17 Nov Nutrition Procedures for COVID-19 Residents
Nutrition for COVID-19 positive patients looks different from everyday nutrition procedures. It’s important to always follow your facility’s isolation procedures. Here are a few best practices for providing nutrition to COVID-19 positive patients. It’s best practice to use disposable if you can. In a behavioral facility, most of the time you can’t leave your plastic spoons and knives on the way back up to the kitchen, residents can take a fork, shift it around, and potentially hurt somebody else or themselves. Nursing staff on the units should deliver trays, especially to dependent residents. It’s a new day in our medical facilities. About 20% of our behavioral centers have behavioral units or psychiatric patients skilled nursing time and they’re completely dependent to help for meals. So it’s important to get rid of all the equipment, paper, supplies, etc. that you’re using to assist a COVID-19 resident with meals and that is easily disposed of all this successfully in a red bag in the room and get rid of. We want to keep the COVID-19 infected materials away from our general population and staff.
There were times this past summer that we just were not able to get styrofoam. So if you’re running low on styrofoam, you can also use some paper goods and tin foils to wrap your items. We’re hoping there isn’t another shortage but that tin foil can go over a paper plate just as in it will serve the purpose of keeping the food warm. If a COVID-19 resident is in your facility, they may not want lasagna, it’s too heavy. They’ve lost their taste, et cetera, et cetera. They might want soup and a sandwich. They might want a simple bowl of macaroni and cheese. These are foods that are available to them, but put them in individual packages and have an always available menu.
Now, these foods sometimes will be going down with a unit for a positive COVID-19 individual. If your menu is cream of tomato soup, ham and cheese deli sandwich, diced peaches, chocolate milk, and orange juice that’s canned easily. The soup can go in a styrofoam cup with a lid. The sandwich can go on PC wrapped paper. The dice peaches can go in a PC, not can but a container. (You don’t want to send a pot top can that gets left on the unit so they can cut themselves.) Cartons of milk and paper and p/cs that are issues with a pullback, kind of the tin foil individuals serving. Those are ways that you can make the food attractive and look good and send it down to the unit to keep it safe. For more information on providing nutrition and helping COVID-19 positive patients, please watch our webinar: Keeping You, Your Clients, and Staff Healthy While Delivering Safe, High-Quality Food and Dining Services.