William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital


6201 Harry Hines Blvd.
Dallas, Texas 75390 (Directions)

Who is providing care for my loved one?

UT Southwestern’s ICU teams are trained in caring for critically ill patients. Each of our six ICUs offers a multidisciplinary approach to care. Your ICU care team is staffed by additional clinicians, depending on the expertise needed.

  • ICU attendings are doctors specially trained in critical care medicine who make decisions about your loved one’s care.
  • ICU fellows are doctors who have completed training in general surgery, anesthesiology, or emergency medicine and are being further trained in critical care medicine.
  • Residents are doctors who have completed medical school training.
  • Nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) are trained and experienced in critical care. They’re also known as advanced practice providers (APPs).
  • ICU registered nurses (RN) specialize in critical care and are responsible for day-to-day bedside care.
  • Care coordinators assist in managing practical issues as part of the ICU team, ranging from day-to-day support needed for care in the ICU to planning for discharge.
  • Respiratory therapists (RT) help patients with breathing exercises to prevent complications.
  • Physical therapists (PT) work with patients to help regain or maintain physical strength during an acute illness or after surgery.
  • Occupational therapists (OT) evaluate and help patients care for themselves as much as possible, including working on skills needed for everyday activities.
  • Patient care technicians (PCTs) assist nurses and provide patients with bedside care.
  • Speech pathologists evaluate and treat patients who have problems speaking, communicating, or swallowing.
What other consulting providers see ICU patients?

As needed, UT Southwestern physicians – or consulting providers – may be asked to provide care to our ICU patients. Potential consulting providers include surgeons, cardiologists, nephrologists, and other specialists. They are not part of our ICU staff but may be called upon to evaluate and/or treat patients. This depends on the patient’s medical condition.

Why is it important for family members, friends, and/or caregivers to make sure communication is streamlined and clear with our ICU teams?

Care provided in the ICU is complex. It is often a stressful time for patients and loved ones. Designating one to two people as spokesperson(s) can reduce potential confusion and ensure there are points of contact for information.

This can be a family member, friend, and/or caregiver who can communicate with your ICU care team, gather questions, share information with other family members, and be available at the ICU on a regular basis – daily, if possible, including for structured multidisciplinary rounding.

Is it helpful to provide information about the patient to the ICU care team?

Yes. We encourage you to share knowledge about the patient’s condition(s), as well as goals and preferences for care.

What are steps family and friends can take to help prevent infections?
  • Hand hygiene – washing your hands is the best way to stop the spread of infection. Please wash your hands prior to entering the ICU and when leaving.
  • Fresh flowers or plants are not allowed in the ICU.
  • If you are sick, do not visit a patient in the ICU.
  • Isolation signs on patient room doors: If you are visiting a patient with a special isolation sign on their door, please ask a hospital staff member for assistance prior to entering the room.
  • Outside food for visitors or patients is not permitted in the ICU.
What about equipment in ICU rooms?

Cardiac monitors, IV poles, and ventilators are commonly found in patient rooms. Additional equipment may also be required.

The equipment has alarms to alert the staff when something is needed. They are not all emergency indicators. Please be assured that our ICU staff will keep a careful eye on your loved one.

What are bedside shift reports?

These happen when our nurses change shifts and exchange information about patients. They happen twice a day – once in the morning and again in the afternoon. Family may stay in the room to listen to the report, ask questions, and/or express concerns.

What are multidisciplinary structured rounds?

This is when doctors, nurses, and other members of the ICU team come together to discuss the patient’s prognosis, as well as goals for the day and care plan. It is also a time when loved ones (as well as the patient, when possible) can ask questions and provide information to the ICU team.