Critical Care Medicine
Critical Care physicians are physicians who are board certified in a medical specialty, such as surgery, internal medicine, pediatrics, or anesthesiology, and who receive additional special education and training. Following their additional training, they are eligible to sit for a subspecialty board certification examination specifically in Critical Care. Often referred to as Intensivists, they work closely with other specialist physician experts to provide their patients with ongoing and consistent care. Other members of the critical care team include PhD pharmacologists, dieticians, respiratory therapists, speech and physical therapists and a large staff of experienced critical care Registered Nurses. Social workers and hospital chaplains are integrated into the team to provide compassionate support to patients and their families.
The intensive care units at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center are staffed by Intensivists and employ the latest in sophisticated technology to care for complex critically ill patients. Procedures that are used to diagnose and treat patients in the ICU include:
- Central venous catheterization
- Arterial catheterization
- Pulmonary artery catheterization
- Mechanical ventilation
- Hemodialysis and ultrafiltration
- Intra-aortic ballon counterpulsation
- Tube thoracostomy
- Therapeutic diagnostic bronchoscopy
The physician and other team members regularly meet with the patient and family to share information regarding condition, planned treatment and prognosis. With input from the patient (If the patient is able to participate) and the family, the PHMG Intensivist ensures the critical care plan is consistent with the patient's previously stated or written wishes.