When patients recover from a critical illness they will be discharged onto a general ward. We have found that patients and their families or carers can find this transition very difficult. After the close observation and sheer number of nurses in the Critical Care Unit, it may take some time to adapt to the changing intensity of care on the wards.
The ward staff are experienced in dealing with patients who have come out of Critical Care and will be happy to reassure you if you have any concerns. The nature of critical illness can leave everyone feeling anxious and sometimes depressed but this is both a normal and common response. We are working to make this transition easier for everybody by improving our documentation and handover, and discussing plans of care closely with patients and their carers.
The Critical Care Team work hard to support the patient and their family in making the transition towards the restoration of health, and when it is accepted that survival is not possible, we will also support the family through the process of a dignified and peaceful death. There is also a chaplaincy team within the hospital who can help at this time, and a multi-faith chapel is located very close to the Critical Care Unit.
See Also Chaplaincy.