Critically ill medical patients are cared for on our 21-bed Intensive/Critical Care Unit. Registered nurses, physicians from many specialties, and many other healthcare professionals collaborate to form a diagnosis, treatment, and discharge plan for each individual patient.
Our goal is to give you access to your loved one in this time of need as much as we possibly can. We understand that the healing process will include the love and support from you, the family.
In order to provide the best care for your loved one, we ask for your help with the following guidelines:
- Wash your hands to prevent infection and ensure patient safety. We ask that all visitors to the ICU use the antibacterial gel, located near the patient's bed, to cleanse their hands.
- The following are not permitted in the ICU:
- Children under age 12
- Food and drinks
- Cameras/video recorders or picture taking
- No sleeping allowed in the patient room; however sleeping is allowed in waiting area for comfort of families as necessary.
- The ICU does NOT have set visiting hours - you may visit at any time; however, you may be asked to leave if the patient condition requires certain tests or procedures or emergent actions.
- We ask family members to stay in the patient's room or waiting rooms at all times, rather than waiting in the hallways, to ensure privacy and confidentiality for all our patients. We ask that only 2 family members stay in the patient room at any given time to allow us access to care for the patient. After 8:30 p.m. only 1 visitor is allowed to stay in the patient room overnight.
- The ICU waiting room must be shared for family and visitors of our patients - this can add up to a lot of people. We suggest the Cafeteria or Front Lobby for additional seating.
- While you are visiting in the ICU, we encourage that you remain calm and supportive to the patient. Make eye contact and provide encouragement. Remember that, although the patient may not show it, he/she hears more than you might think. After checking with the staff don't be afraid to touch the patient. You will be surrounded by monitoring lights and machines. If you are unsure or have questions about any equipment, please ask the nurse for help.
- Please be aware that the ICU has alarm settings to alert the healthcare staff to possible changes in a patient's condition. The alarms are very sensitive to the patient's movements and coughing, and may not reflect any real problems.
- The nurse may ask visitors to step out of the patient's room when a medical procedure needs to be done. This is done for patient safety and privacy. The nurse will notify the family when they can return to the room.
- The nourishment room within the department is for patient use only.
Communication with Nurses & Doctors
When you want to talk to the nurse or doctor, please be aware that between the hours of 7am-8am and 7pm-8pm we have change of shift report, which means the nurses and doctors might not be available. At these times the caregivers need to share clear and accurate information with one another-information that is essential for the care of the patients.
After admission to the ICU, if the patient has a large family, the nurse will seek to identify a FAMILY SPOKESPERSON to be the contact person between nursing staff, family and friends. The family spokesperson will help by:
- Taking phone calls regarding the patient's condition.
- Working with us to plan individual visiting guidelines for the patient.
The partnership will allow the family the best access to the patient-and more importantly, support the patient by including the family as part of the caregiver team with us.