MATTHEWS – Dianne Nguyen was among many Vietnamese refugees that came to the United States by boat after the Vietnam War. Her family originally settled in Pennsylvania in 1980, but she would later raise her own family in California.
Nguyen worked as a pedicurist for 20 years before becoming a nurse. She began focusing on the next phase of her career once her children reached high school. The family moved to the Charlotte area in 2000.
Nguyen was drawn to nursing because she liked the idea of serving others. She saw it as a means of giving back.
“Both my husband and I were so grateful after struggling for the first 30 years to survive,” she said. “We look back and we have so many things to be thankful for in this country.”
While working as a registered nurse at the main campus of Carolinas Medical Center (now Atrium Health), Nguyen saw a need in helping older adults prevent foot or toe amputations. She did some research, became a certified foot care specialist and launched her own business venture two years ago.
Initially, she supplemented her income by working a couple of days a week in the home health industry, but she’s grown TheraTouch Foot Care large enough to focus on it full-time.
Nguyen offers routine foot care for older adults, including trimming nails, reducing thick nails, reducing corns and calluses, and monitoring potential problems, such as cracks and corns, that could lead to further complications.
She said reducing foot pain can make a huge difference in someone’s life. Addressing the problem can lead to more active lifestyles and reduce the likelihood of falls, considering foot pain prompts some people to wear loose-fitting shoes.
Clients may have trouble trimming their nails due to hip or knee replacements, as well as advanced age. Many of her clients are in their 70s and 80s. She has a couple of clients over 100. Some have diabetes and other complications.
People often ask Nguyen about the difference between a podiatrist and a foot-care nurse. She said a podiatrist is a doctor that diagnoses and treats a medical issue, while a foot-care nurse focuses on prevention.
Trimming long or reducing thick toenails can help prevent callouses and sores that lead to even bigger health issues.
Nguyen loves her job, which is something she felt like she couldn’t say honestly until recently. She enjoys having the flexibility to set her own hours, plus she finds her work meaningful.
“It’s very rewarding because I can help folks coming in with ingrown or thick toenails that cause pain when they’re walking,” she said. “I’m able to help them relieve it.”
Want to learn more?
TheraTouch Foot Care is open by appointment only inside Studio 165 Salon and Spa at 165 S. Trade St., Matthews. Call 704-957-5458 or visit www.theratouchfootcare.com for details.