The NMU’s Diabetic Foot Care program was established in 2000 to provide remote northern communities with access to primary, secondary and tertiary prevention of lower limb complications related to diabetes close to home. It is designed to provide access to this integral component of diabetes management and continuity of care for clients at high risk for diabetic foot complications.
The nurses strive to achieve this by means of quarterly diabetic foot care clinics in thirteen First Nations communities serviced by the NMU. The program works collaboratively with First Nations associations as well as the Federal and Provincial governments. Additionally, through the WRHA the program is supported by coordination with areas such as: Infectious Disease, Vascular, and Rehab Engineering.
Working in the Program Area
Our Diabetic Foot Care nurses travel to 11 fly-in and 2 drive-in First Nations communities to run foot care clinics on a quarterly basis. The Canadian Diabetes Association recommends clients receive diabetic foot screenings annually and more frequently if the client is at a high risk for complications. Foot care clinics are comprised of a lower limb assessment including a sensation test, circulation test and skin assessment as well as appropriate foot and wound care. The nurses also engage in health promotion activities within the community.
Community members benefit further by the Nurses working collaboratively with the allied health team and providing a holistic approach to diabetes management. Additionally, community members do not have to leave their homes for treatment or assessments resulting in significant cost savings by reducing travel.
Nurses have the opportunity to further their knowledge by attending infectious disease expert, Dr. John Embil’s clinic at Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg. Professional development is also encouraged by way of conferences, workshops, and courses. Nurses also value the experience of learning about the unique culture in northern communities and experiencing spending time in the spectacular Boreal Forest.