Intensive care services in Richmond, Virginia

Our state-of-the-art intensive care unit (ICU) at Retreat Doctors' Hospital aims to provide the highest quality care to critically ill patients.

For more information on our ICU, call (804) 320-DOCS (3627).

What is intensive care?

The ICU, sometimes referred to as critical care, is a hospital unit providing 24/7 monitoring of patients who are critically ill with a life-threatening injury or disease.

Specially trained staffed members in the ICU include doctors (sometimes called intensivists), nurses, respiratory therapists, clinical nurse specialists, pharmacists, physical therapists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dietitians, social workers and chaplains.

In the ICU, patients are often connected to a host of equipment and receive constant, personal attention. Some of the machines that can be involved in ICU patient care include advanced heart monitors, ventilators for breathing assistance, feeding tubes and catheters.

ICU visitation

As your loved one is admitted to the ICU, we ask that you wait in the visitors’ lounge located directly outside of the ICU. We will notify you as soon as your loved one is able to have guests. This process can take an hour or longer depending on the patient’s condition. We ask that you please be patient as we address your loved ones needs.

Visiting times are flexible, as we understand families are an important part of the healing process. There may be times when visitation is restricted in the best interest of the patient. These times may include during testing or procedures, if the patient needs to rest and for nurse communication during shift changes. During restricted visiting time, you will be asked to wait in the visitors’ lounge. Please use the phone outside the unit before entering.

What to expect

Upon entering your loved one’s room, you may notice they are surrounded by equipment, monitors and tubing, which is specific to each patient’s individual needs. You may also hear various alarms. Our nursing staff is skilled in understanding what these alarms mean and will respond appropriately.

What to bring

For patient safety, we ask that you do not bring flowers to your loved one. Also, please check with the nursing staff regarding your loved one's dietary restrictions prior to bringing food or beverages into the unit.

Designating a key contact person

Upon admission to the ICU, we ask that you designate one person as the primary contact. This will eliminate multiple calls and allow us to focus on caring for your loved one. This individual should call after 9 a.m. to receive updates and pass on information to family and friends.

During admission, a passcode will be issued to the designated contact person. Due to federal laws that protect patient privacy, only individuals with the authorized code will be provided with information regarding the patient’s condition over the telephone. Please refrain from sharing the code with others. We will defer all outside calls to the primary contact.

Important decisions in critical care

Because patients who are in the ICU are critically ill, it is important for the patient and their loved ones to know that their wishes will be honored. Decisions regarding end-of-life care are difficult to make, and we recommend that patients have an advanced directive on file with Retreat Doctors’ Hospital.

Advanced directives allow patients to clearly articulate their medical wishes should they be too sick to make choices on their own. It also establishes a “healthcare proxy,” or someone who is able to make decisions on behalf of the patient if they are unable to do so.