Carmela Hoefling on Identifying and Treating Malnourished Patients

Carmela Hoefling, RN, MSN, APN-C, AOCNP

Carmela Hoefling, RN, MSN, APN-C, AOCNP, Rutgers Cancer Institue of New Jersey, discusses what oncology nurses can do to identify and treat patients who may be malnourished.

Carmela Hoefling, RN, MSN, APN-C, AOCNP, Rutgers Cancer Institue of New Jersey, discusses what oncology nurses can do to identify and treat patients who may be malnourished.

Since cancer has an effect on metabolism, Hoefling says that all oncology nurses should test their patients for malnourishment via blood work, taking their BMI, or simply asking them how much weight they have lost. Then nurses can do a three-day calorie count with their patients to monitor their eating and, if they are having trouble eating, nurses can recommend to physicians that a feeding tube be inserted. If patients are not having trouble eating but are still having problems losing too much weight, nurses can offer them foods with more calories and protein and encourage them to eat smaller, more frequent meals.