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We understand that entering the ICU can be very overwhelming. The environment is often very busy with many unfamiliar sights and sounds. As you enter your loved one’s bedspace you may find various pieces of equipment including monitors, infusion pumps and a breathing machine that are being used as part of our life-saving treatment.

Please talk to the bedside nurse if you have any questions about the equipment or machines that you are unsure about or access the equipment poster below for more information.

If your loved one needs a breathing machine (ventilator) they will be unable to speak and may need sedating medications to help keep them calm and relaxed. If they are awake, we encourage you to engage with them and provide reassurance that they are not alone. It may be easier for them to respond to questions requiring a simple “yes or no” response. In addition, they may be strong enough to write notes to communicate or use an alphabet board to indicate letters or words.

If they are unconscious, they may still be able to hear and feel. We encourage you to still talk to them, hold their hand, or provide gentle touch. Your presence is highly valued, and these interactions can be meaningful for both of you.

In some cases, you may notice that their behaviour may have changed due to their illness or medication. Your visit brings something familiar to them and is very important in their recovery.

The ICU Environment

The ICU Environment

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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