Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) provides care for patients facing life-threatening illness or injury. At Natividad, we know that critical illness affects everyone, from the person injured to their entire network of friends and family. We care deeply about our patients and their families, and we know how important it is to keep the patient, family and friends informed. Good communication is vital to the healing process, and we strive to provide patients and their families with clear information.

When a patient is admitted to the ICU, we provide a Guide for Friends and Family, which is full of information and resources. The guide will help you understand what to expect at the different stages of care.

The ICU Multidisciplinary Team
The intensive care team at Natividad includes board-certified physicians who specialize in the care of critically ill patients, specialty-trained registered nurses, advanced practice nurses, resident physicians, respiratory and physical therapists, pharmacists, dieticians, and case managers who provide compassionate, comprehensive care for each and every patient. As Natividad is a teaching hospital, patients will also be cared for by resident physicians. These talented providers are directly supervised by attending physicians.

Patient Support
There are some simple things you can do to support the care of your loved one while they are in the Intensive Care Unit. Choosing a spokesperson, asking questions, and taking good care of your own health can all be very helpful.

Having a loved one in the hospital for a critical injury or illness can be emotionally overwhelming for everyone involved. You, your family, and your friends may have many questions. That is why it is essential to choose a spokesperson. This will help establish good communication with the health care providers who are caring for your family member or friend.

The patient’s spokesperson plays an important role in that patient’s care. Because critical care patients often cannot speak for themselves, the spokesperson keeps the lines of communication open between the health care providers and your family and friends.

We welcome questions about the equipment, treatments, and overall care of your family member or friend. Your loved one may be attached to several tubes and machines. Each one has a special function, so we urge you to ask why they are being used.

To protect patients and others from infection, it is important to wash your hands before and after each visit. Please keep visits short, as your loved one needs rest. Patient privacy is very important to all of us. When visiting the ICU, please remain in the patient’s room or waiting area. Finally, we encourage you to take care of yourself. Your family or friend will need your support when his or her condition improves.

Flowers, Balloons and Food
Flowers, balloons, as well as food for visitors, are not permitted within the ICU. Families and visitors are asked to take flowers and/or balloons home if they are delivered to the ICU. In addition, ICU will not accept delivery of flowers or balloons.

Waiting Area
The waiting area for the ICU is for family visiting patients. Additional family and friends can wait in the waiting room near the main entrance to the hospital. Please try to limit small children from running in the halls. We understand that this can be a stressful time for you, but please try to avoid using loud voices, as this can disturb sleeping patients. The hospital has multiple atriums and areas outside as well.