Nursing’s nutritional responsibilities
Intended for healthcare professionals
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Nursing’s nutritional responsibilities

Lindsay Pedder Nurse Education Co-ordinator, The Nurse Education Unit (Human Resources Directorate) Taunton Somerset NHS Trust, Taunton and Somerset Hospital, Somerset

This article describes nutrition assessment, focusing on the nurse’s nutrition responsibilities as a member of the multidisciplinary team

Aims and intended learning outcomes The aim of this article is to outline qualified nurses’ responsibilities in relation to oral nutrition for patients. In the context of clinical practice, the importance of oral nutrition, assessing nutritional status, identifying a balanced diet sufficient for individual patients’ needs, and using professional judgement to decide whether a patient has had sufficient intake for identified need over a set period of time, are all emphasised. Health promotion information useful in practice in most care situations is suggested.

An overview of basic nutrients and their functions is given, as well as the factors to be taken into account when suggesting a healthy eating pattern for patients.

After reading this article you should be able to:

Demonstrate knowledge of the qualified nurse’s responsibilities to patients, families and other carers in relation to balanced oral nutrition.

List reasons why, in multidisciplinary teamworking, nutrition is a core nursing task.

Outline five essential nutrients and give their basic function.

List reasons why nurses should emphasise nutrition in health promotion activity.

Nursing Standard. 13, 9, 49-55. doi: 10.7748/ns.13.9.49.s42

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