SDE: Clinical Guidelines Ch7Q

Clinical Procedure Guidelines for Connecticut School NursesPrintable version | Back to Contents
Specialized Health Care Procedures

Q. Oral Feeding


Provide nutrients and fluids to a student who requires assistance putting food in the mouth and swallowing.


To maintain adequate nourishment and hydration. To facilitate developmentally appropriate and safe oral motor skills.


Adaptive eating and drinking devices; adaptive seating or positioning equipment; measuring containers; and protective barriers for clothing. Nonlatex disposable gloves and suction equipment, as indicated.


Refer to Connecticut State Department of Educationís Guidelines for Feeding and Swallowing Programs in Schools. This document provides comprehensive information that addresses the multiple aspects of oral feeding in school.

Delegation Considerations

This procedure may be performed by licensed, certified, and unlicensed assistive personnel with the appropriate training and supervision.

Select Nursing Considerations

  1. Each school should identify its feeding and swallowing team.
  2. The school nurse is an integral part of the feeding and swallowing team and can provide assessment of students and training to unlicensed assistive personnel for assisting with feeding students.
  3. The feeding and swallowing team responsibilities include:
    1. Working with staff and families to create safe and effective feeding plans for individual students.
    2. Collaborating with medical providers to determine that a medical evaluation (including swallow studies) indicates that the student can swallow safely according to their plan or orders.
    3. Identifying a process to ensure that all staff members who feed a student with an individualized feeding plan know that plan and can demonstrate competency in performing that plan.
  4. Staff working directly with students should report any concerns about a studentís ability to safely feed and swallow to the feeding and swallowing team (CSDE, 2008). Classroom food preparation and cleanup requires careful consideration to maintain sanitary conditions and avoid cross-contamination.


Connecticut State Department of Education. (2008). Guidelines for Feeding and Swallowing Programs in Schools.

Connecticut State Department of Education. (2008). Guidelines for Feeding and Swallowing Programs in Schools: New Referrals Algorithm, p. 27.


Content Last Modified on 7/23/2014 1:31:08 PM