[MFNS members] Nutrition Staff Passing Patient Food Trays

Becky Blackler becky.blackler at comcast.net
Fri Oct 30 08:56:39 PDT 2009

It is very common for the food & nutrition services dept to deliver trays
anymore.  The typical ratio for tray passing that I suggest is 1 tray passer
to 45 or 50 patient trays (not census).  This ratio will drive both your
required FTE's as well as the number of servers meal.  The tray/minute ratio
will vary depending on how many isolation rooms the tray passer will be
delivering to. putting on gloves, masks, gowns does add to the time. as well
as the type of patient (i.e., elderly patients without family may require
more tray set up such as opening cartons, condiments, etc.).  I suggest you
form a task force with nursing as part of the implementation process and
allow this task force to guide decisions about responsibility of tray
passers vs. nursing assistants in an interdisciplinary manner.  Typically
taking this interdisciplinary approach assists with buy in and a smooth roll


Typical tray passer responsibilities are- tray delivery, tray set up for
patients that need it (i.e., remove lids, covers, open cartons, condiments,
etc.).  Nursing team members will typically round prior to the meal to
ensure patients are ready for the meal (i.e., transfer to a chair or elevate
head of bed, clear tray table, etc.).


Becky Blackler, RD, LDN

Becky.blackler at comcast.net




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


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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