Beaumont Hospital

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What to expect when visiting

An intensive care unit, is full of special equipment to keep patients safe and as comfortable as possible. The ICU staff will answer any questions you may have and tell you how these tools are helping your loved one.

Some machines will beep or display information all the time. Others have alarms on them for emergencies. Ask a member of the ICU staff if you are concerned about the information or alerts on any of the machines.

It can be frightening to be sedated in ICU, so always remind your relative that they are safe and in hospital.

Read more here about some of the equipment you may see in the ICU.

Patient Diaries

In the ICU we recommend that you keep a diary for your relative. This has been shown in research to help them in their recovery. It is a way for them to piece together what happened each day that they were in the ICU and were not aware of what was happening around them.

In the diary you can include:

  • Information on what is happening at home. Perhaps their favourite football team has won the league, or there has been drama in their favourite soap! Maybe a family occasion has happened- a wedding or a birthday. By including this information, you are helping your relative put a time line on events.
  • What the kids are up to. If your relative has children, they might be interested to know if they have passed an exam in school, or if they are spending time with their cousins etc.
  • How they are getting on in the ICU. Are they still on the ventilator, what progress are they making, did they sit out for the first time today, did they squeeze your hand.
  • Try and keep the diary positive and also honest.