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Hospital Cook

What Is A Hospital Cook?

A hospital cook may not be as fashionable as an executive chef working downtown, but the pay and benefits are attractive. Hospital cooks are in charge of producing large quantities of food for hospital patients, staff, and guests. Past perceptions of hospital food as bland and boring are changing as the health services industry becomes more competitive. In order to attract patients, hospitals are beefing up their kitchen staff and operations, and hiring professional chefs that can produce high-quality fare.

What Does A Hospital Cook Do?

Besides supervising the production of large quantities of food, hospital cooks also need to be able to prepare individual meals for patients according to a dietician's instructions. Hospital patients also often are given a choice between different types of meals at each serving, so hospital cooks need to take special care when designing their daily menu.

Hospital cooks are also in charge of monitoring the portions of meals, supervising food production, checking and ordering needed supplies, and estimating food requirements and costs.

Characteristics Of A Hospital Cook

Like other chefs and cooks, hospital cooks need to be able to work long hours standing, lifting medium loads, and operate in a hot and sometimes steamy atmosphere. In addition to culinary arts knowledge, hospital cooks need to know how to organize and plan large productions. Administration abilities are also a plus.

The Nitty Gritty: Salary

Hospital cooks generally earn more than other institutional cooks, such as those at schools or cafeterias. The average hourly wage for hospital cooks in 2000 was $9.37, whereas the average hourly wage for elementary and secondary schools was $7.65. The average annual wage for institutional cooks is $25,051.

Schools to consider: