Critically ill patients and those awakening from anesthesia benefit from being reoriented to the day and time. Touching the patient, making eye contact, and telling the patient news from home can be assuring.
If your family member has a breathing tube in place, he will not be able to speak to you. Although not easy, you will be able to communicate through lip-reading, sign language and note writing. This is often a frustrating time for the family and patient during which your nurse may be able to help you communicate. Once the breathing tube has been removed, the patient will be able to speak.
Families of patients that stay longer in the critical care unit may be able to assist the patient with meals or become involved in personal care.
Resources for family members
There is a restroom located to the left of the hallway leading to the family waiting room. A pay phone is located in the family waiting room with telephone number 617-880-8006. If you anticipate that other family members or friends will need to reach you while you are at the hospital, asking them to call you on this number would be the best way for them to reach you. Cafeterias are located in the basement of the White Building and on the lobby level of the Wang Ambulatory Care Center.
If you would like some time outside the hospital, you are within a 10 minute walk of Boston Common, the Public Garden and Newbury Street. An assortment of restaurants are located along Cambridge and Charles Streets. Ask for directions in the White Lobby of the hospital.