How to Help Your Loved One & Their Care Team

  • Bring in any documents pertaining to the patient’s wishes for their own care, such as an Advance Health Care Directive or living will.
  • Compile a list of medications the patient has been taking and share it with us.
  • Check in with your nurse each time you visit. The nurse can tell you how the patient is doing, how long you should stay, and how much stimulation the patient can take. Music, get-well cards, and family photos are comforting, but sometimes patients just need quiet and rest.
  • Designate one family member as the point person between the family and the Medical Center staff. That person can then update other friends and family. This streamlines communication and helps protect the patient's privacy.
  • Keep your visits short. Patients need rest and sleep. Sitting quietly in the room provides a comforting presence. Your nurse can usually lower the side rail of the bed for you.
  • Remind your loved one what day it is and why they are here. Sometimes, patients get confused, forgetful, excited, or angry. This can be due to the illness, unfamiliar surroundings, or the medications they are taking.
  • Take home any valuables or medications the patient may have brought with them.
  • Please don’t hesitate to share your questions and concerns with the nurse or a care team member.

What Not to Do in the ICU

  • Don’t wear perfume or cologne. Illness sometimes heightens a person’s sensitivity to strong odors.
  • Flowers are not allowed in the ICU. Flowers carry pollen and bacteria that could endanger ICU patients. Don’t bring flowers and please discourage others from doing so. Balloons and posters are good alternatives.
  • Please keep your phone turned off when you are visiting and don’t use it in the patient’s room. If you need to make a call, step out to the waiting area or main lobby of the hospital.
  • In order to protect the privacy and personal health information of our patients, we ask that visitors not occupy the area outside the patient rooms. Please remain either in your loved one’s room or the waiting room.
  • Don’t give your loved one any food or drink, including water, without asking the nurse. It could be medically inappropriate and even dangerous.

Take Care of Yourself

Your love and support are important for the patient, but you need to stay strong physically, as well as mentally and emotionally, both for them and for you. Remember:

  • Exercise if you can.
  • Eat healthy foods.
  • Take breaks when you are tired.
  • Find a peaceful place to sit and breathe deeply.
  • Visit in shifts so you can go home and rest.

Take a Break

There are a couple of quiet places nearby to relax, think, or pray:

  • Meditation Room on the second floor, near the surgery waiting room
  • Meditation Garden near the main entrance

If you feel like stretching your legs, take a stroll down the walking path that starts across the street from the Medical Center and goes along Corte Madera Creek.

If you are upset and need to talk with someone, we have a chaplain available at all times. We have dining options in the Medical Center as well as accommodations nearby for out-of-town visitors.