We give nutritional and diet support to hospitalised patients across all clinical departments at the Hospital, and carry out follow-up monitoring at outpatient care for those patients who need it. We also provide outpatient care for patients referred from other healthcare areas of the Hospital and primary care centres that require specialist nutritional and dietary support. Patients requiring nutritional support are treated at the Horta Primary Care Centre. We actively collaborate in educational programmes to detect nutritional problems and for home monitoring of enteral nutrition, that is, feeding via a tube.
As a transversal unit, we support the General, Maternity and Children’s and Traumatology, Rehabilitation and Burns Hospitals, as well as the Primary Care Office in Sant Andreu; we also collaborate with a range of different medical and surgical specialties. We also participate in and direct a number of joint protocols with various other areas of the Hospital, and we maintain a very close working relationship with the Pharmacy Department, both in developing artificial nutrition and in selecting nutritional products. We act together with the Biochemistry Department in monitoring the nutrition of patients and in pursuing lines of research. We also provide support for the Pere Virgili Health Park.
We work to educate patients and family members, as well as providing courses for our staff through our continuing education programme, and we collaborate on continuing education in primary care. We organise training courses for primary care nursing staff, nursing staff from the Hospital and our orderly staff. We also educate patients and relatives about managing enteral nutrition, parenteral nutrition, as well as nutrition in cases of nephrology and inflammatory bowel disease.
Portfolio of services
During a hospital stay, the nutrition support we provide might cover:
- Diet: adapted and/or personalised diet. In some cases where a conventional diet is not able to meet the needs of patients, nutritional supplements are prescribed.
- Artificial nutrition (enteral or parenteral) according to protocol. Prescription, preparation and monitoring of efficacy and safety of the treatment.
Once a patient has been discharged, we continue to monitor nutritional treatment through:
- Home nutrition programmes (enteral and parenteral)
- Nutritional evaluation and support through consultations
- Daily consultations with a nutritionist
- Preparation of diets after discharge for different diseases
In short, we prepare diets for hospital patients, always taking into account menu alternatives, menus for treatment and diet changes depending on patient cycles. We work together with the Catering Unit to organise and prepare the hospital’s catering operation.
Finally, we also take care of preparing and distributing baby bottles, baby food and special liquid meals for healthcare units, as well as collecting and cleaning utensils.
Our teaching work includes:
- Training undergraduate doctors and specialists in endocrinology and nutrition in accordance with the medical residency programme
- Undergraduate training in diet and human nutrition (University of Vic, University of Navarre, University of Barcelona, Blanquerna University, Polytechnic University of Valencia, University of Zaragoza)
- Degree in Dietetics and Human Nutrition (University of Barcelona, Blanquerna University)
- ERASMUS exchange programme for dietitians (Portugal, Mexico, Italy)
- Extended visits for dietitians from abroad (Argentina, Mexico)
- Postgraduate training: Master's degree in nutrition from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Autonomous University of Barcelona, University of the Balearic Islands, University of Granada)
- Periodic clinical sessions: reviews and clinical cases
The Master's Degree in Biomedical and Translational Research is an official programme created to train researchers with the requisite combination of scientific knowledge and skills to contribute to the future success of biomedical research.
Fermín Fernández Álvarez, Porter Coordinator, explains the importance of the role these professionals play in the hospital. After 36 years at Vall d’Hebron, Fermín is a real master of the ways things are done. He says that a porter has to combine humility, discretion and safety with a single goal: that patients receive human and friendly treatment.
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