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Critical Care Visitor Guidelines

When your loved one, friend or relative is admitted to one of the Intensive Care Units at Portsmouth Regional Hospital for close monitoring and treatment, rest assured their health is our highest priority.

Exceptional Care for Critically Ill Patients

Our specially trained staff provides complete care for patients who need close observation and treatment. We also rely on your help and support to enable us to deliver the best possible care. We welcome your questions and concerns. We ask that you follow guidelines and visitor hours established for our patients' well-being.

Visiting Hours

Visiting hours are flexible based on the patient's need and condition. Please avoid visiting or calling the ICU between 6:30 and 8:00 (both a.m. and p.m.) when our staff changes shifts.

Guidelines for Visiting the Intensive Care Units

Our visitor guidelines are designed to provide critically ill patients with the best possible setting for recovery and renewal. Special accommodations may be possible upon request.

To help us help your loved one, please:

  • Limit ICU visitors to two at the patient's bedside during regular visiting hours
  • Exchange visitors and information in the waiting areas, not at the bedside or in doorways
  • Use the waiting area when not visiting in the patient's room to help limit traffic in hallways, doorways and the unit itself to help us comply with all fire and safety regulations and patient confidentiality rules
  • Use hand sanitizers on the wall near the door of each room when entering and leaving; infection control guidelines are set to help patient recovery – GEL IN and GEL OUT
  • Do not bring flowers, plants or animals into the ICU
  • Do not eat or drink in the ICU
  • Limit cell phone use and keep conversations in a quiet tone; set phone ringers on low volume or vibrate
  • Consider the risk to ICU patients and the need for your visit if you have a fever or symptoms of an infectious illness (cold, flu); if you might be ill, reschedule your visit
  • Provide direct supervision for children; for safety reasons, please keep toddlers and infants at home
  • Rest and take care of yourself so you're in the best possible health to help your loved one's recovery
  • To protect your loved one's health, step out of the ICU when requested while we perform procedures or stabilize a patient

Patients should send clothes and valuables, including money and jewelry, home with a trusted family member as we cannot be responsible for these items.

Your Designated Primary Contact Person

Please designate one person as the primary contact person to receive updates on your loved one's condition from the critical care nursing staff. All phone inquiries about the patient's condition will be referred to the patient's designated contact person.

This primary contact person will receive a privacy code to use with the patient's name when calling for updates. When we have both the patient's name and privacy code, we'll transfer your call to the nurse caring for your loved one. Our nurses will contact this spokesperson if there's any change in your loved one's condition.

Take Care of Yourself

Because the best thing you can do for your loved one is to stay healthy, we encourage you to take breaks and go home to rest. If you leave, we can provide you with a beeper to keep you informed as needed.

Let our staff know if you'd like to visit with a member of the clergy. Clergy members representing all denominations are on call at all times for patients and family.

Take time for reflection in our peaceful chapel, located just outside the doors of the ICU. Our family room, next to the chapel, has a small kitchen, chairs that can be folded out into beds and phones for private conversations. You'll also find a list of local hotels and restaurants.