating them about why foot care’s proper footwear choices and regular self examination practices.

Highlighting the importance of identification and reporting of any foot related concerns.

16. Maintaining Infection Control

Adhere to infection control protocols, throughout the foot care process. Dispose of items correctly. Thoroughly wash your hands afterwards.

17. Offering Emotional Support

Provide support to patients who may feel vulnerable during foot care. Your empathy and reassurance contribute to their comfort and well being.

18. Implementing Safety Measures

Ensure the patient’s safety by checking the position of the bed providing lighting and keeping the call button within reach.

19. Cultural Sensitivity

Respect patients’ cultural beliefs and practices regarding foot care. Adapt your approach to align with their preferences and needs.

20 Consistency and Continuity of Care

Regular foot care plays a role in maintaining health for patients while preventing complications. Ensure that foot care is consistently provided as part of the patient’s care plan.


By following these steps while practicing empathy and professionalism you will be well prepared to deliver foot care as a Certified Nursing Assistant.

Your commitment to prioritizing the health and welfare of patients upholding cleanliness standards and cultivating a patient approach exemplifies the core of your profession. Enhances your achievements as a caring and competent healthcare practitioner.