The General Campus at 501 Smyth Road is a 28 bed unit with specialization in respiratory, thoracic and cancer care.
The Civic Campus at 1053 Carling Avenue is a 28 bed unit with specialization in neurological, vascular and trauma care.
Because emergencies can occur at any time, the Intensive Care Units are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The nursing shifts are 12 hours long, beginning at 7 am (for day shifts) and at 7 pm (for night shifts). Morning rounds, the process where every ICU patient is seen in detail by the team of doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, dietitians, pharmacists, and other health-care professionals, occurs between 9 am and noon every day.
Unlike other areas of the hospital, the ICU is open for visitors at almost any time. Because the nursing shifts change between 7-8 am and 7-8 pm every day, we ask that you do not visit during these times so that the nurses may concentrate on communicating important patient information. Other than these 2 periods, you are free to visit or call at anytime.
ICU patients are often busy with tests or with nursing care such as bathing or turning. For this reason, and in order to respect the privacy of the other patients in the ICU, we ask that you phone in to the ICU before EVERY visit. There is a phone located directly outside the ICU door that connects directly to the ICU desk, and there are often volunteers who can provide assistance.
The ICU doctors will make every effort to communicate with you frequently. If you would like to meet with the doctors taking care of your loved one, the best time is often in the mid-afternoon. Please speak to your nurse to arrange such a meeting.
There are lounges available at each campus located just outside the main ICU doors. These lounges are designed to provide a space for families to gather, rest, and communicate easily with the ICU staff. During the day there is a volunteer on duty who can help provide information and facilitate communication.
Hand Hygiene and Isolation
Hand hygiene means washing your hands very frequently, and it is crucial to reduce the spread of infections in the hospital. When you visit the ICU you will be required to wash your hands (with soap or with an alcohol-based solution) before and after every point of contact.
Some patients in the ICU are kept in “isolation”. There are different types of isolation which are used for different reasons. Sometimes patients are isolated because they are at risk for infection, and sometimes because they are at risk of spreading an infection to other patients in the hospital. The nursing staff will help explain what you need to do in order to respect the isolation procedures.
Why am I being asked to leave?
When visiting a loved one in ICU, you may be asked to leave the room at certain times. There are several possible reasons why you may be asked to leave:
- ICU patients require frequent nursing care such as washing and turning which require many people to be in the room to help. We may ask you to leave during these times to create enough space to perform these tasks.
- ICU patients frequently require minor procedures, such as the placement of catheters. Since these procedures are performed under clean conditions, you will be asked to leave while they are happening.
- Because there are many other patients in the ICU, you may be asked to leave when nearby patients are undergoing a sensitive procedure in order to protect patient confidentiality.