One of the most important things in a hospital is its food service. Patients need nutritious food to be delivered to their rooms in a timely manner and hospital food service workers are hired to make sure that this is taken care of. Hospital food service workers do not only deliver food to patients assigned to them; they also help in the preparation of food items in accordance to instructions provided for each individual patient.
There are three tasks that hospital food service workers perform i.e. food preparation, service and general kitchen maintenance. They need to be able to do all these correctly as each depends on the other. Since this job is somewhat of a culinary nature, hospital food service workers need to know how to prepare food items for cooking or even cook dishes at times. Typically, they perform semi-skilled tasks such as peeling, slicing, coring or dicing vegetables and fruits or preparing meat cuts for cooking. They also put together cooked items to create platters to be taken to patients’ rooms.
These professionals must be physically dexterous as they often need to carry heavy trays or push dumbwaiters for long distances. They should also be able to follow instructions; each patient will need a certain type of nutrition so it is important for hospital food workers to be able to differentiate between food platters and ensure they reach the right destination.
• Prepare food items such as fruits, vegetables and meats by cutting, dicing and slicing them
• Assist in preparing dishes for patients in accordance to doctors’ instructions for each individual patient
• Put together meals for patients keeping in mind allowed nutritional values
• Follow instructions for meal preparations for patients with food allergies and make sure to omit any ingredient that may cause gastronomical trouble
• Prepare food trays with items such as plates, flatware, napkins and condiments
• Apportion food items properly and in accordance to accompanying diet lists
• Place trays in dumbwaiters or pushcarts and physically push them through hospital corridors to assigned floors
• Serve trays to patients by placing them on tables and assisting them in partaking of their food
• Collect food trays and dirty dishes and cart them back to the kitchen for washing
• Assist in washing and drying dishware, glassware and flatware
• Coordinate with laundry services to ensure that clean napkins and tray liners are available on a constant basis
• Handle kitchen garbage disposal activities by placing trash in appropriate receptacles
• Assemble and serve food items to hospital staff members by following daily menus