The ANT/MNT/WNT Scope of Practice

Reality: a nail technician’s scope of practice is the same in a podiatry office as in a salon in your state or country. In most cases, you are a cosmetic nail technician, even if your certificate says, “Medical Nail Technician.” A medical nail technician is a cosmetic nail technician who possesses the knowledge to perform her craft safely on chronically ill patients, possibly in a medical setting. He/she is trained to recognize when a client is unable to receive a service, whether to soak the client or not, which massage (or none) to perform. The safe ANT/WNT/MNT refers clients to a podiatrist/physician, without diagnosing, if he/she sees something suspicious, such as possibly a pre-ulcer, a possible cancer lesion, or such. Nothing is different in his/her scope of practice. Only his/her knowledge and committed practice of aseptic techniques is different.

Routine Foot Care and the ANT/MNT

Let’s discuss what Routine Foot Care is in a podiatry office as per Medicare: it is trimming toenails, reducing nail thickness (they call it “girth”), reducing calluses and applying moisture. Sound familiar? Does this sound like a Basic Pedicure? Or a “grooming” service? We only use implements legal in our state, no surgical knives, and know which clients can’t be soaked or possibly even know when they can’t have a service. Now, many podiatrists prefer to refer their clients to a trusted safety-trained nail technician, or to hire one into their office. They have better things to do that bring in more money than trimming toenails. Besides, the patients like our trimming results better!

The stepping outside of your state/country’s scope of practice is foolish and dangerous, and conscientious ANT/WNTs/MNTs will not go there! Suggestion: Check your area Scope of Practice. Know what you can and cannot perform in your services. Also, avoid anything that can be surmised as “medical” in a court of law. It is the wise and moral thing to do both as a person and professional!