ospital dieticians belong to the Nursing and Medico-Technical Care Department and work transversally, upon request by other medical staff. They cooperate with the doctors, nurses, other care providers and with the Catering Department, in particular with the dietetic cooks.
The main aim of hospital dietetics is to ensure that patients feed themselves or are fed. Due to their conditions and/or treatments, some patients do not eat very much, lose weight and therefore muscle mass, and suffer from undernutrition. This muscular atrophy has an impact on mobility, on the risk of infection, on the duration of the patient’s stay and on his/her quality of life. A patient suffering from undernutrition will also tend to eat less and less, thus entering into a vicious circle. In such cases, nutritional intervention is necessary in order to adapt the meals that are served to the patient, and if necessary to provide oral food supplements or artificial feeding through an enteral channel (using a catheter inserted into the digestive tract) and/or a parenteral (intravenous) channel.
If the condition requires it, and upon medical request, the hospitalised patient may be provided with appropriate nutrition training and with outpatient follow-up care.
Outpatient care may be organised for patients who are at risk of undernutrition or who are already undernourished, patients using enteral nutrition, patients suffering from cancerous conditions, patients suffering from kidney problems, patients with neurological disorders, and patients with metabolic disorders. Interdisciplinary training is organised for patients in outpatient cardiac rehabilitation and for children suffering from obesity.