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The ICU Team is made of up of health-care professionals from many different disciplines, each of whom contributes to the care of patients in a unique way.


Our staff intensivists lead our medical teams. An Intensivist is a medical doctor who has received additional training to care for critically ill patients. In order to become an Intensivist, the doctor must first complete training in a specialty such as Internal Medicine, Anesthesia or Surgery. Meet the Intensivists

ICU Team

While the intensivist is in charge of the overall care the ICU patient, doctors from other specialty services (such as Infectious Disease, Nephrology, or Surgery for example) may be asked to consult and provide specialized care.

Critical Care Fellows
Our Critical Care Fellows are specialist doctors who are now training to become intensivists. Critical Care Fellows will train for an additional 2 years with our ICU teams before becoming specialists in critical care.

Residents are medical doctors who are completing their specialty training. Our unit can have from 5-8 residents at any one time. Residents are taught and supervised by our Intensivists and Critical Care Fellows as they assist in caring for our ICU patients.


Bedside Nurses
All of the nurses who work in the Intensive Care Unit are registered Nurses (RNs) who have received special training in the care of critically ill patients.   Each nurse in the ICU cares for one or two patients at a time. This arrangement permits very close monitoring. Their expertise and continuous presence allows early recognition of changes in patient conditions. Our nurses are excellent sources of information about both the patient and ICU in general.  Because of their close contact with the family and the patient, critical care nurses often serve as the patient’s advocate and become integral to the decision-making process of the patient, family, and critical care team. At times nurses may be receive help with patient care from orderlies in the ICU.

Care Facilitator (CF)
The Care Facilitator is the nurse in charge of the unit for each shift, and is responsible for managing flow and communication in the ICU.

Nurse Educators
Because medical technology changes rapidly, keeping nurses up to date with new equipment and techniques is very important. The ICU educators are responsible for meeting regularly with nurses to train and certify them.

Clinical Care Leader
The Clinical care leader works with the clinical manager to improve patient safety and the overall quality of patient care in the ICU.

Clinical Manager
Each campus has a Clinical Manager, who works in conjunction with the Clinical Care Leader. These nurses are responsible for the overall quality of clinical care in the ICU and supervision of nursing personnel. If you have a concern about the care your loved one has received, the Clinical Manager can help you understand the problem and receive the information you need.

Other Health Professionals

Registered Dietitians
A registered dietician is a vital part of the medical team who consults with physicians, nurses, therapists, and family members in the ICU. The registered dietician works to improve the nutritional health and promotes recovery of the critically ill or injured patient.

A pharmacist is a specialist in the science and clinical use of medications. The pharmacist with specialty training in the ICU is equipped in recognizing the needs and problems specific to the critical care patient. These specialists work with members of the health-care team to foster effective and safe medication therapy.

Physiotherapist are focused on promoting mobility and independent function. After a complete assessment of breathing, strength and movement, a treatment plan is developed. This plan may include breathing exercises, secretion clearance techniques, strengthening exercises and early mobility when appropriate.  Family is encouraged to attend and participate.

Respiratory Therapists (RTs)
Our Respiratory Therapists work with the ICU team to help our patients with their breathing. Their role includes managing the ventilator, the airway, and providing oxygen therapy. A respiratory therapist is also involved in the rehabilitation process for patients in the recovery phase of critical illness.

Social Workers
Social Workers in the Intensive Care Unit wear many hats, but primarily they are counsellors for families and patients. When you or someone you care about is critically sick or injured, it is easy to feel overwhelmed -these are things a Social Worker can help with.

The Social Worker knows and understands the things that you might need to consider in these difficult times:

  • How sick are they?
  • What does the future hold?
  • Am I getting all the important information?
  • What will happen to my family?
  • How do I talk to my children about this?
  • How will I make ends meet?

Helping you to adjust to all the changes that happen as a result of the onset of critical illness or injury is what the Social Worker is there for. Please feel free to ask to see the Social Worker if you have any concerns.

Spiritual Care
The Chaplain provides emotional and spiritual support to patients, families and staff who are feeling frightened, distressed, fragile or alone in the midst of the challenging situations they are facing. They assess spiritual needs and concerns, listen and encourage communication, address cultural and faith concerns, respond to religious needs, contact community faith representatives when requested, and help with decision-making and the grieving process. Click here for more information about Spiritual Care Services

Ward Clerks
The Ward Clerk is the first person to greet you as you enter the Intensive Care Unit. They will accompany the patient’s family members and other medical professionals to the patient’s bedside.

They perform all clerical duties for the unit such as answering telephones, transcribing medical orders, booking tests as well as arranging for team members to accompany patients to their appropriate tests. The ward clerks perform many tasks and are important members of the multidisciplinary team in the Intensive Care Unit.

The Rapid Assessment of Critical Events (RACE) Team
In 2005, The Ottawa Hospital became the first hospital in Ontario to develop a Critical Care Response team or RACE Team.  RACE stands for Rapid Assessment of Critical Events.   The RACE team is an ICU team that responds to and helps patients all over the hospital who need our help.  The team is made up of Critical Care Nurse, a Respiratory Therapist and a Critical Care Doctor.

The team brings a specially outfitted equipment cart with them to the calls. This cart contains most of the equipment necessary to assist the distressed patient and allows the team to support the patient wherever they are or to transport them safely to the ICU.

The RACE team also provides follow-up for our patients after they are discharged from the ICU. Critical Care Response teams now exist at 22 other Ontario hospitals.

Last updated on: June 20th, 2017