Your stay in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU)

This short video will describe what you can expect during your child’s stay in the cardiovascular intensive care unit or CVICU at CHOC Hospital.

Patients might come to the CVICU from home for planned procedures, after an operation or procedure, from another unit in the hospital or directly from a physician office.

In each case, the experience differs greatly.

Once your child is taken to their room, their nurse and medical team receive a report about their current status. The physician will assess your child, order treatments and labs, and discuss the care plan with you.

Your child’s nurse will attach and turn on the bedside monitors and other equipment needed. If your child requires specialized equipment, the nurse will explain its purpose.

The nurse will obtain vital signs, perform a physical assessment and obtain an admission history from you.

If an I-V is not already in place, an IVV will be placed and labs are drawn.

Once your child is stable and settled, their nurse will show you around the room and tell you about the daily routine.

A white board lists the date; your child’s name; names of the physician, nurse and respiratory therapist; the plan of care; and patient goals.

Your child’s room includes a call light and a phone number to reach the nurse or clinical associate if needed.

If at any time you have a medical concern that you feel is not being addressed, you can call a Family Activated Rapid Response. Press 15433. With this call, a team will come and check your child’s condition and care for immediate medical needs.

A fold-out bed will be provided for a parent to sleep in the same room as your child.

The medical team visits throughout the day for scheduled medical rounds.

You are encouraged to participate in rounds and ask any questions you have.

Your nurse will change at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. This is called shift change. At this time, the nurses will discuss your child’s care plan and information from the previous 12 hours about your child.

Throughout your child’s stay, the team will help you learn to care for your child and prepare for taking your child home.

When your child’s doctor decides your child is ready to go home, their nurse will review their discharge paperwork and make sure your questions have been answered. A pharmacist will also come to provide medications you’ll need at home and discuss instructions and side effects. This process might take a couple hours.