The intensive care journey for family and friends

Having a family member or friend in an intensive care unit (ICU) is a stressful and emotional experience for many people.

Your loved family member or friend is receiving intensive care in hospital because their body is not working as it should. This may be because of an illness, an injury, or because they are recovering from a major operation. As their body needs time to rest and recover from being so ill, they may be given strong pain-killing drugs or sedatives to help the healing process begin.

Unfortunately, not all ICU patients recover fully from their critical injury or illness. Some may unable to return to the life they led before their injury or illness and some may die. If your loved one is not getting better, our ICU staff will help you develop a plan that is right for your loved one.

South Metropolitan Health Service (external site) offers intensive care at both Fiona Stanley Hospital and Rockingham General Hospital (external site). The following information has been developed to help you understand the ICU journey at these hospitals and what help is available to you.

Learn more

A female nurse talks to a person in a hospital corridor.

Visiting the ICU - what to expect


Eight people in nursing and medical scrubs stand in a treatment room beside a hospital bed

Our intensive care teams


A female nurses adjusts a piece of medical equipment

Understanding common medical terms


Two women sitting in chairs review a document

Caring for your loved one


A man and two women stand in a treatment area. One woman wears nursing scrubs and holds a soft toy. The man holds a small book.

Visiting the ICU with children


Two women and a man sit around a table. There are mugs and cake on the table.

Caring for yourself


Three hands overlaying each other

When a loved one dies


Learn about the ICU patient journey

Read about what you may expect as an ICU patient.

Contact our ICUs

Contact the ICU at Fiona Stanley Hospital or Rockingham General Hospital (external site).


We gratefully acknowledge the permission of ICU Steps (external site) to adapt its resources in the development of this content.