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FMC’s intensive care units offer a level of care rarely seen in a community this size, making FMC a referral center for the most critical patients in region.

Our care is intense
Each year, more than 5 million people in the U.S. are admitted to intensive care units. These units are designed to provide continuous care for those patients who are critically ill or medically unstable. Fortunately for the residents and visitors of Central and Northern Arizona, Flagstaff Medical Center’s intensive care units are specially equipped with advanced life-saving and life-sustaining medical equipment and are staffed with specialty trained experts in critical care medicine. 
 
Specialized physicians 
One of the hallmarks of FMC’s comprehensive intensive care services is the dedicated team of critical care physicians known as intensivists. These highly skilled physicians are board-certified in critical care medicine and are specially trained to work in the intensive care or critical setting. FMC is on the leading edge of facilities who utilize intensivists in the hospital 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Intensivists have a diverse array of skills expressly designed to meet intensive care needs. They are familiar with the many complications associated with patients in the ICU. Studies have shown that when care is delivered by intensivists, patient outcomes improve.

“Having eight full-time intensivists is rare in a hospital the size of FMC,” said Christopher Murphy, M.D., FMC intensivist. “Because of the number of intensivists and the state-of-the-art technology in our ICUs, we are able to provide the same high level of critical care that you would find in a big city. This is important given the size of the area we serve, it geographical isolation and the fact that many people would not survive their injuries or illnesses if they had to make the long trip to a bigger city.” 

Physical therapists “on the move”
Studies show that getting patients up and moving as soon as possible following surgery or while recovering from an illness aids in healing, restores physical function, elevates mental and emotional moods and decreases complications. This philosophy is now part of the healing and rehabilitation process for patients in FMC’s intensive care units.

“Our focus is on getting patients off sedation and up as soon as they are medically stable, even patients who are on ventilators,” said Dan Saftoiu, P.T., D.P.T., C.C.S., a physical therapist who is board-certified as a cardiovascular and pulmonary clinical specialist to specifically work with patients in the ICU.

Dan’s expertise allows him to engage patients in light activity and movement such as sitting on the side of the bed, standing or walking and small movements like combing ones hair or brushing their teeth.

“We encourage and guide patients’ activity levels, which works to advance their recuperation and return to normal function faster. There also is a positive psychological component for patients and their loved ones, when a patient is able to get out of bed and function is restored. Getting out of bed brings hope to those who need it most.”

Bedside care
Each day, intensive care nurses are at the bedside of those who are at facing actual or potential life-threatening conditions. These patients are more likely to be vulnerable and unstable, requiring complex continuous nursing care. FMC’s intensive care nurses have extensive certifications, knowledge, skills and experience to promote healing. They are advocates for the patient and a liaison between the patient, their loved ones and the healthcare team.

FMC’s ICU nurses embrace the Patient and Family Centered Care model. The units have an “open door” policy that allows family members and loved ones to enter the unit throughout the day and night. Family members and patients are invited to be partners in care with the healthcare team.