The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is a patient care area in the hospital where seriously ill patients are cared for by specially-trained staff. Seriously ill patients require closer observation and monitoring and may have special equipment in their room, depending on their unique situation. At St. Francis, we have two intensive care units: the Cardiovascular ICU and the Medical Surgical ICU. Here’s what patients and family members should know.
A Care Partner is the primary contact and decision-maker for the patient. Identifying one person who will serve as the Care Partner benefits the patient, family and staff. The Care Partner will have greater access to information regarding the progress of the patient, and will work as part of the ICU Care Team to ensure your loved one will have the most effective plan of care. This person is encouraged to keep other family and friends informed of the patient’s progress. This will all decrease the number of calls placed to the care team and allow them to spend more time at the bedside caring for your loved one.
You may see many staff members entering your loved one’s room. They all play an important role in delivering the highest standard of care to your loved one. This team includes the following but can include more as needed:
Between 7-11 am, Interdisciplinary Team Rounds are conducted. During this time, the Critical Care team will go over the plan of care for your family member. We ask that only the Care Partner is present. This ensures communication is precise and consistent to provide the best care for your family member.
St. Francis Hospital staff works together with volunteers and visitors to make visitation productive for the healing of our patients. We strive to provide excellent care and support to you and your loved ones during their time of illness. We make every attempt to keep visitation open, but our patient care, safety and privacy may require occasional hold on visitation. Due to privacy laws, please remain in your loved one’s room while in ICU.
Children under the age of 12 are not permitted in the ICU and should be supervised by an adult if in they will be in the waiting room.
Not knowing what to expect is normal while visiting your loved ones in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). This brochure is designed to serve as a guide for you to understand what you can do while your loved one is in ICU. Your loved one may be connected to multiple tubes and wires. These are in place to monitor and treat the patient.
Your loved one may be connected to a ventilator, or “breathing machine”. This is a temporary machine that assists the patient with breathing. While a patient is on the ventilator, they will not be able to speak, eat, or drink because this machine passes through their vocal cords.
These machines and monitors can be very noisy. Please do not be alarmed by the beeps and noises. They are common sounds in the ICU.
Patients need rest to heal. During Quiet Time, we ask that the patient have uninterrupted quiet rest. We will lower the lights and ask all but one visitor to step out, with no visitor exchanges. Doors to the ICU will be locked. During this time patient and staff interaction will be kept to a minimum to promote healing. Our quiet times are from 11 pm-4 am and 2-4 pm.
While your loved one is in ICU, take care of yourself by eating and getting plenty of rest. You, the Care Partner, will be relied upon as an active member of the Care Team. Taking care of yourself will enable you to better understand, listen, and participate in the care of your loved one.
Chaplains are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for you or your loved one’s spiritual or emotional needs. To request a chaplain, dial “0” from any hospital phone and advise the operator where a chaplain is needed. If needed, a member of the Care Team can assist you.