Intensive Care Unit
The ICU is located on the west end of the 2nd floor in the North Building.
The Avera St. Mary's Intensive Care Unit (ICU) consists of 6 beds and 8 telemetry units. The ICU operates on a 24 hour basis, seven days a week. ICU nurses provide monitoring for all telemetry patients. All ICU rooms are private and provide in-room monitoring. All cardiac monitoring is the responsibility of the ICU staff. The cardiac monitoring and telemetry systems are the most advanced system available to meet the needs of a hospital of our size.
The ICU provides care to the postoperative patient for surgical cases that are more complex in nature or for the more medically involved patient. The ICU, together with community based internal medicine physicians, family practice physicians, and surgeons provide care for stabilization of acute heart attacks and strokes, multi-trauma, acutely ill medical, cardiac and pediatric patients. Patients on mechanical ventilation are managed together by the ICU staff and the respiratory care staff. All ICU nurses are trained in post operative recovery of surgical patients.
Perhaps the biggest asset to the care provided at Avera St. Mary's ICU are the nurses providing the care. Many of our ICU nurses have decades of experience in managing critical patients. You will find our dedicated nursing staff present in community life both in Pierre as well as the surrounding communities that we serve.
All RN staff in the department must have successfully completed ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) within one year of hire. We have RNs on staff that serve as instructors for ACLS. The majority of the nurses are also certified in PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support). They must also participate in a Basic Cardiac Rhythm course during their orientation. These requirements are in addition to the care requirements for all RN's. Today's medical world is fast paced and advances in treatments and medications are taking place daily. In response to these changes, we encourage our nurses take advantage of educational opportunities on a continual basis.
Care is provided in a holistic manner and includes care and consideration of the patient and also their families. Facility wide training has been provided on meeting the needs of the various cultures present in our community. Patient care is provided through a multidisciplinary team approach. The multidisciplinary team members include RNs, dietary, spiritual care, rehabilitative services, social services, and case management with the oversight of the patient's primary physician.
Staff levels are adjusted every shift in response to the number of patients and their illness. Staffing may, at times, need to be adjusted during the shift due to rapid fluctuations. The average nurse to patient ratio in the unit is 2 patients for each nurse. This ratio allows for close monitoring of each individual patient's condition. In addition to the ICU staff, there is Nursing Coordinator (supervisor) coverage 24 hours a day.
Our ICU nurses also provide patient education. When patients are newly diagnosed with a cardiac or other medical condition, education on what is involved with that disease as well as resources outside of the hospital are provided along with physician input. It is common for patients to be prescribed new medications during their hospitalization. Patients are given information on the purpose of the medication and possible side effects that may occur.
Cell Phone Use in the ICU
Due to the potential that radio frequency transmission devices might interfere with patient care equipment, Avera St. Mary's prohibits the use of cellular telephones and radio transmitters in high risk patient care areas.