Intensive Care

St. Vincent’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is where our specially trained doctors and nurses treat your seriously ill loved ones who require close observation and monitoring.

What should you expect?

You can expect to see your loved one to be attached to multiple tubes and devices. These are temporary and will be removed as his or her health improves. These tubes and wires can be noisy. They monitor him or her at all times of the day and night. A commonly used device is a ventilator, or “breathing machine,” is used to assist with respiration. This inhibits him or her from speaking.

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Understanding the Critical Care Unit (ICU/PCU)

Members of the ICU HealthCare Team

Several members of the ICU healthcare team will be entering and exiting the room. They all play key roles in delivering the highest standard of care. 

Visiting Guidelines

Although visiting is permitted around the clock for immediate family, there are certain times during the day that we encourage quiet time to promote a restful, healing environment. Please ask the nurse for more details.

  • Locate the phone outside the unit to call the nursing station when you arrive. No dialing is necessary.
  • Please check current visitor restrictions.
  • No food or beverages are permitted in the patient rooms.
  • Keep track of the names of your healthcare team in a notebook where you can also record medication information, or jot down questions or other concerns to ask the ICU healthcare team.

Informing Friends and Family

To keep friends and family informed about your loved one’s condition, please consider:

  • Writing emails that can be sent to a specific group of people all at one time.
  • Creating a designated and confidential social media group page you can invite others to access.
  • Creating your own free CARING BRIDGE website to provide updates to friends and family.
  • Delegating communication tasks to friends or family members.

Pastoral Care

Please contact our Pastoral Care department for support as needed. Stay positive about your loved one’s condition and communicate that to him or her while visiting.

Communications Board

A white communications board and a "Get to Know Me" board in each room allows for two-way communication between staff and families. The boards will help families to identify individual caregivers and also enable staff members to get to know your loved one. You are welcome to bring in photos to help us to become familiar with your loved one.

Primary Contact

The primary contact for communication and decisions regarding the patient will have greater access to information on the patient's progress. They will partner with staff members and physicians and serve as the main contact for all relatives and friends. Please ask your nurse for more information.

Intensive Care