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How do you know what you can do in the ICU? Many feel limited. The ICU is considered a place for the sickest and the most severely injured--those who could die at any moment. Proactive rehabilitation in such an environment may seem out of place.

While it's true that some ICU patients will never leave the ICU and will expire in the unit, most (97%) will become stable and leave for an acute care floor within three weeks. Depending on the facility, the majority of rehab services are ordered by physicians when the patient is stable or improving or when the physician is hoping to get the patient to the acute floor in the near future. Understanding some of the issues that go into a physician's decision to admit or discharge a patient from the ICU can make a significant difference in the comfort level of a therapist. Rehab professionals who fully understand how to monitor a patient's status (including vitals/telemetry, signs, and symptoms) fare much better in the ICU.

If you understand the following five important ICU 'criticals', you can treat almost all patients in the ICU safely:

  • The term 'stable' and how it is determined via vitals/telemetry.
  • Whether a patient is improving, decompensating, or the same.
  • Precautions/contraindications for a particular disease process, injury, or surgery and for the equipment with which you will work.
  • How each rehab activity affects a patient's vitals/outcome.
  • That a person must be able to ask someone a question if they don't know something.

If you don't know and fully understand this important information and how to apply it in the ICU, Bells & Whistles is for you.

For detailed class information please see our course and details location

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