I think sometimes as health professionals it is helpful to be able to feel empathy for our patients and understand what they actually go through. I never properly understood why people didn’t want to eat in hospital until I was an inpatient myself after giving birth to my first daughter. It was only for 24hours post birth but it felt a long time. I remember the dinner trolley coming and choosing macaroni cheese and roast potatoes but only managing to nibble at it as I felt so bad. I was straight on the phone to my husband to bring a sandwich in. The nicest thing I ate in hospital was a little satsuma and grapes that my mum bought in, they were so juicy and refreshing in the hot ward.
Other dietitians have taken on the challenges of their patients including having nasogastric tubes inserted or only taking nutritional supplement drinks for a week. Theory and practice build up our work experience but pushing ourselves that little bit further to see how our patients feel receiving our advice can give us the extra edge and respect from our patients. In turn, this will improve the quality of our work.
I don’t want you to injure yourselves to experience hospital food but take the most of all opportunities that come your way. Whether it would be volunteering to taste the hospital food, tying all the nutritional supplements your patients take or experiencing the diets that you advise your patients to follow. Go on challenge yourself.