The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is a specialty area of the hospital. The unit has advanced equipment, nurses who are trained in providing critical care to all age groups, and a controlled environment to provide the aggressive care that critical patients need. The ICU is designed to meet the needs of trauma victims (e.g. motor vehicle accidents), people experiencing life-threatening medical problems (e.g. heart attacks or strokes), and post-operative patients experiencing problems. Special procedures that require critical care monitoring may also take place in the ICU. Each patient has a private room with glass doors, allowing the nursing staff to observe each critical patient closely. Every patient is placed on a heart monitor, which allows the nurse to closely observe the patient’s heart rate and rhythm both in the room and at the nurse’s desk.
Telephone calls to the ICU should be limited to immediate family members. Please designate one member of the family to phone the ICU to inquire about the patient’s condition, and have that person convey this information to all concerned. Patient condition reports will not be given to friends; please discourage friends from calling and inquiring about the patient. Telephone calls remove the ICU nurse from his/her chief responsibility -- the care of the patient.