I have now been back working on peoples’ feet for about 3 weeks since shutting down heel the soles over 12 weeks ago back in March 2020.
It is certainly good to be back. And I have to say I was surprised at how quickly it all felt like normal again and customers have been so supportive and understanding. They have also been very grateful for finally being able to have their feet sorted after so long.
Of course, things aren’t normal and the horrible virus is still very much with us, so lots of extra precautions are having to be taken in my day to day visits and work.
Obviously I am following the guidelines issued by the foot care industry and reading up on government guidelines and fellow foot care practitioners. All in all, I feel pretty confident that I am doing everything I can to be COVID compliant and reduce any risks, to as low as possible for all my patients and me.
My New Procedures
So I have limited myself to seeing just 4 patients a day. 2 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. This allows me to give the extra time between patients to get out of all my PPE gear and put on new gear between each visit.
When I arrive at the patients’ address I wash my hands with hand gel. Then put on all my PPE outside the patients’ house.
The PPE I Wear
Then over my uniform goes:
- My gloves
- Hair Cap
- Goggles or visor
Most of my patients have spotted me arriving and so their door is already open and I can walk straight in, with no need to touch door handles, etc. Almost all my patients have already got their own masks and are wearing them. I do have masks for them if they want one.
The room is empty of anyone else, including pets and children, partners, etc. I set up my suitcase next to their chair and begin my footcare work. I try to keep conversations to a minimum and move as quickly as I can so as to reduce the time spent in my patient’s house.
Taking Cash Less Payments
Payment is taken using my brilliant sum up bank card machine. This enables me to avoid dealing with cash and having to head into town and queue up, mixing with others, etc. So far, I would say it’s this paying by card rather than cash that has proven to be the most difficult thing for many of my older patients to adapt to, and on occasion, I have had to accept some cash payments. For this, I have a box that they put the cash in and I seal it up without having to touch it.
My card machine has been brilliant. I have been using the sum up machine now for over a year and it is brilliant. Low fees, less time going to the bank, my money is paid straight into my bank account quickly and it makes following current advice about avoiding cash payments where possible easy. And its also wipe cleanable. If you need one for your business I can highly recommend getting one here
When The Treatment Session Is Finished
Once my patients’ feet are all done I say my goodbyes and head out the door, still in my full PPE coverings. When I get to my car I can begin to clean up. So my case, visor, and shoes get wiped with antiseptic wipes. Then I remove my apron, hair cap, goggles or visor and gloves. They all go straight into a lidded bin I have in the back of the car.
I then wash my hands and arms and remove my mask. A quick drink of water from my bottle and I am on my way to my next patient and repeat this procedure.
On To My Next Patient
Then I return home for lunch and I remove all my clothing in my porch before entering my home. After lunch, it’s back on with a new uniform and off to my two-afternoon patients.
When I get home, off comes my uniform again and they are put straight into the washing machine. I then head into my office and clean and sterilize all my instruments. Then I write up all that day’s patient records and prepare 4 patient boxes for the following day.
Phew and then I can call it a day with a nice soak in the bath!
Coming back after the lockdown hasn’t meant what I do is any different. It’s just that it takes a whole lot more time and effort to visit each patient and remove everything afterward. But it has to be said it is great to see so many of my lovely patients and leave them with smiles on their faces as they enjoy their fresh, well looked after feet once more!