| St. Cloud
Hospital - Intensive Care
The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at St. Cloud Hospital provides the highest quality of care in a patient-focused, family-centered setting. We care for patients needing close monitoring and complex treatment.
Committed to Quality
- Awarded a gold level Beacon Award for Excellence (2013-2016) from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. The Beacon Award lauds North American hospital units that employ evidence-based practices to improve patient and family outcomes. Recipients of a gold level award demonstrate excellence in sustained unit performance and patient outcomes. St. Cloud Hospital is one of only two gold level Beacon units in Minnesota.
- Nationally recognized for low hospital-acquired infection rates, sepsis management, delirium prevention and care, early mobility and cardiopulmonary arrest management.
- One of the first programs in the state with doctors trained in critical care medicine. These doctors are called intensivists. They work only in critical care settings and ensure all patients receive best-practice medicine.
Patient- and Family-Centered Care
Patient- and family-centered care recognizes the value of family to people in the hospital. For this reason, we share information openly and honestly. We also respect and maintain confidentiality. Family visiting hours are flexible and open. We encourage and support family presence.
A team will care for your loved one. The team may be led by an intensivist. Intensivists work with:
- Registered nurses
- Respiratory therapists
- Other intensive care specialists.
Each day this team holds multidisciplinary rounds. The team talks about the care goals for the patient. Patients and family members are welcome to join in on these rounds.
We encourage you to choose a family spokesperson. This person can join in on the multidisciplinary rounds. They also talk with staff and pass messages back to the family. A nurse can schedule times for you to meet with the intensivist.
As a care team member, you can help with your loved one’s care.
- Hold his or her hand. Touch is important.
It shows comfort and care.
- If your loved one is confused, reorient him or her. State the time, date and location.
- If your loved one is in a coma, talk to him or her. Don’t assume he or she can’t hear.
- Read him or her cards and letters.
- Give your loved one time to rest.
- Ask the nurse for other ways to help out in care.
- If your loved one is on a ventilator, look to see if the head of the bed is at a 30 degree angle or greater, unless told otherwise. This check lowers the chance of pneumonia.
- We encourage visiting, but keep in mind the patient's need for rest, quiet and privacy. Please consider 2-3 visitors at a time. If you have a cold or the flu, please do not visit.
- Please select a family spokesperson. This person(s) will be responsible for informing other family members of the patient’s progress.
- It is important for families to rest also. We have two family sleep rooms on the second floor of the hospital that may be available for your use. Please check with the charge nurse for information about their availability.
- Children of any age may visit the critical care unit. We want children and families to be safe when visiting. Because there are times when the unit is very busy, we appreciate if children under age 10 are supervised. It is also important to prepare children for the visit. Explain the equipment they may see or noise they may hear. Let them know they can still talk to "Grandpa" and touch him.
How Can You Cope?
We believe your health is important to your loved one’s healing. Take care of yourself physically and emotionally.
- Get enough sleep. When your loved one is stable, go home and rest.
- Make healthy food choices. Avoid junk foods.
- Take walks and exercise.
- Talk with someone about your feelings. Spiritual Care staff is on hand 24 hours a day.
It may help to talk with a chaplain.
- Ask questions.
- If you have financial concerns, speak with a social worker. Ask your nurse for a social worker.
- Use CaringBridge. This personalized, secure web page can keep family and friends up-to-date on your loved one’s condition. Ask your nurse about this service. Computers are in the family waiting rooms.
Patient rooms do not have telephones. Call (320) 255-5605 to learn about your loved one’s progress.
To reach family members, dial (320) 255-5735.
Listen to the recording. When asked, enter the five-digit extension of the waiting room your family is using:
- South Waiting Room: ext. 54126
- Pearson Waiting Room: ext. 54127
- Center Waiting Room: ext. 54128
- North Waiting Room: ext. 54129
Families may stay at the Gorecki Guest House for a small fee. Ask your nurse about this and other places to stay.
Frequently Used ICU Terminology
ABGs (arterial blood gases): Blood test to find out the amount of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the blood.
Antibiotics: Drugs used to kill bacteria that cause infections.
Arrhythmias: Irregular heart beat or rhythm.
Arterial line or art line: Special catheter placed into the artery to record blood pressure and to allow the sampling of blood without sticking the patient with a needle.
Balloon pump (intra-aortic balloon pump): A pump to assist the heart and the circulation of blood.
Blood pressure: The pressure created by the heartbeat against the resistance in blood vessels. A normal blood pressure provides oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body.
Brain death: No electrical activity in the brain or blood flow to the brain. When a person is brain dead, the heart can still beat due to ventilator or medication support. A person who is declared brain dead is legally dead.
Bronchoscopy: Procedure to look at and examine the breathing passages (airways) of the lungs.
Cardiovascular: Term that refers to the heart and blood vessels.
Cardioversion: Electrical shock delivered to the chest to return the heart to a normal rhythm.
Central line: Catheter placed into a large vein in the neck, chest or groin. It gives medication or fluids, obtains blood samples and directly gets blood pressure measurements, such as the central venous pressure (CVP).
Chest tube: Tube placed in the patient’s chest cavity and connected to suction to remove air or fluid that prevents the lungs from fully expanding.
Code blue: Signal to staff that a cardiac or respiratory arrest has occurred. A specialized team arrives to perform cardiac compressions and breathing assistance (CPR).
Coma: State of deep unconsciousness during which a patient cannot be aroused. There are different levels of coma.
Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) or open heart surgery: Surgical procedure where the mammary artery or saphenous vein (in the leg) reroutes blood around a blocked portion of an artery. It supplies blood to the heart muscle. Open heart surgery also is done to repair or replace a valve, such as the aortic or mitral valve.
CCRN (critical care registered nurse): Credential earned by critical care nurses who pass an exam by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses.
CT scan (computerized tomography): Test that produces a computerized recording of internal body images to aid medical diagnosis. Imaging Services performs this test on any part of the body.
Culture: Sample of blood or other body fluids tested for bacteria and other organisms.
Delirium: Sudden change in brain function. It causes a person to appear confused or have difficulties maintaining focus, thinking clearly and remembering recent events. Serious medical illness can trigger delirium due to an infection, certain medications and other causes.
Dialysis: Cleansing the blood when the kidneys cannot function properly. CRRT is a continuous form of dialysis done only in ICU.
EEG (electroencephalogram): Tracing of the electrical activity in the brain to determine if it is functioning properly.
EKG or ECG (electrocardiogram): Tracing of the electrical activity of the heart to determine if it is functioning properly. ICU patients have continuous ECG monitoring.
Endoscopy: A tube placed into the throat and esophagus by a doctor to examine the esophagus (swallowing tube), the stomach and the duodenum (the first section of the small intestine).
Endotracheal tube (ET tube): Plastic tube placed through the nose or mouth into the larynx to deliver oxygen to the lungs, remove secretions from the lungs and connect the patient to a ventilator. Patients cannot talk while the ET tube is in place. To insert the tube is called intubation. To remove it is called extubation.
Feeding tube: Medical device providing nutrition to patients who cannot obtain nutrition
Foley catheter: Flexible tube placed in the bladder to remove urine.
Gastrointestinal: Pertaining to the esophagus, stomach, small intestine and large intestine.
Health care directive (living will or advance directive): Legal document expressing a person’s wishes regarding health care when unable to speak.
Hospitalist: Internal medicine doctors who provide patient care only in a hospital setting.
ICP line: Catheter inserted in the brain to monitor intracranial pressure (ICP). The pressure reading guides doctors and nurses in giving treatment and care.
Infection: Invasion of the body by bacteria or viruses. The infection may be localized to one area or spread throughout the body and bloodstream.
Intensivist: Doctor trained and certified in the specialty of critical care medicine. They only follow patients in the ICU.
Isolation precautions: Patients who have contagious diseases or who are at risk for getting infections are separated from other patients. They may use protective equipment and have a private room. Precautions may include gloves, gowns, masks and limited visiting depending on the reason for isolation.
IV (intravenous): Small plastic tube placed into a patient’s vein to deliver fluid and medication.
IV pump: Device that regulates the flow of IV fluids to the patient.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy provide pictures of organs and structures inside the body.
Neurologic: Term that describes the areas of the brain or spinal cord.
No code blue: Decision by the patient and/or family to not use CPR (cardiac compressions and breathing assistance) if the heart or breathing stops. This decision also is called a “Do Not Resuscitate” order.
Organ donation: Donation of healthy organs (heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, etc.) from a deceased person to transplant into someone in need of such an organ.
Oximeter: Device placed on an ear or finger to find how much oxygen is in the blood of an individual. This amount is often referred to as oxygen saturations or “sats.”
Pacemaker: Electronic device that sends an impulse to the muscle of the heart to start a heartbeat.
Palliative care: Palliative care specializes in the relief of pain, symptoms and stress of serious illness. Staff assists patients and families with making decisions about complex treatments and therapies. Palliative care may be provided at any time during a person’s illness, even from the time of diagnosis. And, it may be given at the same time as curative treatment. The palliative care team includes a doctor, practice nurse, social worker and chaplain.
PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter): Form of intravenous access that can be used for a prolonged period of time.
Pulmonary: Term that describes the areas of the lungs.
Pulmonary artery (Swan-Ganz) catheter: Long catheter threaded into a vein to the right side of the heart to measure pressure in various heart chambers and lung blood vessels. These measurements guide doctors and nurses in giving medications and fluids.
Renal: Term that describes the areas of the kidneys.
Sedation: Giving medications that help patients sleep or rest.
Sepsis: Presence of bacteria or other organisms in the body, which cause abnormal function of various body organs.
Suctioning: Placing a catheter into an endotracheal tube or a tracheostomy tube to remove excess secretions.
Therapeutic hypothermia: Cooling the body after a cardiac arrest to prevent brain damage and increase survival.
Thrombolytics: Medications that break down blood clots plugging the arteries.
Tracheostomy tube (trach tube): Small plastic tube threaded through a hole in the patient’s neck into the trachea (windpipe). This tube helps a patient breathe better and allows the removal of excess secretions.
Ventilator (respirator): Machine attached to an endotracheal tube or tracheostomy tube to help a patient breathe when not breathing effectively on his or her own.
1406 Sixth Ave. N.
St. Cloud, MN 56303