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With one third of all patients coming into hospital at risk of malnutrition (Nursing Times 2011) it is more important than ever that we ensure nutrition of our patients remains high on the agenda. As Nurses we are all aware that “Good nutrition, hydration and enjoyable mealtimes can dramatically improve older peoples health and well being” (McWilliams 2008) and how important it is to consider nutrition when thinking of other aspects of care such as wound healing, medication, and susceptibility to infection. So with this in mind how can we identify these “at risk” patients at the point of admission?
But the care does not stop with assessing and identifying the patients who are at risk; what can we do practically to promote good nutrition especially to those who are most vulnerable? From ensuring that those who need assistance get assistance to promoting a good eating environment, ensuring that patients have the right equipment with which to eat and promoting the right calorie intake – how can nurses ensure that their patients are getting the right nutritional care?
Thanks goes to @KevinHamPlymUni for this discussion suggestion.
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Some suggested reading material is linked below – please feel free to add to this if you find something that others will find useful.
Third of hospital inpatients at risk of malnutrition (2011) Nursing Times
Assessing the benefits of a malnutrition screening tool McWilliams (2008) Nursing Times
Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool – BAPEN
Innovations: a nurse led, multi professional approach to nutrition (2008) Nursing Times
Nutrition Now (2007) Nursing Standard
Nutrition older people (2011) Nursing Standard