Other Support Services

Spiritual Care Services

Chaplains provide counseling and comfort. They support patients and families with issues such as how illness affects them, relationships, and the meaning of things. They help people at any point in their illness, whether or not they have a faith tradition. They also provide prayer and religious rituals, and can arrange visits from clergy (like imams, priests, or monks).

UCSF Spiritual Care Services provides chaplains in UCSF Medical Center 24-hours a day. If you wish to see a chaplain, ask your nurse to page the on-call chaplain.  Find out more online or call at 415-353-1941.

Social Work

Social workers support ICU patients and families as they cope with the difficulties of serious illness and ICU care, and adapt to new roles. They have special training and experience in supporting children and their caregivers. They also help with financial, insurance, and legal issues, and new care needs.

Social workers are available to all patients and families at UCSF Medical Center. ICU social workers have particular experience in supporting ICU patients and families. If you would like to speak to a social worker, please ask your nurse to arrange a visit.

Patient and Visitor Relations

Patient Relations is here to help ensure that your experience at UCSF Medical Center is a good one. If you or a family member have a question or concern about your hospital stay, please let us know. We suggest you first discuss your concerns with your nurse, department manager and your doctor. If your concern remains unresolved, the Patient Relations staff or a nursing supervisor are available to help you reach a resolution or provide more information.

Find out more online or call at 415-353-1936.

Palliative Care

Palliative Care is a consult service in UCSF Medical Center, and a medical and nursing specialty. Palliative care is specialized care for people with serious illnesses. It focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious illness—whatever the diagnosis. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.

Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work together with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment.

If you would like the UCSF Palliative Care Consult Service to visit you while you are in the hospital, please ask your doctor to request a consult. The service can also arrange outpatient and home palliative care services after discharge.

Find out more online or call at 415-502-6861.

Bereavement Resources and Services

For patients who die at UCSF Medical Center, Patient Relations coordinates the Decedent Affairs Program, which provides guidance and acts as a liaison between your family and outside agencies. The program helps with arrangements and necessary paperwork. Staff members are available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Phone: (415) 353-1936. If you wish to speak with someone in person, the office is located at 350 Parnassus Avenue, Suite 603.

Family members of patients who die during or after a stay in the ICU frequently experience high levels of stress and anxiety. Professional help is available and recommended. Hospice programs provide bereavement counseling and support whether or not patients were enrolled in hospice. For help, contact your doctor or your local hospice program.

Here is a list of resources compiled by UCSF.

Thinking Through the Finances

Talk to the financial office at UCSF to learn more about healthcare costs and payment.

An ICU social worker can help you navigate the hospital and insurance systems, and may be able to direct you to additional resources.

Next: Leaving the ICU