Assist with Feeding
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How Do You Assist with Feeding?

Sometimes after surgery, your patient may need help with feeding.
Before serving the food:

* Make the environment as attractive as possible.
* Complete any toileting needs your patient has.
* Help your patient wash his hands.
* Make sure the patient has any dentures, glasses or hearing aids that are used.

If your patient is able to get out of bed, help him sit at the table in a straight-backed chair so that the table top is at a comfortable height and distance so that he does not have to stretch to eat.
Before serving the food, wash and dry your hands.
Display the food conveniently and attractively and describe it to your patient.
If your patient is staying in bed, use pillows so that the patient is comfortably upright.
If you are using an overbed table, remove any objects on it and wipe it with a damp paper towel.
Before serving the food, wash and dry your hands.
Use a towel or a bib to protect clothing and bed covers.
Place a tray with the food on the overbed table and describe the food. Prepare any food, such as opening and pouring containers of fluids, buttering bread, using condiments, cutting food.

Sit at the patient's side, at or below eye level. If you are right-handed, sit at the patient's right side so that your patient does not have to keep his head turned towards you. Use a fork half full of solid food or a spoon half full of liquid. Always encourage your patient to feed himself as much as possible. Liquids should be given frequently either with the spoon or a straw.
Use a napkin or paper towel to wipe your patient's mouth as needed.
When the patient has finished, remove the tray, and help him to wash his hands and face and brush his teeth. If need be, help him with toileting.
Wash and dry your hands.

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