Intensive Care Unit

Caring for the Patient
Care in the ICU is provided by a multidisciplinary ICU Team, which is composed of specially trained physicians, nurses, and other professionals. Each professional brings his or her particular expertise to the team to collaborate on a plan of care for each patient, based upon his or her individual needs and conditions.

Providing Information to Family and Friends
The new provincial privacy legislation allows hospitals to give out general information about you, such as whether you are a patient in the hospital, your condition (stable or improving) and where you can be found in the hospital (your room number). The remainder of your health information is confidential.

You may have family or friends to whom you would like to give more detailed information about your health and treatment plan. Please let your physician and/or nurse know who we should share information with.

Some patients and families have found it most helpful to have one family member designated as the person who will be contacted with any significant changes in condition or treatment. That person can communicate the information to others whom the patient wishes to have involved.

Nursing staff shift change occurs at 7:30 - 7:45 a.m., 3:30 - 3:45 p.m., and 11:30 - 11:45 p.m. While the nursing staff are always available for our ICU patients and their families, calls that can be placed before or after these times would be appreciated.

Caring for the Family

The ICU Care Team also provides support for families of critically ill patients. We know that having a relative in ICU is a frightening and sometimes overwhelming emotional experience. You will have many questions and we will do our best to provide you with answers.

There is a private waiting area for meeting with physicians, clergy and family located just outside the ICU.


Visits by family/significant others can assist with recovery. Please wash your hands at the hand washing station located on the wall outside the unit doors each time you enter and leave the ICU.

Children may visit by special arrangement with the nursing staff.

Please follow these important guidelines when visiting in ICU:
  • Two immediate family members at a time
  • Visit for short periods of time
  • Visit during normal waking hours as possible
  • If you have, or think you have a communicable illness [cough, flu-like symptoms], please do not visit. If you are unsure what to do, please talk with your relative’s nurse
Staying Overnight

When a patient is admitted to the ICU on an emergency or unexpected basis, or if a patient is near death, the family has the option to spend most of the night in the waiting room with visits to the patient when it is appropriate. Except for these circumstances, the ICU Care Team strongly encourages families to break for the night and return home to rest.

Access to Specialized Care

Headwaters maintains partnerships with other hospitals to ensure our patients have access to the best possible specialized care. Examples include:
  • William Osler Health Centre (Brampton): orthopaedics, urology, oncology
  • Credit Valley Hospital (Mississauga): nephrology, plastics, endocrinology
  • Trillium Health Centre (Mississauga): stroke care
  • Southlake Regional Health Centre (Newmarket): cardiac care