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Is a phone available for family members of those in ICU?

Dr. Cathy Provins-Churbock, PhD
Critical Care Medicine Specialist

Phones are available for family members to use while a patient is in the ICU. If there is not one in the waiting area or patient room all one needs to do is ask the nurse for assistance.

Deb Cordes
Deb Cordes on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Specialist

Phone availability may vary from hospital to hospital. Many times the phone is located in the waiting room for families who have loved ones in the ICU. The best way to ensure that you can keep updated on your family in ICU is to talk with the nurse caring for your family member. Ask the nurse if there is a phone available, where it is located, and are there any restrictions in the use of the phone.

Dr. Kevin J. Soden, MD
Family Practitioner

This is a somewhat difficult question to answer as all hospitals are different in the resources that are available to interact with family members of patients within their ICU. In my experience, almost all hospitals have a mechanism for communicating with the ICU staff so that the family can stay updated on a patient's progress. Obviously, the hospital may put limits on such communications as constant interaction may not be possible due to patient care concerns. The important thing for family members is to work out a plan with the ICU staff on how best to communicate and try to limit these communications to specific family members to that the ICU staff does not become overburdened.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.