What is an Intensive Care Unit?
The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is designed to care for patients who require continuous observation or complicated treatment. Specially trained staff provide care 24 hours a day on a one to one, or one to two patient basis depending on need.
Medical staff are present within the department at all times, and an intensive care consultant is in charge of treatment.
Intensive care has daily support from physiotherapy, dieticians, pharmacists and specialist nurses.
It is natural when you first visit your sick relative/friend to feel shocked and unable to help. We would like to reassure you that your visits and continuous support is a valuable part of the patients’ stay in the ICU.
We always talk to our patients because we don’t always know if they can hear us or not. If you have been told that your relative is unconscious due to their condition or drugs, they may feel reassured if you continue to speak to them in a normal manner, about events that have happened at home, family and friends, reminding them of the day, date and time. The voice of a loved one could bring them a great deal of comfort and reassurance. You might also like to consider keeping a diary of some of the more significant events that happened during their stay in the ICU.
Physical contact maybe a normal part of your relationship such as holding hands, kissing cheeks etc., but if you are anxious about the equipment please ask the nurse at the bedside. Curtains can be drawn for privacy, and it may be possible for you to help with washing, hair and nail care if you would like to.
If you need a sick certificate for your relative/friend please ask a member of the nursing staff to arrange this for you.