On placement in ICU

I am a final year student nurse (graduate in 3 months!). I have had experience of ICU as a relative - my daughter was there for 3 months after a car accident. I am now on placement on a different ICU (same trust). I have let a few people know about my daughter and they are genuinely interested in receiving suggestions on how they can improve care for patients and relatives. I said that one of the main things was making sure my daughters hair was clean and tidy and shaving her legs! Also when the doctors do their rounds, don't just talk as if the family and patient aren't there - either do it away from the bedside or include them.

Any other suggestions? I did notice that the new ICU leaflet/brochure was on the unit.

6 Replies

Hello yes my mum has been in four weeks so far . Things that come to mind: reducing noise levels by providing the highest quality ear plugs, chairs fThan have stoppers on so don't squeak along the floor, bin lids that don't make a loud bang . So much is spent on everything else , these simple things would make it less stressful for patients I think . Also written communication with family's about what the patient is taking and the progress would be a good idea to make things clearer and for families to have something to refer to at home each week. I ask these things as I want to look them up but would feel more involved to have them provided. Thank you


At Northampton General Hospital where I was in ICU the nurses and doctors and my family talked to me all the time, even when I was sedated, I think that some of what they said to me must have registered because when I woke up I kinda knew what was going on and I felt safe and secure.when you first wake up I think it would be a good thing if one of the nurses or doctors could take the time, even if it is just 5 minutes to sit down and ask if anything is bothering you because for some people it is all so strange and scary. the doctors had regular meetings with my family to update them on my progress and anything that was a concern to my family was discussed also the ICU book that was given to my daughter was a lifesaver even when I was up and about there were a lot of things that worried us until

my daughter got out the 'bible' as she came to call it and all was explained and that put our mind at rest, we are shocked that ALL hospitals dont use this book.

When at last I was discharged from the hospital there was an after care service provided by the ICU department with one of their staff nurse's that also included my family if they felt the need, this gave us the feeling of, not just being discharged and left to get on with it but was a gentle easing back into a normal life for all of us, this consisted of regular meetings for the next 12 months, I also think like ellie that the written communication from the doctors about the the patients progress in a good idea because the family cant always take in what the doctors are saying. I believe I got the best of care all round from my hospital and for this I am forever grateful


After I came out of my coma and was recovering I couldn't communicate all what was available was a child's word book with alphabet in which I would point to. I think something like scrabble letters are more age appropriate as I did feel slightly insecure using a kids book. A magnetic board could be used, also I found the support once I returned home inadequate I was scared and confused first 3 months with the dreams and symptons I had I felt like people thought I was a bit crazy!! But I must say nurses were wonderful whilst I was in there


Hi my sister is now in her 106 day in ICU , sadly she has had many set backs , but I must say the professor , consultant , nurses , n Dr's , has been brilliant , it's been the most scarest time of our lives but thankfully she wont remember everything , but has now started to ask questions , the ICU team have been writing her a diary of her stay in ICU , so have I and my mum has to , so hopefully she will understand what she has gone through ,the staff has helped us understand what has happened to her , although we don't always really understand the long words we are told , it takes us between 1 half hours/ 3 half hours to get to see her , depending on traffic which us stressful but we wont her in the best place so don't mind , we found it's been very expensive parking as we go every day , ( although while she is in ICU we get it for £6 a day ) but once she goes on the ward we want get help but have been told her stay in hospital will continue well into Christmas , so we are dreading the cost , it would help if we could still get the same rate being she will be in there such a long time , there is a suggestion box in the waiting area and we was asked to fill in a question form , so hopefully that will help the staff to improve where needed , we also donated 6 TV for the ICU for patents as a thank you for what they have done for my sister , we can't thank them enough for keeping my sister a live xx


If I were you I would contact the PALS (patient advice and liaison service) at your hospital they are very good at sorting out things like this, you should'nt have to pay car parking at all for this length of stay, give them a try


Hi Ettenna,

I was only in ICU for a few day, for me I think the hygiene thing was so upsetting for me. Plus the doctor talk after I was being moved off the ward is almost a complete blank to me, even after I had a read through my notes with the aftercare sister. If I'm honest that has been excellent, I think I'd have cracked up if I hadn't had that initial contact with the critical support team. The staff are fabulous and do such a wonderful job, I just felt so dirty, if you are any good at plaiting hair, try that for any ladies in your care. I didn't get any follow up from a doctor regarding my whole entry and episode. Maybe encouraging use of voice clips on a person phone so they can replay what a doc has said might be useful. There's and app for everything. Well done you though for thinking about what care is not just medical. Good luck with your placement xx


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