The Institute of Critical Care Medicine offers support services to help critically ill and injured patients as well as their loved ones. We offer special services for our patients to reduce stress and alleviate pain. These complementary services offer care for the mind, body and spirit.
Critical care services save lives by providing immediate responses to acute needs. Whether due to a sudden accident or a medical complication, the need for critical care can come at any time. Unlike standard care services, critical care services are offered to individuals in life-threatening situations. Therefore, it is essential that critical care services be thoroughly reliable with a staff capable of responding to a wide range of emergency situations.
People with life-threatening illnesses and/or injuries often require the attention of a team of specially-trained health care providers in an intensive care unit. These patients are cared for and monitored around-the-clock with the most up-to-date equipment including respirators, feeding tubes, and catheters.
Critical care specialists are also skilled in sensitive areas such as end-of-life decisions, advance directives, and counseling. Our highly collaborative approach to treatment ensures that patients and families are supported and informed at all times.
Serious illnesses and life-threatening emergencies that require critical care represent some of the most difficult medical and emotional challenges for patients and their families. At the Institute for Critical Care Medicine (ICCM) at Mount Sinai, we focus on treating more than the medical needs of our patients. Throughout our intensive care units (ICUs), an integrated team of social workers, palliative care specialists, and representatives from the chaplains’ office work together to provide patients and their loved ones with psychological and spiritual support, as well as logistical assistance with advanced care or financial planning.
At the Institute, we offer a family-based approach to care during one of the most difficult times in a patient’s life. Our staff, which includes social workers and palliative care specialists, is trained to help families understand and make difficult treatment decisions.
We also arrange for seamless transport services to our ICU’s from residences and local hospitals through our Patient Transport Program. We care for everyone regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.
Trained in critical care, our social workers provide extensive support to patients and their family members in highly stressful situations. Upon admission to any of Mount Sinai’s ICUs, a social worker meets with the patient to offer supportive counseling and assist with any psychological or social needs. We also have extensive experience dealing with children and elderly family members affected by critical care emergencies.
As part of our service, social workers:
- Act as a liaison between families and the medical team
- Arrange for post-acute care and medical equipment that may be needed at home
- Collaborate with the medical team to provide discharge planning and education for families regarding resources, benefits, and entitlements
- Facilitate effective, clear, and sensitive communication about medical procedures, treatments, and decisions
- Provide a thorough assessment of the patient’s support systems, financial needs, and insurance benefits
Patients may also receive a visit from our Supportive Care Team, which provides an extra layer of emotional, spiritual, and long-term planning support to patients and their families coping with critical illnesses while navigating a complex medical system. The team, which includes a physician and social worker who specialize in palliative care, works alongside the critical care doctors, nurses, and social workers to provide a variety of services including:
- Advanced care planning and documentation of treatment decisions that help ensure the patient’s choices are respected
- Age-specific counseling for children whose relatives are hospitalized
- Assistance with complex medical decision making
- Assistance with transition planning if and when a patient is ready to leave the hospital
- Pain management
- Psychological and spiritual support
- Wellness therapies, including massage and yoga
If you or your relative could benefit from a visit with the Supportive Care Team, please inform your medical team, and they will arrange this.