Although the position description was still flawed in many aspects and much can still be improved, the description of the position of the Diet Supervisor in Macquarie University is already incorporated with some aspects of health promotion.
The description elucidates that candidates for the position must know how to emphasize the proper diet once they begin to serve the clients of the University hospital.
This is essential to the promotion of health because a well-balanced diet that is grounded on information about proper nutrition can really enhance the physical well-being of individuals (Pike 1967, p. 233). Also, the description of the positions gives premium to the amount of knowledge candidates have in terms of clinical matters. This can be seen in the essential criteria for the qualification to the position.
Having an experience on clinical services is contributory to the health promotion because the diet supervisor can come into play whenever there are cases of minor diseases among the clients.
Lastly, in the desirable criteria for the qualification of candidates, it stated that the diet supervisor must have experiences with nutrition management. The diet supervisor will be the one responsible in arranging the diet of the patients and ensure that they follow a nutritional pattern.
This aspect promotes health because it guarantees that the one who will be chosen for the position can be trusted in managing the nutritional diet of patients. He must have a substantial background regarding the nutritional value of foods and what are the food combinations that can supplement one another’s nutritional content. By doing that, they can assure that the patients will be well-nourished as they stay on the hospital.
Another aspect where health promotion is evident is in the Continuous Improvement Criteria in the Key Performance section.
The second bullet states that the Diet Supervisor must “participate and contribute to occupational health and safety activities to ensure a safe work environment for clients, community, staff and visitors.” This bullet promotes health because it fosters safety in the working areas for clients, visitors and other people.
However, despite these aspects of the position description which already seem to carry the health promotion, it still lags in many aspects, as hinted earlier.
The sanitary aspect of health promotion seems to be overlooked in this position description when I feel like it must be recognized. As Bellah asserts, applying specific sanitary measures equates to promoting health (Bellah 1997, p. 55). An environment that is slovenly and filthy is undeniably not healthful.
Other details in the description also emphasize the areas where it lags in terms of health promotion. For instance, listed second in their major responsibilities is to “assist in supervision of kitchen staff.” I see no problem with this second responsibility.
However, there seems to be a lack and it can still be extended. In addition to the power of supervision, the diet supervisor must also have a mandate on what the kitchen staff will do and what are the procedures they must undergo.
Since the diet supervisor is also responsible for providing the nutrition and dietary support, he must also use this in directing the menu that the kitchen staff will follow. He must maximize his superintendence to the kitchen staff by ensuring that their procedures abide with certain sanitary measures. Obviously, striving for sanitation is another way of promoting health (Bellah 1997 58).
In the Personal and Professional Development of the Key Performance criteria, it was listed that the diet supervisor should “attend all mandatory training sessions provided by the hospital and is actively involved in other training and development as required.”
The nature of these training sessions was not clearly specified and delineated. To ensure that these sessions are in line with the health promotion, they must be relevant to the goal of promoting and upholding health standards. In other words, these sessions must improve their knowledge about nutrition, food technology, clinical matters and sanitation – all of which are key components of health promotion.
In the Teamwork and Communications Criteria, it was listed that the Diet Supervisor must “demonstrate an ability to implement recommendations of patient care Review Committee in response to Patients’ suggestions.” The diet supervisor must not only implement recommendations right away.
He must also have the sharpness of mind and the readiness to assess and criticize the recommendations being given by the Patient care Review committee.
Although this committee definitely has its own internal operations and merits, the Diet Supervisor must also look into the recommendations passed onto him, evaluate them and give suggestions on how they can be improved, if necessary. Since the welfare of the patients is the top priority, all ideas from the most number of people must be maximized to assure that this welfare is well-protected.