Intensive Care Units

Intensive care units are where patients receive constant care and are closely watched by a specially trained healthcare team. Often, patients who are in the intensive care unit (ICU) have a serious health condition or injury, or have just had major surgery.

At Hamilton Health Sciences, intensive care units are located at:

The job of the ICU team is to stabilize a patient’s condition and help them toward the fullest recovery possible. Scroll down for more information about intensive care at HHS.

Care We Provide

Patients who are in the ICU are usually critically ill or unstable. The goals of the ICU are to:

  • stabilize the patient’s condition
  • keep the illness from getting worse
  • prevent new complications
  • provide specialized treatment to help the patient make the fullest possible recovery

Remember you are not alone. The ICU team is here to support you and your loved ones.

What to Bring

Please bring only basic personal items for your loved one such as glasses, dentures, soap, toothbrush and deodorant.

  • Take home valuables, clothing and other belongings as there is limited space in the ICU.
  • Turn off cell phones and pagers while you are in the unit as they may interfere with medical equipment.
  • Please do not bring in any flowers, plants or latex balloons, as they are not allowed in the ICU.

Visiting the ICU

Our intensive care units have open visiting hours. Family and friends can visit anytime as decided by the patient and/or their substitute decision maker (SDM) and based on the patient’s care needs.

Shift change occurs between 6:45 and 7:15 in the morning and evening. We request that you try not to move in and out of the unit or call in during this time. Our teams use this time to share vital information about the care your family member or friend is receiving, and to make plans for the shift. To ensure the best care and patient safety, we make every effort to prevent interruptions during this information transfer.

Family Involvement

In the ICU, people work together as a team to provide care.

Family and friends are important members of our team. The nurses, doctors and respiratory therapists are available 24 hours a day. Please discuss the patient’s wishes with them. Patients have a right to receive and refuse treatments. Please speak to any member on the team if your family member has a special cultural or spiritual request.

Assign a contact person

We ask that one person be chosen as the family spokesperson/contact person for medical information. This person can be a family member or a friend. The ICU team will speak and give updates to this person and they can then pass the information on to the rest of the family and friends. Information over the phone will only be given to the spokesperson. There will be times when the doctor or nurse may not be available to come to the phone.

Please give the nurse all telephone numbers where the spokesperson/contact person can be reached.

Family meetings can be requested at any time by family or by the ICU team.

Important documents

Please bring a copy of any documents that might be useful to help with the care of your loved one such as:

  • a list of medications
  • past medical history
  • any advanced directives such as a Living Will or Power of Attorney for Health Care.

Our ICU Team

The team in the ICU are highly specialized health care providers. Here are some members you may encounter:

  • Business Clerk
  • Physician
  • Physician Assistant
  • Clinical Manager
  • Clinical Leader
  • Charge Nurse
  • Registered Nurse
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Dietician
  • Social Worker
  • Physiotherapist
  • Pharmacist
  • Chaplain
  • Speech/Language Pathologist
  • Researchers and Students
  • Environmental Aide