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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1971. Department of Home Economics.


Copyright 1971, the author. Used by permission.


One of the largest departments in most hospitals today is the dietary department.Traditionally, this department, especially if in a large hospital, has been administered by a dietitian who was a member of the American Dietetic Association.Recently, however, many factors have influenced hospital administrators to turn to food service companies for the directors of their dietary department.Examples of these factors are increased cost of equipment, food, and facilities; labor shortages; technical innovations; convenience food systems; the shortage of dietitians willing to assume managerial positions; and the inability of some of those who have.Because of these factors, dietitians are being challenged either to become more effective administrators or to retire completely from management positions and serve only in therapeutic positions.

The objective of this study was to investigate how hospital administrators and chief hospital dietitians perceived personal characteristics and managerial skills of the chief hospital dietitian. Although the hospital administrators and the chief hospital dietitians perceived many of the skills and characteristics studied similarly, wide differences did exist in their perception of the importance of some of them, as well as among the perceptions of individual hospital administrators concerning a particular characteristic or skill.

If the chief hospital dietitian is to be successful, she must know her functions and be able to perform them well, but also, she must know her hospital administrator and his perception of her functions.Each hospital administrator will perceive her functions differently.Good communication must exist between the two if the chief dietitian is to know what her administrator expects and be able to meet his expectations.One of the secrets of success for a chief hospital dietitian is for her to know her administrator.

Advisor: Marie E. Knickrehm