What does ICU Admission mean?

On arrival in the ICU, healthcare providers work quickly to stabilize the patient and plan his or her care. There are often many providers in the patient’s room, and patients and families have many questions. The care team will update you and answer questions once the patient is stabilized and settled. Please let a healthcare provider know if you have urgent questions or concerns during this process.

Patients will:

  • Move onto an ICU bed and get clean and comfortable
  • Get connected to ICU monitors
  • Have blood drawn, x-rays taken, and/or other tests performed
  • Get physical exams

As part of this admission process, you or your loved one will be asked to fill out forms and answer questions about the patient’s health to help the care team make the best care plan possible. Typical questions that ICU staff may ask in order to improve care are:

  • What should we know about the patient’s past medical history, allergies, previous trips to the hospital?
  • Does the patient have an Advance Directive? This document describes what kinds of healthcare a person wants if they become seriously ill and who should make medical decisions if they can’t speak for themselves.
  • Who is the decision maker? Even when there is no Advance Directive, the team still needs to establish who each patient would want making decisions on their behalf in an emergency
  • Who else in the family will be visiting or is especially important?
  • What spiritual, cultural, or financial concerns does your family have regarding this illness? Chaplains, interpreters, social workers and other professionals are available to you, often around-the-clock.

Next: ICU Arrival Checklist

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