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5 Difficulties of Feeding In-Patients

Smart Flow Sheet Team May 14, 2015 11:36:00 AM 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!

Feeding patient

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 inappetant 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.  To help with this, try using a lazy susan in the fridge like the Frugality Gal does here!

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!  Smart Flow has a built in diet calculator to help with this!

Watch Diet Calculator Video

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!  This page from Cheryl Holloway, RVT, Nutrition Services has some great info on coaxing patients to eat!

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!  Looking for some tube feeding tips? VetGirl has some great info on tube feeding neonatal patients, placing a nasogastric tube, and placing an esophogostomy tube!

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


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