Patient resources Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

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Important information for all patients

Please read prior to admission

PDF file for download/print

Intensive Care Unit information for patients & carers

What to expect in ICU


The St Vincent’s Private Hospital Intensive Care Unit team consists of highly skilled and caring professionals including Intensive Care Consultants, medical officers, specialist trained nurses, physiotherapists, dietitians, pharmacists, speech pathologists and pastoral care. 


The team delivers holistic care to facilitate the recovery of your loved one and improve their condition as quickly as possible so that they can be transferred to the ward and cared for in a less intense environment. 


To care for patients, the team may need to use sophisticated invasive equipment, the sight of which can sometimes cause concern for visitors who may find this overwhelming at first. Be reassured, systems and treatments are in place to control pain, sleep deprivation and ensure patients receive adequate nutrition. 


We understand that this may be a very stressful time for you. The St Vincent’s Private Hospital ICU team will always treat patients with respect, dignity and compassion as well as try to look after the needs of the family members to the best of their ability. 


Should you have concerns, please don’t hesitate to ask the medical or nursing staff for information, they are happy to answer your questions.



Visiting


Your visits are welcome and considered a valuable contribution to the wellbeing of your relative, partner or friend.  


In the interests of the patient, we do suggest that visitors are restricted to immediate family and close friends.  


Children may visit but must be accompanied and supervised by an adult at all times. You may wish to discuss this with the nurse looking after your relative.  


Visiting hours:


Visiting hours are 8am to 8pm.  We endeavour to have a rest period for the patients between 1pm to 3pm.


Mobile phones:


Mobile phones are to be turned off as they interfere with our monitoring equipment.


Cameras and other electronic devices are not permitted without prior permission as this may breach patient and staff confidentiality.


Wi-Fi access:


Free Wi-Fi is available - please ask the ICU staff for login details.


Flowers:


Flowers are not permitted in ICU.  Please only send them when your relative goes to the ward and can enjoy them.


Infection control:


For infection control reasons, we ask that you wash your hands or use the hand gel provided when you enter and leave the unit. You may also need to wear a mask, gown and gloves when visiting your relative if they have a contagious infection.


Obtaining information about your relative:


We are unable to give information regarding the condition of our patients over the phone unless we have permission from the patient or their nominated next of kin.


We ask that you nominate one person from the family to phone the Intensive Care Unit for patient updates. This ensures our time and focus is on caring for our patients. 


Family meetings are often held by the consultant ICU specialist to update family members and friends about what is happening with your relative in the ICU. 


If you feel unsure about what is happening, please do not hesitate to ask the staff to arrange for an update.


Personal belongings:


Families are asked to bring in toiletry items such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, shaving equipment, deodorant, liquid soap and body cream (hypoallergenic). There is limited storage space available for clothes or valuables so you might be asked to take items home while your relative is in ICU.


Chapel and Pastoral Care services:


There is a chapel available for you to use if you would like somewhere quiet to sit. Pastoral care is available for patients and families. Chaplains/Ministers/Priests for most religions are also available to come in on request. Please ask staff if you would like to access this service.


Accommodation:


The hospital does not provide accommodation for friends and family members, however there are several motels close by from which to choose.



Donations


Many families ask if they can make donations to the unit. Donations over $2 are tax deductible and can either be made directly to the ICU or to the hospital generally. Donations are generally put towards equipment purchases for the ICU.  


For more information, please ask to speak with the Nurse Unit Manager.