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Nailcare Academy Announces Collaboration with Belle

Nailcare Academy announces a collaboration with Belle, a rapidly growing concierge company, to bring highly trained foot and nailcare specialists TO clients at-risk for foot complications.

Belle provides in-home or on-location foot care through their easy-to-use website at www.bellecares.com or customer service line 615-873-0344. Belle’s platform, launched in 2016, also offers a new venue of work for nail technicians as well as essential advanced education through Nailcare Academy’s online format at www.nailcare-academy.com.

Armand Lauzon, Project Belle Founder

Belle’s first launch was in Middle Tennessee. “In just a short time, we have been very successful in the area. We’ve perfected our protocols and technology, which now allows us to smoothly scale operations across the US,” says Armand Lauzon, Belle’s CEO. “Each nail technician will be an Advanced Nail Technician (ANT) through Nailcare Academy, or Belle will pay for ANT training,” says Lauzon. “After finishing the ANT program, they learn Belle’s specific protocols which are designed to promote foot health and prevention of complications.”

Belle believes it requires the highest quality nail technicians with advanced education to work effectively with these clients and Belle’s executives are pleased with the training Nailcare Academy offers. Janet McCormick, Co-Founder of Nailcare Academy states “Nailcare Academy trains Belle Nail Technicians to work safely and competently with these special clients. We are excited about this new venue of care for our graduates to choose for their careers.”

Crystal Mesick, ANT

Nail technicians are welcoming this tech-enabled, innovative platform that represents a first in the industry. Belle Nail Technician, Crystal Mesick, enthuses “I provide services to people who need special and customized care, including clients who have suffered strokes, pregnant mothers on bedrest, hospice patients and even a woman who recently came out of a coma. I know that the services I provide have a direct impact on their wellbeing and quality of life. I’ve never felt more valued and I wouldn’t be able to make this a reality without Belle.”

Belle’s target clients are older adults, expectant mothers, diabetics, homebound, as well as those in senior communities, hospitals, hospice and other restrictive environments. These clients commonly experience poor circulation and changes to the foot itself, which put them at-risk for serious complications. The good news is that most of these incidents can be prevented with routine foot care. Setting up regular appointments with Belle makes these clients proactive rather than reactive in their foot health while preventing life threatening ulcers, infections and even amputations.

When needed, Belle and its Nail Technicians coordinate efficient escalation of care to a medical professional. ANTs are trained to “recognize and refer” any “out-of-normal” conditions they observe on their clients’ feet. “Belle is excited to be redefining foot health for this neglected group which represents millions,” says Lauzon.

McCormick stated, “Our website is ready to go – when Belle hires technicians, we can get them started on their ANT Certification training immediately. This new business model is ideal for nail techs who are looking for their next career advancement.”

 

Privacy Policy Update

Nailcare Academy Privacy Statement has been updated.

Claudio Barbieri www.page1ranking.com

Nailcare Academy cares about the privacy and security of all the users of the website. The website itself is hosted on robustly-protected, secured servers owned by web design and development guru, Claudio Barbieri, Page1 Ranking of Cape Coral, Florida.

Co-Founder Karen Hodges shares “Over the last few weeks, Claudio has been working hard to migrate his clients’ websites over to new, super-secure servers. He’s added additional layers of security with cutting edge technology. That’s one of the things we love about working with Claudio—he keeps refreshing his equipment, software and protocols with the very best he can find.”

In compliance with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) which was put into place in 2016, Nailcare Academy has put into place several security measures to safeguard its website visitors from the potential for security breaches. For example, “We do not actually collect credit card payment information from our students,” states Hodges, the company’s designated Data Protection Officer. “Instead, we utilize third party credit card processors who have data security measures of their own in place. This is just one way in which our students’ information is safeguarded.”

What is the GDPR?

In April 2016, the Parliament of the European Union adopted data protection regulation for every company that does business with its citizens. They created specific requirements which must be in place effective May 25, 2018.

Any company that stores or processes personal information about EU citizens within EU states must comply with the GDPR, even if they do not have a business presence within the EU. Specific criteria for companies required to comply are:

• A presence in an EU country.
• No presence in the EU, but it processes personal data of European residents.
• More than 250 employees.
• Fewer than 250 employees but its data-processing impacts the rights and freedoms of data subjects, is not occasional, or includes certain types of sensitive personal data. That effectively means almost all companies.

These regulations carry the force of law and incorporate very stiff fines for those who play fast and loose with website user data they gather. Some of the requirements are that the website must have and post a privacy policy explaining what data is collected, what is done with it and whether or not if it’s shared with third parties. You can read Nailcare Academy’s Policy Statement at this link.

New Course Launched – Change Your Career!

Nailcare Academy is so excited and proud to announce our latest course:  Nail Technicians Working with Physicians. 

This course is instructed by foot spa innovator, Denise Baich, who lends her personal expertise in setting up unique foot care facilities in collaboration with podiatrists and other medical providers. A licensed nail technician, ANT/MNT and trainer, Baich has much to contribute to the discussion about how nail techs can integrate with podiatry and medical foot care.

“Nail techs can wear two hats in a foot spa facility,” says Baich. “They can wear their nail tech hat in one area of the building, performing cosmetic nail services, and then they can move over to the medical side and function as a medical assistant working under the supervision of the podiatrist.”  She says there are some specific rules that apply, and of course you must always work within the scope of your license, and that of the facility. She discusses how to find out what those rules are for your particular location.

Also in Nail Technicians Working with Physicians, Baich discusses the various kinds of working relationships a nail tech might establish with those in the medical foot care community:  referral relationships, employment relationship, independent contracting and so on. She generously lends her personal experiences–negotiating salaries and benefits, as one example. She shares her ideas on the set up and equipment needed so that you spend your start-up dollars wisely. There are also a lot of marketing and advertising ideas you can incorporate–from very subtle, quiet marketing you do inside the business, to proven-successful public advertising and promotional campaigns.

This course is one of several career-enhancing training programs designed to help nail technicians set themselves apart from “ordinary” by offering the “extraordinary” in their communities.

Foot Care as a Wellness Service

More salons and spas are incorporating “wellness” into their culture. ANTs can easily slip into this role.        

BE AWARE

Nail services have evolved over the years–the original “nail salons” were focused mostly on artificial nail enhancements, but today’s nail departments now encompass a wide variety of nail services. Not only are artificial nails a part of the service menu, but there are now slots for natural nails, pedicures, “spa” treatments such as hand facials and reconstructed toe nails. As an ANT, you can add soakless, safe “routine foot care” and become a resource for the elderly and those with special health needs.

As a part of wellness, you can be the first party in the team to observe and recommend additional treatments if needed: medical providers, orthotic specialists, physical therapists and so on. You have the luxury of spending more time with your clients than many other professionals, and you can get to know them and they become comfortable with discussing their little aches and pains–when they might not “bother the doctor.” As their confidant and advocate, you can steer them in a direction for relief and wellness.

TAKE ACTION

Take steps to develop this ethos in your work – create special brochures that discuss the wellness aspect of foot care. Did you know that the toes and toe nails are highly indicative of many health conditions in the body? You are in a position to demonstrate your caring by being educated and taking the time to explain why nail trimming must be done correctly on a timely basis, for example.

You can reach out to your target group of potential clients – specifically focus your marketing activities on wellness and foot health. Volunteer to speak at community events, have a table at a health fair or offer lectures in senior facilities.

Don’t forget to ask your current clientele if they know anyone who has a chronic illness…ANTs are specifically trained to help those who need them the most.

FOLLOW UP

When is the last time you looked at your client list, and thought…hmmm…I haven’t seen this person in a while? Why not take a few minutes and run through your contacts to see who’s missing? They might love to hear from you! Surprise them with a pretty post card with a hand written note.

A wellness attitude is rewarded by great response and loyalty, but you must extend some effort and commit to taking actions which enhance this aspect of your business.

 

 

Random Acts of Kindness

It only takes one tiny handful of snow to start an avalanche of kind acts.

Recently one of our Advanced Nail Tech (ANT/MNT) students shared her frustration with us – her phone sound is not working correctly to allow her to learn the materials in the courses, and she does not have access to a computer. She tried using her public library, but reserving a computer is difficult with her schedule. She shared that she had saved for a long while to purchase the courses, and she is hoping to change her career to one of “taking care of those who need me the most – the elderly and people like diabetics.”

Feeling her frustration, but at a loss to help her with her phone, we posted an inquiry in our groups in Facebook: “Does anyone have an unused tablet sitting around, we have a student in need.” Very shortly, a true “Angel” sent a private note asking “Would this do the trick?” along with a screen shot of a fully-tricked out, latest-and-greatest tablet from Amazon.  We had been hoping for someone’s used tablet, just praying they would still have the charge cord!

That tablet arrived 2 days later at our mail center, and we took it straight to the counter to forward it out to the student in California. In calling to verify her shipping address (good thing – she’d moved!), the shipping agent overheard the situation and asked for details. Teary-eyed, she discounted the shipping!

The interwebs are a scary place sometimes. But stories like these give us hope that we can each be the reason someone believes in the goodness of others. Thank you to our special “Angel”… your anonymous gift will end up changing the lives of so many clients who need this Medical Nail Technician the most.

Offsetting the Cost of Your Lost Time

Do you have no-shows and late cancellations every week? Have you ever taken the time to add up all the potential income you have lost?  What about the clients you turned away because you were “booked out”….would they be more respectful of your time than the ones who no-showed you? Here’s how one Owner/Operator took control of her schedule and began offsetting her losses! 

Lauren Denney, Owner/Nail Technician at Gimme the shimmers in Glendale Arizona recently shared her point of view on “selling our time.”  We could learn from this nail veteran!

“I’m sharing a move I’ve made with my business and hopefully it might help anyone else struggling with this. I’ve had online booking available for the past 7 or so years and it’s worked great. I have also always had a cancellation policy which is stated as follows:

•Must cancel appointment at least 24 hours prior to your appointment if need be
•If it’s inside 24 hours then it’s a 50% charge of original service
•If you no-show, it’s a full charge of original service
•If you are more than 15 minutes late, you will be rebooked (for the sake of not putting other clients behind) and you will have to pay for the originally booked slot

“I’ve never been great about enforcing the policy—I can sometimes be a softy. But then I realized, it’s just not good business to be constantly absorbing all of the business’s losses single-handedly. Here’s the real deal though—our industry is one of the only industries I can think of that doesn’t have a solid plan for recovering loss. Here’s what I mean:  essentially we are selling our time. Yes we have overhead (rent, equipment, products) and, of course, our talent, but you can’t put a price tag on our time because it’s priceless. Time is a finite resource and if you are selling it, it should never come cheap. Most importantly it should never ever be wasted. When your time is wasted, that is considered a loss; and a great one at that. It should bother you if you are constantly the one who is absorbing the loss, not only by not getting paid for your services, but also never having the opportunity to get that time back since it’s impossible.

“Every successful business has a plan to offset or recover their losses. You can return the Nikes that you’ve worn every day for the last 6 months back to Macy’s because that’s their return policy but I promise you that it’s not coming out of the CEO’s pocket. That cost is passed along to the customers. When it comes to nail techs, when people cancel last minute why should the entire weight of that loss lies solely on the owner/operator? That’s a problem!

“Say you’re booked 8 clients a day 5 days a week and if you see them every 2 weeks, you have 80 standing clients. There’s always a variable there, things happen, people need to move their appointment, stuff comes up, etc., but if clients give you enough notice, you can juggle things and move stuff around to make it work out for everyone. Ok so let’s take this same full book, only you allow your clients to get away with no-shows and last-minute cancellations. Let’s say 5 do that to you in one week. Your 40 hour work week now turns into a 45+ hour work week because you have to come in on your day off to service the clients who cancelled last minute on another day just to make your projected income for that week. Now you have to pay a babysitter to watch your kids on a Sunday, and you also have to pay the salon owner for a sixth day on top of your 5 days. So now you’re working unpaid overtime because you were counting on that income and budgeted your bills and expenses that way. Unless you take some extra clients and work more than the 5 hours, you’re still short because of all the extra expenses of taking those clients at alternate times. What’s worse, this imposes on your time that you have with your family, your friends, your dogs, your cats, or heck, your “me” time which is all so incredibly valuable! We need to offset this loss!

“I recently made the decision to implement credit card guarantee with online booking which most clients were understanding of, though it didn’t settle well with some. I will tell you why I am 100% standing behind my decision. My time doesn’t come cheap. Think of this analogy: your day is basically the same thing as a hotel. Because the hotel is only allotted a static amount of rooms to let out each night, if every room is booked every night, they’re doing great. If only part of the rooms are booked they’re actually losing money. Whether or not people show up to occupy those time slots, the bills still need to be paid. That is the bottom line. Just as every night a hotel is short on occupants loses money, every minute that you don’t have someone in your chair you are losing money. This is totally just business. I know that crap happens and people have bad days and there are circumstances where it would be impossible for clients to make that appointment that they set with me, but as I establish these boundaries for myself and for my business, I can deal with these situations more effectively because I realize how precious and worthy my time is. It will never be anything personal. I will never be mad about someone having a bad day, but I can still effectively resolve my loss and hold my client accountable for their end of the transaction which was reserving that hour of my time with a promise to pay me for it.

“Maybe the general public doesn’t feel that nail techs are that important to be making these types of moves in their business. I believe it’s partially our fault for not treating our trade seriously ourselves. We’re too scared and worried that our clients won’t receive it well or value our time like we would like them to. I think that the way we run our businesses in this industry is flawed and we need to take steps to get it right!”

All beauty service providers should value their time in order for their clients to value it, as well. What steps will you take in your practice to “offset your losses?”

 

Podiatry Providers Seek Assistants: Cosmetology Licensed Foot Care

In a recent issue of PM News [April 26, #5913] a podiatrist asked about the possibility of hiring cosmetology trained assistants to help relieve the load of Routine Foot Care. This is a legitimate question for busy podiatry offices who are finding innovative ways to take care of their patients. Here are some points to consider in deciding if this might be viable in your busy podiatry practice:

Do you have a large amount of “nail trimming only” patients?

If so, you may find the following interesting:

  1. Routine foot care, as defined by Medicare, includes the following tasks: trimming and thinning thickened nails, reducing calluses and applying moisture. Cosmetology-licensed nail technicians can perform these exact same tasks under their licenses. Specially trained nail technicians who have achieved certification in advanced foot care will not only be able to perform these same tasks, they are trained to recognize and refer any “out of normal” observations they make upon their intake evaluation.
  2. Nail trimming is usually not reimbursable by insurance or Medicare: these treatments are usually cash services, payable upon rendering. These services are healthy for the practice–they can be the “bread and butter” but non-medical nail trimming by a trained assistant can bring in that same cash.

Is your schedule jam-packed with Routine Foot Care?

If non-medically driven trimming services are overwhelming the physician or podiatrist, higher-level treatments compete for appointed time. Hiring a well-trained assistant who can take on the non-medical nail trimming, callus reduction and foot care is a good way to free up the schedule.

Is it legal for your office to hire a nail technician?

The answer to this question is…”Yes, if done right.”   Here are some considerations:

In a practice facility, you can have both a Medical Board-sanctioned podiatry practice as well as a Cosmetology Board-licensed “salon” IF ALL REQUIREMENTS OF THE BOARDS ARE MET.

With an existing licensed medical practice you already know what is allowed in your facility. In most states, NO cosmetic services may be performed in the medical treatment rooms….but there is nothing that says there can’t be a separate non-treatment space designated for “cosmetic services only.”

Also generally, you cannot perform medical treatments in a licensed Cosmetology Salon, but there’s nothing to say a salon can’t be adjacent to a medical treatment area. Usually, in a cosmetology salon (or a salon “room”) you must meet the requirements as set forth by the Board of Cosmetology in your State. In most states:

  1. There is a minimum space requirement (usually a certain number of square feet per practitioner, which most treatment rooms will fulfill)
  2. There is a need for access to hot water (in some states, it must be in the same room, in some states just “near by”)
  3. There may be a requirement for access to a restroom (in some states, within a certain number of feet away)
  4. There might be a requirement for ventilation in the room (which is often already in place with A/C intake and venting)

The idea is to set up a separate room, licensed as a “Salon” and all the cosmetic services are done in this space by a cosmetology-licensed nail technician or cosmetologist. No medical treatments in this room. In other rooms, medical-only treatments may be performed–no cosmetic services in those rooms. The patient can move between the rooms…being seen for a medical evaluation or treatment by the podiatrist in a treatment room and then “cleared” for cosmetic services in the cosmetics room.

How do you go about setting up this type of practice?

You must carefully designate the spaces, follow all the rules for BOTH your Medical Board and your Cosmetology Board. This take some planning:

  1. Working with a nail technician who is already familiar with her licensure and scope of practice is ideal.
  2. We suggest hiring a consultant versed in this concept — Janet McCormick has assisted with several successful “foot spa” facilities and podiatric/cosmetology practices. You can contact her directly to book a consultation at (863) 273-9134.
  3. View the materials provided in the newest addition to Nailcare Academy’s course line up:  Cosmetic Foot Care in a Medical Practice .

Click here to read more about this course.

Summary

Setting up a “cosmetology salon” room in your medical practice can have many benefits – you not only are making sure your patients are getting excellent nail trimming in a safe, aseptic environment and keeping them out of public “nail shops” which don’t have your high standards, you are creating a physician extender which will allow you more freedom in your practice of medicine.

Cosmetic Foot Care in a Medical Setting

Announcing a New Course –  Available to Podiatrists, Physicians, other Medical Providers

Nailcare Academy is pleased to announce the launch of a new course in their line up of career-changing offerings.  Cosmetic Foot Care in a Medical Setting is a five-module program which covers the various components needed in order to successfully integrate cosmetic foot care, an intriguing new service, into practice. This business model is suitable for a podiatry office, clinic, assisted living facility, hospital, etc.

These “cash-on-the-counter” services are much needed in every community–there is a growing demographic of “Baby Boomers” who are seeking safe, careful care of their feet. Americans are living longer–and they have more chronic health conditions that require special consideration in their foot care. These persons are paying attention and do not want to risk the dangers that are portrayed in the media of common “nail shops” where corners are often cut. They are seeking safe, healthful foot care, and who better to provide it than their trusted medical provider?

For many years, plastic surgeons and dermatologists have incorporated cosmetic procedures into their practices.  This option is also available to podiatrists, foot surgeons, diabetes specialists and others through the addition of cosmetic foot care. Rather than reinventing the wheel, why not learn from experts who have a successful track record setting up this type of “boutique” clientele.

Resources included in the Modules are:

-Checklists of supplies, equipment and materials needed to set up a “cosmetic foot care room”

-Timelines for the practice and the staff with activities for creating a successful launch

-Information on compensation packages

-Discussion of pricing strategies

…and much more

If you are a medical provider who does foot care,  this course has been infused with proven marketing activities which will create a buzz in your community and bring awareness to an important safety issue, especially for the elderly. Offering cosmetic foot care in a properly staffed practice will free up medical providers for more crucial–and lucrative–procedures such as surgeries.

If you are a nail technician seeking to change your career–take it to a higher level of care for your clients–then this is a course you can recommend to your local podiatrist as you negotiate your new career track. There are guidelines for both the nail technician and the business owner in this course.

Click here to read more about this course.

Nailcare Academy Introduces Medical Advisory Board

Nailcare Academy is thrilled to introduce our Medical Advisory Board Members — two nationally known foot care specialists who care about nail technicians! Both are Board Certified Foot Surgeons at the top of their game and have reviewed the modules in the Advanced Nail Technician (ANT) Certification Program. We are proud we’ve earned their seal of approval for our content.

dr-anna-marie

Anna Marie Chwastiak, DPM

DPM: Temple School of Podiatric Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Residencies: Long Beach Memorial Hospital, in Long Beach, New York, Community Medical Center in Scranton, PA, Surgical Exchange Program: Institute of Orthopedics Galeazzi, in Milan, Italy, and the Institute of Orthopedics Rizzoli, in Bologna, Italy
Concierge Practice in Lake, Sumter and Marion counties, FL
Practice, Spa Marbella at Mission Inn Resort and Club, Howie-in-the-Hills, FL
Health specialist for the Weather Channel’s nationally syndicated TV series, Your Life Redefined

 

pic_dr_frank

Stephen Frank, DPM 

BS: Pre-Med, Penn State 1992
DPM: Penn College of Podiatric Medicine 1996
Surgical Residency Germantown Hospital 1996-1998
ABPS Surgical Board Certification 2004
The Foot and Ankle Center, St. Louis, MO 1998-2007
Feet for Life, Chesterfield Valley, MO 2007-2008
Private Practice, St. Louis, 2008 – Present Specializing in sports medicine/injuries, corrective surgery of deformities, diabetic foot/wound care, pediatric foot ailments and revisional surgery.

New Delivery Format & Features!

The just-released 3rd Edition of the ANT Program offers user-friendly viewing options

One of the many changes made in this latest edition of the Advanced Nail Technician Certification Program is the ease of access to the module material. Co-Founder Janet McCormick says, “We have been working on a solutionnew-features-on-ant-modules that would give some flexibility to our students and instructors for months! Some prefer to click “Play” and sit back and take notes, while others wish to have the ability to stop and advance at will. This new delivery software handles both methods–a huge win for all!”

“Part of the equation is being able to deliver the slides in a user-friendly way while protect them from pirating. Our web designer, Claudio Barbieri of Page1Ranking in Fort Myers, FL is a genius!” shares Co-Founder, Karen Hodges.  “We now have the ability to offer students a choice and the ability to move freely among the slides–a huge boon in the class room,” she adds.

Another new and very helpful feature is the ability to instantly search the entire module for any word or phrase. This will help enormously when the students need to review a topic at a future date. Sometimes they’ll remember they saw some information they need in the salon, and now it’s so easy to find the exact reference.

Along with the crisp, clean new graphic design, the hundreds of graphic images and photos that have been incorporated and the revised and updated content, this program is better than ever. It’s a tremendous resource for nail techs.