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UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital
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Cardiac ICU Visitation Guidelines for Family and Friends

The cardiac ICU is a 7-bed unit that provides round-theclock intensive care for people with serious cardiac illnesses.
 
Visiting Hours for the Cardiac ICU
 
Visiting hours are 8am-9pm.
 
We provide regular and thorough updates to the patient and/or one family member. Please designate one family member to be a liaison for communicating this information to other family members.
 
Learn more about visiting patients at UW Hospital and Clinics
 
Cardiac ICU Patients
 
As patients enter the ICU, they usually require our undivided attention while we assess their condition and attach necessary equipment.
 
Each patient is attached to a heart monitor, which provides a continuous picture of the heart's electrical activity.
 
Other special equipment may be used to administer medications, to help a patient's injured heart pump blood more efficiently, and to help a patient breathe.
 
You may hear beeps or alarms when the equipment needs attention. Most alarms do not indicate a serious situation. Please remember that all monitors are continually observed by the critical care nurses at the bedside or at the central monitor station.
 
Important Reminders About Visiting Cardiac ICU Patients
 
Due to the critical nature of the cardiac ICU, the environment is constantly changing.
 
We ask that before you visit your loved one, you use the phone located on the desk outside of the ICU doors to call the staff and verify that it is okay for visitors to enter the ICU. As soon as possible, we will have you come to the patient's bedside.
 
We welcome visitors as we know you have a positive impact on patient's healing process.
 
Please wash or gel your hands before entering any patient's room. If the patient’s room curtain or door is closed, please knock and wait for a response before entering.
 
Advance Medical Directives (Living Will or Power of Attorney)
 
It is important that the ICU staff have a copy of any Living Will or Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. If one does not exist, we may need help to determine what the patient's wishes are about various types of treatments.
 
UW Hospital social work staff can assist you and your family with completing the paperwork necessary for Advance Medical Directives.
How Visitors and Family Can Help During a Patient's Stay
 
The ICU staff recognizes that family members of the patient can play a key role in patient recovery. We need your insights about what the patient prefers and other pertinent medical information, especially if the patient is unable to speak for him or herself. 
 
Please do not give the patient any food or water without checking with the staff first. 
 
Please do not take live plants into patient rooms. Plants contain bacteria in their water and soil. Until the patient is out of the ICU, the plants will be placed at the front desk labeled with the patient's name. 
 
If you have questions, please ask them. You may find the answers to your questions in the UW Hospital and Clinics Patient and Visitor Guide.
 
About the Staff
 
Each patient is cared for by a team of physicians with a board-certified cardiologist leading the team.
 
Other doctors in the team include interns, residents and fellows who are in various stages of advanced training. Physician specialists such as heart failure specialists, may be asked to see your loved one as well as nurse practitioners or physician assistants.
 
Our cardiac ICU nurses have advanced education and training in critical care nursing with an emphasis on cardiac nursing.
 
Other support staff In addition to doctors and nurses, you may see some of these staff members in the cardiac ICU:
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Pharmacists
  • X-ray technicians
  • EKG technicians
  • Dietitians
  • Unit secretaries
  • Transport personnel
  • Volunteers
  • Social workers
  • Chaplains
We all work together to provide the best possible care for our patients.