Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and High Dependency Unit (HDU) at St James’s Hospital provide care for patients who are critically ill and require specialist medical and nursing interventions and/or close monitoring.
Specialist services treated in our ICU include; maxillofacial surgery, ear, nose and throat surgery, haematology including patients post bone marrow transplantation, burns, complex vascular surgery, complex gastrointestinal (GI) surgeries and other complex cancer surgeries.
Patient care and treatment in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and High Dependency Unit (HDU) is under the supervision of a team of consultants in intensive care medicine/anaesthesia. The multidisciplinary service is delivered by consultants, ICU nurses, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, clinical nutritionists and pharmacists along with a range of support staff.
The ICU is an 18-bedded unit with a combination of 9 open plan beds and 9 isolation rooms. The HDU is a three-bedded open plan unit. There is a 1:1 nurse-patient ratio. Information and support is provided to patients’ families about their loved one’s journey through their ICU stay and family participation in patient's care is also encouraged.
The recovery period for intensive care patients after an intensive care unit stay can be a challenging and difficult time for both patients and their families. There may be physical, psychological and spiritual challenges during this period.
The rate of patient recovery is influenced by the complexity of their intensive care illness as well as any medical issues they may have had prior to intensive care admission. Physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, clinical nutrition and social work involvement is frequently required during this recovery period.
Post Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS) is a recognised syndrome that can affect both patients and family members alike. ICU Steps is a national support group for ICU survivors and their loved ones.
Our intensive care unit (ICU) is recognised as a training centre for the Joint Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine of Ireland, the College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland, the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
The training of junior medical staff including interns, senior house officers and overseas visiting medical officers is undertaken. The ICU is also a training centre for medical students from our affiliated university, Trinity College Dublin.
The ICU runs a wide variety of basic science, translational, clinical and educational research activities and has a professorial appointment within Trinity College Dublin.
The hospital intensive care unit's dedicated team of nursing educators empower, coach and support staff to enable them to reach their full potential.
A team of clinical facilitators supports new staff with no prior intensive care unit (ICU) experience and also focus on staff coming to work with us from other ICUs, both in Ireland and abroad.
We have an excellent adaptation programme for nurses. There are themed education months within the ICU where nursing staff are encouraged to participate and facilitate education and training. Our ICU provides a clear educational pathway for nurses from the ICU Foundation Programme to Masters level of education in Specialist and Advanced Intensive Care Nursing Practice.
Foundation Course in Intensive Care Nursing:
This is an NFQ (National Framework of Qualifications) Level 8, six-month course provided for nurses with no previous critical care experience, in order to provide the knowledge and clinical skills necessary to deliver care safely in a critical care setting. While on the programme, the staff nurse will be supported and supervised by the ICU Education Team with the support of the entire nursing team of managers and staff. There are two uptakes in a year.
Post Graduate/Masters Programme in Specialist Nursing (Intensive Care) in partnership with Trinity College Dublin
This is an NFQ Level 9 one-year programme for nurses with critical care experience to advance their knowledge and clinical skills with a post-graduate diploma, leading to a Master’s Programme in 2nd year. There are eight places available every year. Link to MSc Intensive Care Nursing
ALERT Course: Acute Life-Threatening Emergencies Recognition & Treatment:
The ALERT course is a one-day multidisciplinary course suitable for ward-based nurses, doctors and physiotherapists. The course provides a system of assessment of the acutely ill patient and is facilitated by ICU nurses and medical staff along with senior colleagues around the hospital.
First floor, main hospital building