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Table of Contents

Sleep

Physical Activity

Nutrition

Seek Support


Tips on how to cope during this stressful time


We understand that you may be experiencing a considerable level of shock, sadness and anxiety when seeing your loved one in the ICU. These experiences can place extreme pressure on not only your own coping mechanisms but that of your whole family unit, leaving families feeling fatigued and overwhelmed. It is vital that you take the time to look after yourself and reach out for support and guidance. Please prioritise rest, healthy meals, fresh air and time away from the hospital. This will help you to cope during this stressful time.   


Individuals and families often draw on their spiritual and religious beliefs to support themselves as well as strengthen their bond between each other during this crisis.  


Recourses such as spiritual care and social work are available for your support. Ask the bedside nurse or staff member and they will help you to contact the appropriate person.



Sleep


Exhaustion is often a key barrier that can affect family as they try to support their loved one at the bedside. Sleep is important so that you can think clearly and be present during this time. The most restful sleep is often in your own bed or familiar environment. Even if you have difficulty sleeping, just lying down will provide you with rest.  


Remember that the ICU team are attentively caring for your loved one all hours of the day, so it is ok to leave to get some much-needed rest. The team will monitor and care for your family member while you rest and will keep you informed of any changes that may arise while you are away.



Physical Activity 


Other families have reported that exercise helps them cope with the stress of having a family member in the ICU. A short walk outside the hospital in the fresh air can help you re-charge and regain focus.



Nutrition 


It is important to take time for meals. Even if you do not feel hungry at mealtimes, try to have something small and nutritious. Please remember to always maintain your fluids to ensure you keep hydrated. 



Seek Support 


Families and friends should give each other time and a safe space for expressing emotions that may arise during this stressful time. The ICU team can let you know if there is a private quiet room available, if you need privacy. Remember you are not in this alone; there are many people who want to help. Whether it’s a close friend or family member, social worker, spiritual care advisor, doctor, nurse, or volunteer, there are people you can talk to. Ask a member of the health care team if you would like to speak to one of these people.


Taking Care of Yourself

Taking Care of Yourself

More Information

1

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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2

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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3

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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4

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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5

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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6

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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7

Helpful Tips

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8

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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9

Delirium

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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10

Activities to do in ICU

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11

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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12

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 some general information about your recovery process.

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