Tips for Family Members

Intensive Care Unit

As a family member or friend of a patient, you can be a valuable partner in the care and comfort we provide. Please ask questions and let any member of the care team know of concerns you may have while visiting.

Getting Updates

The ICU team can give daily progress reports either at the patient’s bedside or in a consultation room. In addition, family meetings can be planned with members of the ICU team by request to the doctor, nurse, care coordinator/social worker, or other team member.

Families are asked to appoint a designated person to act as the official liaison with the care team. This is usually the patient’s next of kin or designated health care agent. The ICU team is in contact with the designated person throughout the ICU stay to give daily updates, answer questions or arrange a family meeting. To protect the privacy of our patients, we are unable to share any information about a patient’s condition with any other family members or visitors. If you have questions, please contact the patient’s own designated person.

Caring for Yourself

It is important to take care of yourself while your family member or friend is in the ICU. For your own well-being and to help manage your own stress during a challenging time:

  • Get enough rest.
  • Travel to and from the hospital safely.
  • Eat regularly and drink plenty of liquids to maintain your strength.
  • Try to spend some time outside the hospital. While your loved one is resting, you may want to go out to eat or take a walk.
  • Maintain contact with family and friends.

While at the hospital, you may also wish to take advantage of the following visitor amenities and services. Ask a member of the care team or our main lobby greeters for assistance locating these areas.

  • The Drapkin Family Café on the first floor, near the main lobby, is open from 6:30 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. From 8:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. (Monday-Friday), it stays open for coffee and light treats.
  • The Edith and Walter Kleineke Hospitality Shop, near the café, offers a wide variety of merchandise.
  • The Graf Center for Integrative Medicine, located on the fifth floor of The Russell and Angelica Berrie Center for Humanistic Care, offers services such as acupuncture, meditation, and yoga, which can be very therapeutic and help you manage stress. The full schedule of activities and fees are online at
  • In addition to the ICU family lounge, the Family Resource Center on the first floor is another area for family members to relax, as well as use a computer or access the internet.
  • The nondenominational chapel on the first floor is always open.
  • If weather permits, our garden and patio area is a relaxing and beautiful place to recharge.
  • Public Wi-Fi is available in all areas of the hospital (network name: EHMC Public).
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