Patient Experience

Patient Experience

The Critical Care Unit at St James's hospital provides tertiary referral for advanced therapies and supporting a wide range of specialties.

We care for patients who are critically ill and require specialist medical or surgical interventions and/or close monitoring. Patient care and treatment is under the supervision of a team of consultants in Intensive care medicine/Anaesthesiology in conjunction with the primary admitting team.

  • The Critical Care Unit is run by a range of multi-professionals including Consultants, Fellows, non-consultant hospital doctors (NCHD's), Nurses, Clinical Nurse Managers, Clinical Facilitators, Advanced Nurse Practitioners, Physiotherapists, Speech & Language Therapists, Occupational Therapist, Dietician, Pharmacists, Social Worker, Clinical Engineering and other Support Services.

    The ICU is a 26 bedded unit with a combination of open plan beds and Isolation rooms.

  • 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.

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  • 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.


    Professional Development:

    A critical care nurse pathway signposts the career progression for staff nurses with a suite of education programmes on offer both within the unit and across the campus. Courses are continuously assessed, evaluated and updated to reflect evidence based practice to suit the needs of patients and staff. Mentorship, objective setting and review underpins this and focuses on staff nurses achieving their potential.

    Foundation Courses in Intensive Care Nursing: 

    • New Graduate ‘Step 1’ Intensive Care Nursing programme: This is a six month programme tailored for the new graduate nurse. It includes classroom based learning, blended learning with a strong focus on clinical simulation. The graduate nurses will be supported through the programme by the education and management team and will complete a clinical competency document. This is a good first step for new graduate nurses wishing to pursue a career in Intensive Care Nursing. The programme is NMBI (35 CEU’s) accredited. Entry is in October annually.
    • SJH ICU Foundation Course: The purpose of this course is to provide registered general nurses who have no previous critical care experience with the knowledge and skills necessary to function safely in a critical care setting. While on the programme the staff nurse is supported and supervised by the Education team. It is a six-month course. Level 8.
    • National Foundation Module in Critical Care Nursing This course is to provide registered general nurses with no critical care experience with the knowledge and skills necessary to function safely in a critical care setting. It is a 10 credit, level 8, 26 weeks part-time, taught, blended learning module provided by University College Dublin and supported by Education Team in Critical Care.


    Post Graduate Diploma in Specialist Nursing (Intensive Care) in partnership with Trinity College Dublin.  

    This is a post graduate 1-year Level 9 programme for nurses with critical care experience who wish to further their knowledge and clinical skills leading to MSc in 2nd year if desired.


    ALERT ™ Course: Acute Life Threatening Emergencies Recognition and Treatment: 

    ALERT is a one-day multidisciplinary course in the care of the acutely ill patient. It is suitable for ward based nurses, doctors & physiotherapists. The course aims to improve:


    • Recognition of the 'at risk' patient and how to respond appropriately
    • Identification of impending emergencies
    • Communication between multidisciplinary teams and ward based nurses & doctors
    • Initiation of simple treatments required to prevent the spiraling cascade of multi-organ failure.
    • Bookings Eventbrite-ALERT Course. Enquiries



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