Patient Nutrition as a Nursing Care Issue

Nursing Care Issue

The role of nurses in inpatient and outpatient nutrition as a nursing care issue is significant both for healthy and sick patients. The current malnutrition and improper hydration present in some hospitals and home settings create challenges for patients in accessing proper nutrition and health care services (Meehan et al., 2016). Insufficient attention paid by nurses to the given issue causes ignorance of patients’ needs and leads to the deterioration of their health conditions as well as an increased financial burden.

Outcome

The identified nursing care issue may be significantly enhanced via quality improvement strategies such as precise attention and change in existing nutrition practices. The prevention of improper nutrition presents great opportunities in making health care services more affordable and attentive to specific patients’ needs.

Details of the Issue

Malnutrition in patents leads to the impeded recovery, slow treatment, and complications in health conditions. These negative impacts affect the quality of care and patient outcomes, increasing health care costs. The position of nurses perfectly suits the need to identify those patients who are at risk of malnutrition and those who are already encounter it. Medical nutrition that is also called dietotherapy refers to the use of specially formulated diets and food intake for therapeutic or prophylactic purposes. Therapeutic nutrition in patients’ treatment and prophylactic institutions should, first of all, provide the physiological needs of a body in basic nutrients and energy. According to Tappenden et al. (2013), an interdisciplinary approach is a solution to address the identified issue.

Namely, a systematic evaluation and the subsequent intervention are proposed in terms of the above approach. The therapeutic effect of nutrition should be determined by the qualitative composition of a balanced diet through a special selection of foods and the necessary nature of their culinary preparation. It should be remembered that a prolonged deficit in essential nutrients or monotonous nutrition has a rather negative effect on the condition of a patient (Tappenden et al., 2013). While compiling medicinal rations for patients, nurses should take into account their age, culture, the nature of the disease, its pathogenesis, metabolic processes, the form and stage of the disease, the presence of complications and concomitant pathology, and the level of physical activity.

In the first days of a patient’s stay in the hospital, many nurses fail to explain the importance of nutrition for their recovery and warn about the consequences of a violation of the diet prescribed to him or her. For visitors’ information, it is necessary to hang out a list of products allowed for nutrition in accordance with the prescribed diet and indicate the maximum allowed number of each of these products.

Reason Issue Selected

It is especially important to provide the body with high-grade proteins, vitamins, minerals, avoid excessive caloric intake, excess fat, salt, sugar, and provide patients with the necessary amount of dietary fiber. Since many nurses fail to ensure proper nutrition of their patients, this issue was selected to be explored in terms of quality improvement. Health care providers should understand that nutrition plays an important role in disease prevention and treatment (Meehan et al., 2016). In their turn, they are to promote this awareness in patients and their families. The implementation of standards for the organization of nutrition in the medical and preventive institutions would contribute to the provision of proper nutrition at the modern level as an integral part of the complex treatment of a patient. Therefore, it is necessary to initiate a broad call for action, thus addressing poor nutrition in patients.

References

Meehan, A., Loose, C., Bell, J., Partridge, J., Nelson, J., & Goates, S. (2016). Health system quality improvement: Impact of prompt nutrition care on patient outcomes and health care costs. Journal of Nursing Care Quality, 31(3), 217-223.

Tappenden, K. A., Quatrara, B., Parkhurst, M. L., Malone, A. M., Fanjiang, G., & Ziegler, T. R. (2013). Critical role of nutrition in improving quality of care: An interdisciplinary call to action to address adult hospital malnutrition. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 113(9), 1219-1237.