Visiting hours

9.30am – 3.00pm (9.30 – 2.00 pm on Fridays)
5.00pm – 8.00pm

Important Information

The information below is also available for download here.

The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is located on the 2nd floor in the south wing of the main hospital block. The ICU cares for patients who are seriously ill and need specialist nursing and medical care. Although the ICU is extremely busy and noisy with lots of activity and equipment, you should never feel you are in the way.

Staff

Patient care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses and allied health staff who have specialist training in Intensive Care.

Specialist ICU doctors (Intensivists) are primarily responsible for the treatment of patients. Other medical teams and staff from within the hospital also contribute to the care of patients. Due to the complex care and close monitoring required in ICU, there are more nurses allocated to patients than on other wards.

The ICU also has two Clinical Nurse Consultants (CNCs) who provide a follow-up service for many patients discharged from ICU to the general wards as well as providing liaison between the ICU and families. The CNCs can assist with organising letters for urgent visa applications for family members overseas, support for leave from work, special consideration for study, etc. They are available seven days a week during business hours – ask the bedside nurse or the staff at reception.

Visiting

Your visits are welcome and are considered a valuable contribution to the well being of your relative, partner or friend. In the interests of the patient, we do suggest that visitors are restricted to immediate family and/or significant others.

Children may visit but must be accompanied and supervised by an adult at all times. You may wish to discuss the appropriateness of this with the CNC.

Friends may visit if the next of kin gives approval.

Please ensure mobile phones are switched off as they may interfere with medical equipment. Cameras and other recording devices are not permitted without prior permission as they may breach patient and staff confidentiality.

Two visitors are permitted to visit at a time due to the limited space at the bedside. The staff will ask to you to move if required.

While every effort is made to accommodate visitors, you may be asked to wait in the waiting room if there is a medical or nursing procedure in progress. Sometimes the time taken is longer than anticipated; we ask for your patience, as our priority is the care of your loved one.

There are hot drinks and ice water machines available in the waiting area. A large range of meals and refreshments are available in the cafeteria on the ground floor.

There are public phones and toilets adjacent to the waiting area. If you feel you have been asked to wait for an unreasonable period of time, please speak to the staff at reception or the bedside nurse.

Visiting hours

Ward rounds are conducted twice daily. We need to consider patient privacy and confidentiality and therefore ask visitors to leave the Unit between 8-10am and 2-5pm. Every effort is made for the ward rounds to finish on time, but they may be extended if patients’ conditions require it. Your patience while waiting is appreciated.

Please keep the entrance to ICU clear as patients and staff frequently go through this door.

Obtaining information about the patient

Each family is asked to nominate two family members as spokespeople who can ring the Unit to receive updates from the nurses looking after the patient. Other callers can be given a general condition report from the hospital patient enquiry desk. Spokespeople are asked to pass on the information to other family members and friends as required.

Family meetings are often held to update family members and friends of what is happening with the patient in ICU. If you feel unsure about what is happening, please do not hesitate to ask for an update from the staff. The CNCs can also assist if required.

Phone enquiries must be made through the hospital switchboard number: 9342 7000

Personal belongings

Families are asked to bring in toiletry items such as a toothbrush and comb. There is no storage space available for clothes or valuables and therefore we will ask you to take them home until the patient leaves ICU. While every effort is made to look after personal belongings, these can easily go missing.

Chapel

There is a chapel on the second floor next to the waiting room. You are welcome to use this area if you would like somewhere quiet to sit. Chaplains/Ministers/Priests for most religions are available for patients and families. Please ask the staff if you would like access to this service.

Accommodation

There is no accommodation provided by the hospital. Country, interstate and overseas visitors can ask the CNC or nursing staff for assistance in locating suitable accommodation in the local area. Enquiries can be made for government accommodation assistance for country or interstate visitors.

Research

Many advances in improving the treatment of patients in ICU have occurred over the last few decades. This has been possible due to the co-operation of patients and their families in research studies. You may be approached regarding an ICU research study that has been approved by the Hospital Ethics Committee. Your consideration would be appreciated, but there is no obligation to participate.

Patients leaving ICU

Patients are transferred from ICU when intensive care treatment is no longer required. Patients are transferred to a ward where staff are specialised in looking after their primary problem, eg heart, lung, brain, kidney problems, trauma, etc. Sometimes readmission to the ICU may be required if there is a change in their condition or as a precaution after further surgery, etc.

Feedback

The ICU staff welcome any feedback you have regarding the Unit. Written feedback is preferred.

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.