Cardiac care units, often referred to as CCU, are specialized wards in hospitals where patients with heart issues are cared for. Common reasons that people may stay in a CCU include recovering from a heart attack or heart surgery, or dealing with other coronary conditions that require intensive treatment and monitoring. Heart conditions can be very serious or even fatal, so if you have a loved one in the CCU it is normal to feel stressed and worried. Knowing what to expect can make things easier for the family as their loved one recovers from a serious heart issue. Continue reading to learn more about what you can expect during your loved one's stay in a cardiac care unit:
Limited Visiting Hours
If a person is admitted to the cardiac care unit it is because he or she needs intensive treatment from physicians and nurses. Most people being cared for in the CCU have recently suffered a heart attack, have undergone heart surgery, or are recovering from other procedures that are used to treat coronary problems. Thus, since patients in the CCU need a high level of care, visiting hours are typically limited. In most cases there will be a couple designated visiting periods that last a couple of hours each day. As a family member it is important to note that restricted visiting hours are important so your loved one can receive the treatment that he or she needs without any interruptions by visitors.
Hospital Staff are There to Assist You
While visiting hours for a patient in the CCU may be limited, hospital staff does their best to assist the family members of their patients. If you have any questions you can contact the charge nurse or your loved one's nurse. In the event that a CCU nurse is unable to answer your questions he or she can get more information for you from your loved one's doctor or arrange for you to speak to his or her doctor directly.
Recovery from a Major Heart Issue Can Take Some Time
The CCU is designed for patients who have major heart conditions and need intensive care. The key is to make patients as stable as possible and ensure that they are on the road to recovery. However, many patients who are in the cardiac care unit are not immediately discharged to go home straight out of the unit. In many cases, when a person shows signs of improvement and recovery, he or she will be transferred to a step-down unit. In a step-down unit a patient still receives care from doctors and nurses, but he or she no longer needs intensive care. After staying in a step-down unit a patient will be discharged to go home.