[MFNS members] Nutrition Staff Passing Patient Food Trays

Deb Indorato appnaf at verizon.net
Sun Nov 1 06:46:27 PST 2009

Char's comment is right on target. As we change our style of tray passing along with our patient programs we become customer focused. Catering Associates (those who pass the trays) have won awards for their awesome service which only takes a few seconds of their time to ask a patient "Is there anything I can assist you with?" 

It's all in the training - pick those who are the right fit for the job and then train them on what their role is for assisting the patients and when to say "I am sorry I am not trained to assist you with that (sitting up, moving from the bed to the chair, etc) but I will get someone who can". Comments from our patients (when managers from Food Service do their rounds) always reveal how much more helpful the Food Service staff is than the nursing staff. 

It's about much more than passing trays. We CAN do it!

Debra Indorato, RD LDN
Associate Director, Patient Services
Sentara Norfolk General Hospital
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Char Norton 
  To: leaders at list.rdmanager.org 
  Sent: Saturday, October 31, 2009 7:12 AM
  Subject: Re: [MFNS members] Nutrition Staff Passing Patient Food Trays

  If Nutrition Services does not pass the trays you are at the mercy of another department where your food is not a priority. Patient satisfaction scores are higher when Nutrition Services pass the trays. If the patient needs to be raised or needs assistance the tray passer puts in the call light to alert nursing to attend to the patient. 

  Sent from my iPhone
  Char Norton

  On Oct 30, 2009, at 9:14 AM, "Becky Smith" <bsmith at franklinfoundation.org> wrote:

    This sounds like a mistake to have Nutrition Services pass out the trays. What about patients who need assistance with such things as being elevated properly prior to eating, opening packaging,  and simply being fed.  Only the Nursing staff knows the individual patient needs and requirements. This would be a patient safety issue. 

    Rebecca Smith, MS, RD, LDN

    Director of Nutrition Services

    Franklin Foundation Hospital

    1097 Northwest Blvd.

    Franklin, LA 70538


    From: leaders-bounces at list.rdmanager.org [mailto:leaders-bounces at list.rdmanager.org] On Behalf Of O'Reilly, Karen
    Sent: Thursday, October 29, 2009 2:00 PM
    To: leaders at list.rdmanager.org
    Subject: [MFNS members] Nutrition Staff Passing Patient Food Trays

    We are a 139 bed hospital and nursing passes and picks up the patient food trays. Recently there had been discussion to turn over the function of passing out the patient food trays to Nutrition Service. Nursing staff would still pick up the trays. Does anyone have any information how to make this transition?:

    How many more FTE’s would be needed?

    What would be the tray/minute rate?

    How many trays sent to the floor per server at one time 

    How many servers per meal

    Responsibilities of servers (set up, take cover off?)

    Staffing/Shift structure

    Any thing else to help in this transition would be appreciated.



    Karen OReilly, RD, LD

    Nutrition Services Director

    Florida Hospital Fish Memorial

    1055 Saxon Boulevard

    Orange City, Florida 32763

    Phone: 386-917-5140

    Fax: 386-917-5261

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