Intensive Care Unit
ICU—Medical: 541-222-8300 ICU—Surgical: 541-222-3500
The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend is staffed and equipped to care effectively for the most critically ill and injured patients. Having a loved one in the ICU can be a difficult and trying time. Be assured that the ICU staff strives always to provide the best care possible—for both our patients and their families.
All registered nurses in Sacred Heart’s ICU have advanced training, including certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support. The ICU is equipped with the most sophisticated life-support technology available. Working closely with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Sacred Heart’s ICU is consistently among the first hospitals to put in place new protocols to improve patient safety and ensure the best outcomes for patients.
When can I call or visit?
The ICU does not have official visiting hours. Instead, visiting hours are flexible and sometimes change to best meet the patient’s needs. We ask that family members not visit or call between the hours of 7 and 8, in both the morning and evening. Our nurses work 12-hour shifts, and this is when they change shifts.
When you come to visit, please check in first with our volunteer in the waiting room. The volunteer will then check with the nurse to make sure it is an appropriate time for a visit. If there is no volunteer on duty, please use the phone provided in the waiting room.
Please keep in mind the privacy of others when moving through the unit.
Only two visitors at a time, please.
Children visiting the ICU require special consideration and preparation. Please speak with the nurse if you wish for a child to visit.
Whom do I ask for information?
Our volunteers are here to serve you. You will recognize them in their green shirts or smocks. If you have remaining questions about lodging, food, parking or other concerns, please ask them.
How can I help my loved one in the ICU?
Your mere presence is welcome and reassuring. Softly touching, grooming and speaking to your loved one is encouraged.
May I bring flowers?
Live flowers and plants are not permitted in the ICU. Please ask that family and friends wait until the patient has left the ICU before sending flowers.
Where can the family gather?
Our waiting room provides a large public area for families to gather. You will find pay phones, coffee and restrooms there.
Be aware that many families share this space. Additional family and friends may wait in the main hospital lobby or in one of the dining rooms, on the hospital’s first floor.
What kind of support does the ICU provide to familiies?
Medical Social Work
Many support services are provided through our Medical Social Work department. Our social workers provide families with emotional support and information about finances, insurance and care after leaving the hospital. They are great resources to answer questions about how a patient will adjust to life after hospitalization.
Pastoral & Spiritual Care Services
We believe that a stay in the Intensive Care Unit can touch the lives of our patients and their families at their deepest emotional and spiritual levels. Our chaplains, who have both pastoral and clinical experience, are here to support you. They are available to be present with you, listen, offer prayer or Sacrament according to your beliefs, provide assistance with health care decisions or simply to assist with communication or help orient you to the hospital. Chaplains are available for emergencies 24 hours a day. Visit our Pastoral & Spiritual Care Services Web pages to learn more.
It is appropriate to say a word about dying. Our desire is to heal. However, physical healing is not always possible. Death is the natural conclusion to human life and an experience we all will share.
Sometimes an illness or injury is so severe that the treatment designed to promote healing is, instead, prolonging death. If the course of care shifts from healing to maximizing comfort and relieving pain, you will not be alone. Medical staff will explain the options, and our caring team of professionals will be available to address the physical, emotional, spiritual and practical needs of you and your loved one.
Does the patient have an Advance Directive?
An Advance Directive allows a person to document treatment wishes. Please inform the nurse if your loved one has an Advance Directive so that a copy can be placed in his or her medical record. This document will be consulted in the event that the patient becomes unable to communicate. We encourage you to take this time to complete your own Advance Directive. Please let the staff know if you would like assistance.
How will you keep us informed?
Generally our nurses will have the most current information regarding the patient’s care. Please feel free to ask questions and voice your concerns. The staff will do its best to address them.
Physicians usually make their hospital rounds (visits) each morning before visitors arrive. If you have not been able to speak to the physician directly, please let the nursing staff know.
How can we keep others informed?
We ask that each family designate a spokesperson. This person will be the one to speak with the nurses and physicians and relay that information to other family members. This allows nurses to spend more time at the patient’s bedside.
Phone are available in the waiting room. Please dial 9 for outside calls. Check the blue Guide to Patient Services for information on long distance calls. Use of cellular phones is prohibited in the ICU.
The ICU also offers a Web-based service called FamilyConnection. The spokesperson can post patient condition updates on the Web site. Family and friends can then log on, read the updates and post their own message. Please ask your nurse or the volunteer for more information.
Taking care of yourself
Our care and concern extend to our patients’ families, too. Please eat well, rest and take breaks or walks. For quiet moments of prayer or reflection, you're welcome to visit the hospital chapel (on the second floor above the main lobby).
For more information
Please check the Sacred Heart Patient & Visitor Guide for more complete information about your loved one’s hospital stay. That same information is found in the blue Guide to Patient Services found in every patient’s room. Our online Healthwise Knowledgebase is also a good source for comprehensive, current, evidence-based and unbiased health care information.