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Chapter: 11th 12th std standard Class Nursing Health Care Hospital Hygiene Higher secondary school College Notes

Serving Meals Andor Assisting The Patient To Eat Meals

To serve meal to the patient. To assist the patient to eat meal.



            To serve meal to the patient.


            To assist the patient to eat meal.


Supplies Serving Meal

1.    Diet tray as ordered


2.    Napkin/ small towel


3.    Mouth care tray and hand washing supplies as appropriate.

4.    Over bed table/other appropriate table.


Assisting to Eat Meal


1.    Supplies as above.


2.    Special utensils as appropriate.




            Follow the doctor' s order for the diet management.

            The following types of diets are served in hospital.


            Full regular, well-balanced diet, may be vegetarian or non-vegetarian.

            Soft full diet easily chewed and digested, e.g. double boiled rice, soft cooked pulses and

vegetables, steamed fish, pouched eggs, custards, slice-bread, ground or chopped.




             Full egg flip, thin custard, thin cereal preparation.

             Clear water, tea, coffee, clear juices and soups, aerated beverages.



             High/low caloric


             High/low protein


             Salt low/free


             Fat free


             High/low residue


             Bland (irritants free)


             Bull' s (glucose drip)


            While planning the diet, consider the patient' s need, appetite, food and eating habits based on the following factors.




                  Likes and dislikes






            The foods are served at proper temperature (hot foods served hot and cold foods served cold) and time.

            Note the amount of food served to the patient, the amount consumed, left or vomited if any.

            Appetite is affected by illness and stress as a result of hospitalization. Small and frequent feeds are preferred.

            Never hurry in assisting the patient with eating as the patient weakened by sickness, will take a longer time to eat.


            Assist the dependent to eat and feed if necessary and encourage the patient to feed himself or herself whenever possible.


            Never force, if patient refuses to eat and consult the dietician for any modification in diet or for any special dietary.


            The supplies used for feeding should be clean and every care is taken to prevent transmission of diseases through food and drinks.


            Special containers can be used to assist the patient to eat more independently in case of paralysis , fractured jaw, surgery on mouth and cancer of mouth and tongue.


            Environment should be well ventilated, adequately lighted, decorated and free from unpleasant sights and odours.


            Avoid treatments, nursing procedures, rounds and visitors, just before and after meals whenever possible.

            Prior to meal time, prepare the patient by assisting in voiding: attending mouth care, grooming and hand washing.


            Give analgesics to relieve pain prior to mealtime.


            Allow the patient to sit up while eating. If not, in side lying as eating is easier and safer in this position in dorsal recumbent with head slightly raised.


            Patient with poor vision or eye covered with bandage should be told about the food and location of food on the tray. They should not be served foods which are very not because of the danger of burns.


Nursing Activity


            Prepare the patient for mealtime.


            Take supplies to the beside.


            Maintain privacy by using screen.


            Explain the procedure, if the patient is conscious.


            Position the patient in a comfortable position and arrange the over bed table/other appropriate table.

            Place protective sheet and towel/napkin across the patient' s chest under the chin.

            Wash your hands and dry.


            Serve the meal or assist the patient to eat meal as under.


Serving Meal


            Verify the food with the patient' s diet card.

            Place the diet tray and drinking water within the patient' s reach ( on overbed table/other appropriate table)


            Remove the diet tray cover and give time to the patient to eat meal.

            Remove the tray after the meal and offer a glass of water

            Assist the patient in attending mouth care and hand washing.


Assisting to Eat Meal


            Follow steps a ,b and c as above.


            Prepare the food as necessary depending on the patient' s condition, e.g. opening packages, buttering bread, pouring tea, coffee, chopping meat and chapatti into small pieces etc.

            Assist if the patient needs to be fed eg.


            Feed in the order in which the patient likes to eat the meal(234)


            Feed at comfortable rate eg. Allow time to chew and swallow the food before offering more(235)


            Follow steps as above.


            Remove protective sheet and towel/napkin.


            Reposition the patient comfortably.


            Remove supplies and discard wastage. Clean, dry and replace the supplies.

            Wash your hands.




            Record the following in the nurse' s notes.

            Date and time of serving meal and /or assisting the patient to eat meal.


            Nature of food given, amount of food and fluids taken and reaction of the patient to the procedure.

            Any instructions given to the patient and /or relatives with regard to well balanced diet, food hygiene and preservation.


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11th 12th std standard Class Nursing Health Care Hospital Hygiene Higher secondary school College Notes : Serving Meals Andor Assisting The Patient To Eat Meals |

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