Your critical care team and what they do

Our team is made up of dedicated and experienced doctors, nurses and other health professionals. We aim to give our patients not only the best treatment, but also to care for them as individuals.
All staff must wear an ID badge. If you are unsure who someone is, please ask them.

To find out more about what our critical care team do, click on the boxes below or to find out more about one of our consultants click on their name in the box on the right hand side.

Doctors

Doctors are led by a critical care consultant who has overall responsibility for a patient’s care. To find out more about one of our consultants, click on their name in the box on the right hand side.

They are assisted by a medical team of specialist registrars, senior house officers and junior doctors.

During the daily ward round the team will check each patient, make decisions on treatment, prescribe medicines and make a plan for care.

The team will also review each patient’s care during the evening and night.

Nurses

Nurses monitor patients for changes in their condition, give medicines and specialist treatments and attend to the patient’s personal needs.

Bedside nurses care for a maximum of two patients. They spend the most time with the patient and will be able to answer questions about the patient’s care.

They are supported by critical care assistants and domestic staff. Other members of the critical care team include our secretary, the ward clerks, research nurses and equipment technicians, who you may see on the unit not wearing uniform.

Therapists

Physiotherapists

All patients on Critical Care will be reviewed by the Physiotherapists on the unit and will receive chest physiotherapy and rehabilitation as often as it is required.

Chest Physiotherapy focuses on clearing secretions and making sure that the lungs are working as well as possible whether the patient is breathing for themselves or having assistance from a ventilator.

Rehabilitation is a very important part of recovery from critical illness. It is essential that active movement and mobility are started as soon as possible as this prevents unnecessary weakness and limits physical problems following critical illness.

After a patient is moved to the ward, the Physiotherapists on the ward will continue chest physiotherapy and rehabilitation as required until the patient is ready to go home.

Speech and language therapists

Speech and language therapists assess patients who have problems speaking or swallowing, and help them to communicate more easily. They also advise on how to start eating and drinking safely.

Dietitians

Experienced dietitians and nutritional specialists will support and advise on nutritional requirements and appropriate intake for patients. They will assess special dietary needs and advise staff accordingly.

Pharmacists

Pharmacists give advice on medicines. This may include making sure that patients are on the most appropriate medicine and dose, monitoring the effects of medicines and minimising any side effects.

They also advise critical care staff on the safest way to give medicines.

Radiographers

Radiographers perform scans such as x­-rays or ultrasounds on the unit. If patients need an MRI or CT scan, they are taken to the scanning department by a critical care doctor and nurse.

Student doctors and nurses

The Royal Cornwall Hospital is a teaching hospital for trainee doctors and nurses, and these students may be gaining experience on the ICU. It is important for the training of future doctors and nurses that they are able to see patients on the critical care unit under the supervision of trained, experienced members of staff. We ask that you support this.