There are many different team members and roles in the ICU.


ICU Team Members


Attending ICU MDs

Intensivists have advanced training/certification and experience in diagnosing and treating critical illness and injury. These doctors help to coordinate care and are particularly skilled in the treatment of critical health problems such as shock (severe heart and circulatory failure), respiratory failure (severe breathing problems), hemorrhage (severe bleeding problems), cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and many others. They are also highly skilled in procedures commonly performed in the ICU setting. The Intensivist is an expert in the use of high-technology medical equipment such as Ventilators (breathing machines), Bedside Ultrasounds, Bronchoscopes, many cardiac monitoring equipment, and many others. It’s important to note that Intensivists may have other specialties and come from several different backgrounds including internal medicine, surgery, anesthesiology, and pediatrics. Many of them have earned special certifications in the field of critical care.

Critical Care Fellow

 A physician that has completed his/her specialty residency program and is training to specialize in critical care medicine.


A physician, Residents have completed medical school and are training in his/her chosen residency program. In ICU, Residents may perform clinical procedures, order diagnostics and prescribe treatments.

Medical Student

Students who are training to complete medical school. In ICU a medical student will not perform any clinical procedures. No treatments will be prescribed or clinical orders carried out. 

Registered Nurses

ICU Nurses

ICU nurses are truly minute-to-minute critical care providers. They not only help to provide but also coordinate most aspects of care delivery. They have special training and experience in caring for critically ill and injured patients. Many ICU nurses have attained advanced certification in critical care and have earned the title of Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN). Because care is delivered around the clock, depending on the patient's length of stay in the ICU, you may encounter numerous ICU nurses. They communicate with each other and the ICU physicians regularly and in a coordinated fashion. They are dedicated to the best possible outcomes for critically ill and injured patients and are often a terrific source of information about a patient's condition.

ICU Clinical Nurse Educator

A Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE) provides administrative and educational support for ICU nurses at the bedside or in a classroom. CNEs complete audits and educational in-services to ensure patient safety and make certain that the very best care is provided to patients and their families. CNEs teach other nurses, develop policies that guide nursing practice, and establish education plans for corporate changes that impact nursing (new equipment/medications/etc).

ICU Nurse Manager

A Nurse Manager is a nurse with additional experience and education, who is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the ICU. In addition to managing the ICU nursing staff, the nurse manager is responsible for the ICU budget and practices. The nurse manager is responsible for ensuring that the care in the ICU is safe. They hire ICU nurses and ensure that all nursing staff members meet the standards established for their performance.

ICU Care Facilitator

A Care Facilitator is an ICU nurse that does not have a patient assignment. The care facilitator manages the ICU bedside flow and patient and family care. Care Facilitators directly support ICU staff and facilitate care, while communicating unit priorities such as staffing or unit needs to the nurse manager.

Respiratory Therapists

Respiratory Therapists are specially trained in treating and managing heart and lung-related issues. They work closely with the ICU interdisciplinary team in delivering safe and effective care for critically ill patients who require assistance with their breathing.


A member of the inter-professional ICU team that is a specialist in the clinical use of medications. Pharmacists are trained to review, dispense, and provide clinical information on medications to health professionals, patients, and family members. The ICU department has dedicated pharmacists that are skilled in recognizing the needs specific to the critical care patient and ensuring that safe and effective medication therapy is provided during a patient’s critical care stay.


Physiotherapy treatment is part of the dynamic, multi-disciplinary approach to care in the ICU. The most common role of the physiotherapist in the ICU is to improve the function of critically ill patients. The physiotherapist will assess and manage neurological, musculoskeletal, and cardiorespiratory complications through positioning, mobilization, strengthening, balance exercises, as well as airway clearance techniques. Early progressive mobility in the ICU is essential in minimizing functional decline and has been shown to reduce the length of stay and improve quality of life.

Patient Care Aides

In the ICU, Patient Care Aides (PCAs) are essential as they support the ICU team and patients directly at the bedside and ensure ICU equipment and health supplies are well stocked. PCAs are trained to help with many important tasks in the ICU such as bathing, turning, feeding, and transporting critically ill patients.

Social Workers

Social Work's role in the ICU is to provide support for patients and their families. Social Workers help provide emotional support, crisis counseling, and information regarding housing, addictions, and financial support. We are active in linking with community resources like the LHIN and private services. Social workers also help with identifying and locating patients' Substitute Decision Makers within the ICU setting.

Occupational Therapists

Occupational therapists help patients adjust to daily activities of living following a critical illness or injury. They also help in the placement of splints for the arms and legs in severely ill and injured patients. This helps prevent contractions of muscles and tendons during critical illness/injury.


Nutrition is extremely important in critical illness and injury. Dietitians work with the ICU team to ensure that the patient is getting adequate nutrition while in the ICU and in other parts of the hospital. They are also valuable sources of information about special diets after the patient leaves the ICU such as diabetic diets, kidney failure diets, and others.

Administrative Control Clerks

When you call the ICU (613)721-2000 ext. 2561, this is the who you will be speaking to first. Administrative Control Clerks (ACC) lead various duties within the ICU. ACCs are administrative assistants that complete essential tasks such as trafficking unit phone calls, ordering supplies, processing physician orders such as diagnostics, navigating electronic health records for filing data, and admitting patients. In ICU, the unit ACC is available from 0700-1900 as they are essential for daily functions.


Speech Language Pathologists

Speech Language Pathologists provide assessment and treatment for patients with communication and swallowing difficulties. Patients with stroke are assessed for both swallowing and communication difficulty. Patients in the ICU likely to need Speech Pathology services are patients who are recently extubated, have a tracheostomy, and/or are medically fragile, unwell, and weak. For patients with a tracheostomy, speaking valve assessments and augmentative communication are considered. Speech Language Pathologists liaise with all team members, families, and caregivers when assessing and treating patients.

Spiritual Care

Spiritual Care is recognized as an important part of health, whether a person is religious or not.


QCH has a Spiritual Care team available on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you would like to meet with clergy of your faith or a non-denominational chaplain, please notify the bedside nurse to contact this team.


There is also a Sanctuary/Prayer Room available for quiet reflection or prayer on the second floor near the main entrance.