Critical Care Center
Critical Care may have many different names, but all critical care units exist for one reason ... to provide highly specialized, intensive care and treatment to people who are very seriously ill, critically ill, or injured. These specialty units, such as CCU or ICU, provide close monitoring of patients whose conditions are unstable and unpredictable.
The Critical Care Unit is a medical/surgical unit for patients requiring specialized neurological, pulmonary, renal, cardiovascular, or post-operative monitoring. The Intensive Care Unit is for heart patients requiring specialized cardiac care following cardiac procedures such as angioplasty, or stents. Patients requiring close overnight observation are also admitted to this unit.
The Critical Care Team
The Doctor - Every patient will have a physician in charge of his/her case ... it may even be your private physician. Other physicians may be brought in to consult on specialized advice. These doctors have special training, skill, and experience for the critically ill or injured. Get to know the caregiver taking care of your loved one.
The Nurses - Critical Care nurses spend the majority of time with the patient. They get to know the patient and the family. Terrebonne General's Critical Care Nurses have special training and the clinical skills necessary to provide the very best care of critically ill patients. The nurses and physicians work together to develop a special plan of care for each patient.
The Social Worker - Another critical care team player is the social worker. At TGMC we have a social worker assigned to the critical care areas. The social worker is an expert in helping patients and their families deal with the overwhelming stress associated with critical care. The social worker can help you to better understand and adjust to the patient's condition, as well as relieve any fears or anxiety. They are also available to provide a wealth of information including financial counseling, clergy services, support group referrals, rehabilitation facilities, advanced directives and ethical concerns.
The Family - Your role as a member of the critical care team is to provide emotional support through your visits. You may also be called upon to help make medical decisions with, and in some cases, on behalf of the patient. To be an effective partner in the decision-making process, we need you to share information about the patient with all members of the critical care team. Remember, you are not alone.
A Word for the Family
This is a critical time for you ... the family and friends of a patient in the critical care unit. Facing many of the unknowns associated with critical care can be an overwhelming and stressful time for everyone involved. Remember:
- You are not alone.
- Do not be afraid to speak up.
- Do not hesitate to ask questions.
- Do not hesitate to express your concerns.
- Do not hesitate to ask for help.
Visiting the Patient
We, the critical care staff, recognize the vital role you as a family member play in the well-being and recovery of our patient ... and your family member. Our staff knows that you too need support, reassurance, and above all, information.
Visiting hours are designated as follows:
- 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
- 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
- 5 p.m. - 6 p.m.
- 8:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Three visitors are allowed at the patient's bedside at a time and should be limited to immediate family or a significant other. Selecting a family spokesperson that can speak for all and is able to share information with the rest of the family is a vital link.
The unit staff may permit an unscheduled or extended visit in unusual circumstances. Facing many of the unknowns associated with critical care can be an overwhelming and stressful time for everyone involved.
Getting and Giving Information
We need to know how to get in touch with you! Please let the critical care team members know where to get in contact with you when you're not at the hospital ... and that you know how to reach us when you need to.
Here are some suggestions for communicating with the Critical Care team:
- Meet the primary care physician and the critical care nurse taking care of your loved one.
- Select a family spokesperson.
- Try as best you can to express the patient's wishes, or what you believe them to be.
- Ask the nurses specifically what you can do to help.
- Prepare your questions ahead of time.
Getting and giving honest information will help in making decisions about your loved one's care. Our goal is to get your loved one back with you as quickly and as healthy as possible.