Feeding Assistants State Requirements

9837.Feeding Assistants

1. Prior to assisting nursing facility residents with feeding, the assistant shall have successfully completed the state-approved training course published by the American Health Care Association, Assisted Dining: The Role and Skills of Feeding Assistants.

1. Licensed personnel qualified to teach the course include:

  1. registered nurses;
  2. licensed practical nurses;
  3. dieticians; and
  4. speech therapists.

2. The competency of feeding assistants shall be evaluated by course instructors and supervisory nurses.

3. If feeding assistants transfer between nursing facilities, the receiving nursing facility shall assure competency.

  1. Volunteers shall complete the training course except in cases where a family member or significant other is feeding the resident.
  2. The clinical decision as to which residents are fed by a feeding assistant shall be made by a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN). Such decision shall be based upon the individual nurse’s assessment and the resident’s latest assessment and plan of care.

1.A physician or speech therapist may override the nurse’s decision, if in their professional opinion, it would be contraindicated.

  1. The use of a feeding assistant shall be noted on the plan of care.
  2. There shall be documentation to show that the residents approved to be fed by feeding assistants have no complicated feeding problems.

1. Feeding assistants may not feed residents who have complicated feeding problems such as difficulty swallowing, recurrent lung aspirations and tube or IV feedings.

  1. There shall be documentation of on-going assessment by nursing staff to assure that any complications that develop are identified and addressed promptly.
  2. A feeding assistant shall work under the supervision of a licensed RN or LPN and the resident’s clinical record shall contain entries made by the supervisory RN or LPN describing services provided by the feeding assistant.
  3. Facilities may use feeding assistants at mealtimes or snack times, whenever the nursing facility can provide the necessary supervision.

1. A feeding assistant may feed residents in the dining room or another congregate area.

  1. Nursing facilities may use their existing staff to feed residents as long as each non-licensed staff member successfully completes the state-approved training course.
  2. Facilities shall maintain a record of all individuals used as feeding assistants who have successfully completed the training course.
  3. Residents have the right to refuse to be fed by a feeding assistant.

AUTHORITY NOTE: Promulgated in accordance with R.S. 40:2009.1-2116.

HISTORICAL NOTE: Promulgated by the Department of Health, Bureau of Health Services Financing, LR 42:1919 (November 2016).

Contact Information: Catherine Williams, RN, BSN, Long Term Care Supervisor: 225-342-2795