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What to Expect in the Intensive Care Unit

Critically ill patients have special needs and requirements when it comes to their care and treatment. That is why you might find that things work a little differently in the ICU.

What Can I Expect in the Intensive Care Unit?

If you or a loved one has been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at a Banner Health hospital it means that you have a severe medical condition that needs extra monitoring and you need more frequent, specialized care.

In the ICU, fewer patients are assigned to each caregiver so the caregiver can provide the care and monitoring needed to safely care for you. A specially trained team works together to oversee your care and treatment.

The ICU is full of equipment and monitors and you or your loved one may be hooked up to a variety of different things to help with breathing, feeding or monitoring their condition. It may be difficult to see your loved one this way, but it is important for their care.

Because ICU patients need extra care, we have different restrictions that other units in the hospital.

Can I Visit Someone in the ICU?

Critically ill patients need frequent periods of rest and quiet. That's why we allow only immediate family members to visit.

We also limit the number of visitors to two at a time. We ask that visitors not be present between 7 and 8:30 a.m. or between 7 and 8:30 p.m. to allow staff to make a smooth transition of care from one nursing shift to the next.

Acting in your best interest, please understand that the nurse may decide to increase or limit the number of visitors at one time, depending on the circumstance.

Please make all visiting arrangements with your patient's nurse. After 8 p.m., the only way to enter the hospital is through the Emergency Department. For your own health, we recommend that you go home at night so you can rest.

How Do You Keep My Hospital Stay and Condition Private?

Your privacy is important. We are bound by the Health Information Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA) to keep your health information private. That is why we can’t give anyone information about your condition over the phone. With this in mind, we recommend that you select one person in the family to be your spokesperson. This person can get information from staff and share it with other family and friends who want to know how you are doing.

Finally, please respect the privacy of our other patients by staying in your loved one's room during your visits. Fire codes restrict people from gathering in the hallways.

Are Gifts and Phones Allowed In the ICU?

When a loved one is in the hospital and not feeling well, it is natural to want to bring gifts to cheer them up. Greeting cards are the perfect way to send best wishes to someone in the ICU. Unfortunately, live flowers and plants are not. They contain many different bacteria and respiratory irritants that can be harmful to our patients. That is why we don’t allow them in the ICU. If flowers or plants arrive in the ICU, we will send them home with the family.

Can A Spiritual Leader Visit To Help Me and My Family During This Time?

Banner Health hospitals have chaplains who make daily rounds to visit with patients and families. If you are interested in receiving a visit from the chaplain, please inform your nurse.

You are welcome to have a visit from your personal clergy person or spiritual leader from outside the hospital. Your care provider or nurse can assist you in making special arrangements for your individual spiritual needs.