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5 Challenges Vet Teams Face While Feeding Hospitalized Patients

Samantha Toy, RVT Dec 7, 2018 12:27:00 PM Vet Tech

Feeding our hospitalized patients can be a challenge at times. From finicky felines to feeding tubes, we've determined the top 5 difficulties of feeding in-patients!

1. When the food smells a little TOO good

We all know real lunch breaks are rare in vet med. Even when we do get to eat, it's usually an hour or two too late. So when you bring a fresh-out-of-the-microwave plate of A/D to tempt an inappetent feline, we can understand it when you find it oddly tempting yourself.

2. The mystery can

Deep in the back corner of the fridge it stands, waiting for some poor unfortunate kennel assistant to find its rancid remains. No one knows what lies under the plastic lid until it's too late.  Solution?  Try a lazy susan to make it harder for things to get forgotten about.


3. Doing the math

Whether it's a binder, a notebook, or a tattered sheet in the treatment room, usually the list of kcals in each cup or can of food you carry is less than ideal. You have to look it up, determine the RER of the patient, and work out how much food to feed. This can take some time!  That's why we decided to include a diet calculator in Smart Flow!


4. When they just won't eat

It can be frustrating when the patient turns their nose up at your offerings. On a plate, in a bowl, heated up, hand fed, rolled in a ball- sometimes they just won't budge, and force feeding is never fun. That being said, it does feel pretty darn good when they take that first hesitant bite!  


5. When it all goes down the tube

You thought working out the math for regular feeding was bad, then you get a tube fed patient. This takes extra precision and upkeep. This can take quite some time, but it's so worth it when that fatty liver case goes home after making a full recovery.


What are some difficulties you've encountered feeding in-patients?


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