Intensive Care Unit
We care with more intensity
Walk into the new Intensive Care Unit at Porter Adventist Hospital and you’re sure to be impressed by the collection of the latest medical technology available to assist the sickest of hospital patients. You’ll see continuous hemodialysis, bedside monitoring, patient lifts, reverse airflow to isolate contagious patients, bedside computer modules, pumps, outlets…and the list goes on.
But if you have a loved one who needs to be here, it will be the compassion that touches you.
“We are very invested in our patients and in many ways we become an extension of their families," says Sharon Cross, RN, BSN, CCRN, a certified critical care nurse and the manager of Porter’s ICU. “We can see the difference that we make."
Each patient who is admitted into the ICU is immediately surrounded by a multi-disciplinary team that works with the patient and family to ensure the best of care is provided. This team--which includes physicians, nurses, dietitians, pharmacists and case managers or social workers--meets daily to discuss each patient and consult with the family if needed. Those discussions always include the medical needs of the patients but also the emotional and spiritual needs.
In the typical morning ICU “rounds" it’s not unusual for the team to talk about everything from optimizing perfusion to the emotions of a patient and how that is affecting the recovery.
“The daughter has been with her mom all day, every day. We need to get her some relief," says one nurse about her ICU patient in a recent meeting. Another family needs mental health counseling for their son but can’t find services. Another patient simply wants to eat. “Can’t we get him on to something more substantial," the nurse asks the dietician. “He’s hungry!"
Porter officially opened its new ICU on July 20, 2006. The 25,000-square-foot unit houses 36 private patient rooms specially designed by physicians and nurses to meet the needs of the sickest patients. Some of the features include continuous hemodialysis, EEG and EKG monitoring. Six of the rooms were specially built to accommodate and isolate patients with contagious diseases. The unit also features patient lifts that help the nurses move and turn immobile patients to avoid pressure wounds. In all, Porter spent more than $11 million to build and equip the new unit.
“As a regional medical center that cares for the most complex patients, a state-of-the-art ICU was a necessity," says Jim Boyle, CEO of Porter Hospital. “But our mission reaches beyond providing the best of science to ensuring that we also meet the emotional and spiritual needs of our patients. Without the love and compassion that our nurses and doctors bring, this ICU could not provide the healing it does."
The ICU is located in a new tower on the west side of the hospital, which is at the corner of Downing St. and Harvard Ave. near the University of Denver. The ICU is the latest step in a $110 million construction project at the hospital. As part of this massive, 3-year project, the hospital already has opened a new Emergency Department, the Porter Center for Joint Replacement, a new cardiac telemetry unit and a 640-space parking garage. Next up will be the completion of the hospital’s new surgical wing with 13 new operating rooms and a new sterilization facility, slated for completion in October. By the end of the year, the hospital’s new glass atrium and entryway, community meeting rooms and cafeteria are expected to be completed. The final portion of the project will be the completion of Porter’s Healing Gardens and the Porter Spine Institute in 2007.
Porter’s transformation, dubbed “The New Porter" is based on becoming an unparalleled regional medical center that provides complex medicine in a spiritually healing environment. Porter specializes in providing care in four main areas: comprehensive cardiac and cancer services; complex medicine, including diabetes and wound care; and specialty surgery, including joint replacement, spine surgery and transplant surgery.