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Transferring to the ward

Recovering from critical care illness

Patients are transferred out of the ICU when their condition has improved and no longer requires the specialised care of the ICU team. This decision is made by the ICU medical team in close consultation with the external treating teams caring for the patient.

Leaving critical care and going to the ward is an important step in your recovery process as your ICU stay only plays a small part in your journey in hospital. The following information will help you and your family learn more about the ward environment and provide some general information about your recovery process.

Transferring to the ward

The ward environment can be very different from the ICU and this change can be worrisome for both the patient and their family. Meeting new staff and adjusting to a different routine can be stressful. The staff and the doctors on the ward recognise that the transition can be difficult and will do their best to support you and your family throughout this process. They can provide information about the ward routines such as doctors’ rounds, mealtimes and visiting.

In addition, if you have been in the ICU for an extended period of time or if you meet a certain criterion upon discharge, one of our liaison nurses may come and visit you on the ward to check on your progress and ensure that the right support is being provided to you and your family during the transition stage.

The ICU Liaison Service plays a pivotal role in the ongoing support of a patient transitioning from the ICU onto the ward and works to ensure best possible care is provided and outcomes are achieved for patients as they continue their recovery from critical illness.

Recovering from Critical Illness

Recovery post ICU takes time and is dependent upon many things such as your length of stay and severity of your illness. In addition, you may find that your way of life after hospital can be different from previous due to your illness.

Many patients make a full recovery. Some patients may remain on certain medication, require further treatment or need additional supports. The following information will discuss some of the common problems you may experience and identify strategies to help.

Please access the information booklet below titled ‘Leaving the Intensive Care Unit’ to find more detailed information about your transition to the ward and what to expect as you continue your journey beyond the ICU.

Nepean Intensive Care Unit Info Pack
Download PDF • 1.52MB

If you have any concerns or questions about you or your loved one transferring to the ward, please speak to any member of the ICU team, we are here to help and hope to support you during this process the best way that we can.

Beyond Critical Care

Beyond Critical Care

More Information


Visiting the ICU

Please access for more information regarding visiting times, our recommendation for children visiting the ICU and if a member of your family is unwell.

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Taking Care of Yourself

It is vital that you take the time to look after yourself and reach out for support and guidance during this stressful time. We have provided a number of tips and recourses on ways that can help you during your journey as a family member in the ICU.

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Patient Safety

Patient safety is an essential component of high-quality care provided in the ICU. Our team have worked hard to establish a number of tools and strategies that ensures the ICU provides safe care, in the context of evidence-based practice and the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) requirements.

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The ICU Environment

We understand that entering the ICU can be very overwhelming. The environment is often very busy with many unfamiliar sights and sounds. We hope that this page can better orientate you to the bedspace and the various equipment you may encounter.

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Medical Rounds

Please access for further information about medical rounds within the ICU including rounding times, what rounds involve and how to receive updates from the medical team.

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Spiritual Care

In Nepean ICU we aim to accommodate for all kinds of spiritual care required and welcome families to speak to the team for recourses available within the hospital or to organise their own external support.

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Helpful Tips

Please access for further information that you might find helpful during your ICU journey including, accommodation, parking, bathrooms, food and beverage, mobile phones, flowers and balloons as well as taking notes.

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Your ICU Team

The Nepean ICU team consider patients and their families a central and vital part of our team. We value working together to deliver high quality care with compassion and respect to every patient. Our team are here to support and guide you and your loved one through this ICU admission.

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We understand that it can be very difficult to see your loved one acting differently or in a state of confusion. Please access for more information about delirium.

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End of Life Care

The transition from active treatment to palliative/end of life care in ICU can often be sudden and unexpected. We recognise this is an overwhelming and emotional time for families and friends.

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Beyond Critical Care

Leaving critical care and going to the ward is an important step in your recovery process as your ICU stay only plays a small part in your journey in hospital. The following information will help you and your family learn more about the ward environment and provide information about your recovery process.

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