Intensive Therapy: What is it? Visiting Guidelines, Indications, Importance and Duration

It is a unit in the hospital where patients with serious illnesses are attended by specially trained personnel.

The staff of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) includes:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Specialists in clinical nursing.
  • Pharmacists
  • Physiotherapists.
  • Practicing nurses
  • Medical assistants
  • Dietistas.
  • Social workers.
  • Chaplains.

It is also known with the Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

What is different about the ICU compared to other hospital units?

Care in the ICU or ICU differs from other units in the hospital.

Severely ill patients require close observation and monitoring. Specially trained nurses attend one or two patients at a time, each shift. The ICU doctors are specially trained intensive care physicians.

Patients may have special equipment in their room, depending on their unique situation and condition. The equipment in the UTI can seem overwhelming.

Patients are connected to machines to control their heart, blood pressure and respiratory rate. Respirators (respirators) help some patients breathe until they can breathe on their own.

Visiting guidelines for the Intensive Care Unit

Visitors to this Unit should be limited to two at a time for patients. It is recommended that you stay inside the patient’s room during your visit.

If you are asked to wait outside the patient’s room, return to the waiting area out of respect for another patient’s privacy.

The UTI staff will ask visitors to leave for short periods during doctor’s rounds, the nurses’ report, certain procedures and emergencies.

Rounds of doctors: rounds of doctors usually occur during the morning, afternoon and midnight.

Due to patient privacy issues and the proximity of our patient rooms to each other, visitors will be asked to leave the unit occasionally when doctors approach their patients or patients on both sides of the patient they visit.

The visit can be resumed once the equipment is at least two doors from the patient.

Visitors are asked not to visit when they have potentially infectious conditions (for example: respiratory infections – “colds”).


Patients enter the ICU for various reasons.

Some patients need close monitoring immediately after a major surgical operation or a serious head injury.

Others may have problems with their lungs that require respirator support with breathing.

Patients may have heart and vascular problems (for example, very low or very high blood pressure, a heart attack, or an unstable heart rhythm) that require observation.

Patients in the ICU may have an imbalance in the level of chemicals, salts or minerals in their bloodstream that require close monitoring as these levels are corrected. In addition, patients may have a serious infection in their bodies that require specialized care in the ICU.


You can expect UTI staff to keep you well informed of any major changes in the patient’s condition or procedures that are being performed. You can expect to talk to a doctor regularly.

UTI team members meet with the patient and / or family to make sure everyone has a common understanding of the health condition and the care plan. During these meetings, it is a good time for family members to ask the health care team any questions.

It is important to understand that, although modern medicine has come a long way in the last 30 years, not all diseases can be treated or cured.

Patients can be transferred to the ICU because there is a possibility that they may die without intensive therapy treatment. And sometimes, despite the use of specially trained personnel and advanced technology, doctors may not be able to reverse the death process.

Because patients in the ICU may be seriously ill, they may not be able to speak on their own behalf.

In this case, doctors and nurses can ask the family what the patient would want done in case their heart or lungs fail.

There are times when doctors can recommend that machines and life support treatments are not used.


Some people may think that staying in the ICU for a longer period of time is better than moving to another hospital unit. However, the ICU is designed to treat patients with serious illnesses.

Then, when a patient is improving and moving toward recovery, they will be transferred to the next level of care that meets their individual medical needs.