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Barwon Health / Intensive Care Unit

(03) 4215 1700

Information for visitors

Visiting ICU

Visitors are welcome at any time but are typically limited to the patient's immediate family members while in ICU. Please restrict visitors to two people at a time at the bedside.

If you are entering the hospital after 9pm and before 6am, you need to enter via the University Hospital Geelong Emergency Department, as all other entrances into the hospital are closed.

If reception is unattended, please use the intercom located near the entrance before you enter the ICU. The hand hygiene pumps located at the entrance are one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of spreading infection.

Please switch off your mobile phones before entering the unit, as they may interfere with sensitive medical equipment.

For infection prevention purposes, flowers are not allowed in the ICU. Some patients may be allergic to latex balloons so we also ask that you do not bring balloons into the hospital unless you know they are latex free. 

The ICU has two areas - ICU 1 (orange) is to your right as you enter and ICU 2 (blue) is to your left, where paediatric patients are usually treated.

Free WiFi is available using the network: Free-BH-GiNet-Wifi. There is a mobile phone and tablet charging station located at reception. 



Communication is one component in trying to help with stress, and the intensive care team is available for informal and formal meetings to address any issues or concerns you may have, as well as answer any questions. In addition, we have social workers and spiritual care services that may help you during this time.

Telephone enquiries are welcome, but only limited information can be given over the phone.

Waiting room

Please utilise the waiting areas provided. Bathroom, tea and coffee making facilities are available here. There may be times when you are asked to wait in this room before entering ICU due to procedures taking place. Families can be stressed and upset due to the serious illness of their loved, so please be sensitive and respectful to others in the waiting room.


Parents/carers are welcome to visit at any time and one parent/carer is able to sleep in the ICU overnight. For safety precautions, we ask that you and your child do not sleep in the same bed while your child is a patient in the ICU. We encourage you to help with your child’s care and the nurse can assist you with this.

Feel free to bring your child’s favourite toy, as well as disposable nappies and wipes if required. Your child may also require a dummy for therapy purposes, so please bring this from home if they would normally have one. If your child is bottle fed, please bring a supply of formula.

Breastfeeding mothers

Portable breast pumps and equipment are available should you need to express breast milk (EBM) for your child. Please ask the nurse caring for your child to obtain a pump. EBM will be stored in a specific fridge in Pod 1.


Each day, there will be an ICU medical consultant in each pod with a registrar and resident doctor. An Associate Nurse Unit Manager (ANUM) or a senior nurse in charge will oversee the running of the unit. Each patient will have a bedside clinical nurse, and our allied health team of physiotherapists, speech therapists, social worker and dieticians work in collaboration with the medical team.

Your loved one in the ICU may have a limited ability to communicate for multiple reasons (such as being too sick, being given medications to relieve pain or sedation, or they are ventilated). 

Ventilation involves placing a tube in a patient’s trachea (windpipe) to help with their breathing. This often requires sedation to help patients tolerate the breathing tube, and leads to an inability to communicate, though they may continue to hear or be aware of your touch.

Last Modified: Thursday, 02 April 2020