Intensive care unit (ICU) in Richmond

The intensive care unit at Johnston-Willis Hospital is dedicated to providing compassionate intensive care to critically ill and injured patients in Richmond, Virginia.

If someone is experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 immediately. If you are unsure about an intensive care situation, you may speak to a registered nurse 24/7 by calling (804) 320-3627.

What is the ICU?

The ICU, sometimes referred to as a "critical care unit", provides 24/7 monitoring of patients who are critically ill with life-threatening injuries or diseases.

Specially trained staff members in our ICU include intensivists, nurses, respiratory therapists, clinical nurse specialists, pharmacists, physical therapists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dietitians, social workers and chaplains.

In the ICU, patients are often connected to a host of equipment and receive constant, personal attention. Some of the machines that can be involved in ICU patient care include advanced heart monitors, ventilators (for breathing assistance), feeding tubes and catheters.

In order to provide the highest-quality care to our patients, our ICUs have age restrictions and certain visitation restrictions (available hours to visit, no allowances for flowers or food to be brought in). Please ask a staff member if you have any questions on these restrictions.

Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)

Johnston-Willis features a Level III NICU in our maternity center. Our NICU has expert neonatologists who specialize in providing critical care to newborns needing additional support after birth. Newborn babies may be cared for in our NICU due to low birth weight, premature birth, complications during delivery, birth abnormalities and other conditions.

Neurosciences intensive care unit (neuro ICU)

We also offer a neuro ICU where neurological intensivists and neurologists provide critical neurological care. A patient may stay in our neuro ICU while recovering from a neurological surgery, such as brain surgery, or a neurological event, such as a stroke.

Intermediate care unit (IMCU)

The intermediate care unit (IMCU) delivers care to two different groups of patients. One group includes patients whose conditions require a longer hospital stay due requiring medical technology or support, respiratory, nutritional or other needs. The other group includes "step-down patients" who still need engagement from critical care specialists, but don’t require the intensive care from our ICU.

Important decisions during critical care

Because patients in the ICU are critically ill, it is important for the patient and their loved ones to know that their wishes will be honored. Decisions regarding end-of-life care are difficult to make, and we recommend that patients have an advanced directive on file with Johnston-Willis.

An advanced directive allows patients to clearly state their medical wishes, should the patient be too sick to make choices on his or her own. An advanced directive also establishes a "healthcare proxy," or someone who is trusted to make decisions on behalf of the patient if the patient is unable to do so.

Who may need palliative care?

Palliative care is focused care provided to patients dealing with a serious illness. This type of specialized care can begin at diagnosis and continue throughout treatment, with the objective of relieving symptoms and side effects to improve the patient's quality of life.