Intensive Care Unit
An Intensive Care Unit is a special department in the hospital used to treat the most critically ill patients. Often, ICU patients need specialized equipment to help them perform basic bodily functions such as breathing. These patients receive constant treatment and monitoring. At MedStar Montgomery Medical Center, our 12-bed ICU is staffed by dedicated critical care specialists committed to providing expert, personal care to you and your loved ones.
ICU patients at MedStar Montgomery have an entire multidisciplinary health care team working to care for them. These specialists include physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, pulmonologists and social workers, who are critical care specialists.
Isolation for ICU Patients
The Maryland Hospital Association requires all patients admitted to the ICU to be bested for methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MSRA, bacteria that can cause serious infections. If your loved one tests positive for MSRA, he or she will be placed in isolation. When you visit your loved one, you will need to wear special protective clothing provided by MedStar Montgomery.
MedStar Montgomery Medical Center ICU Team: Communication and Collaboration
You will notice that there are many members of your loved one's medical team. While it may seem overwhelming, rest assured that there is smooth communication and collaboration among all the team members. Everyone is on the same page regarding your loved one's care.
In each patient room there is a white board, which is used to identify the care providers every day. The board includes the names of the doctors and nurses, the day and date, and other pertinent information. Every weekday morning at 10 a.m., the medical team meets to discuss your loved one's care. Families are welcome to join us during these meetings.
When your loved one is admitted to the ICU, you will be asked to designate one family member or caregiver to act as the patient spokesperson.
Visitor's Guide to the ICU
We understand that family, friends and caregivers wish to spend time with a loved one in the ICU. In order to promote a healing environment, we ask that you limit visitors to two at a time, and abide by the visiting hours.
Visitors are welcome all day, except between 6:30 a.m.—7:30 a.m. and again between 6:30 p.m.—7:30 p.m.
Entering the ICU
When you arrive for a visit, please use the red phone on the wall outside of the main entrance of the ICU. This is how you notify the staff of your request to enter.
Between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. every day is quiet time. We dim the lights during this time to create a healing environment for our patients.
If there is an emergency in the ICU, all visitors will be asked to step out of the unit and wait in the ICU waiting room.
Flowers, Gifts and Personal Items in the ICU
We recommend that you take your loved one's belongings home with you once he or she is admitted. Many visitors like to bring flowers or other gifts to their loved one. Cards and balloons are always welcome, but flowers and fruit baskets are not allowed in the ICU. If you would like to bring in food from home, please check with the nursing staff.
Preventing infection is one of our top priorities in the ICU. Critical care patients are especially susceptible to contracting infections. All staff members wash their hands before and after caring for patients. Visitors are also encouraged to wash their hands before entering the ICU and when leaving. We have provided hand sanitizer in every room to support these efforts.
Diane Hartman, R.N., is the unit manager at the MedStar Montgomery Medical Center ICU. Please contact her if you have any questions or concerns regarding your loved one's care.
Diane can be reached at 301-774-8743.