Visitor Guidelines

The Critical Care Unit is dedicated to providing an atmosphere of healing for our most critical patients. Staffed by specially trained care providers, the unit provides high level care for patients when they need it most.

Being close to your loved one while he or she is in Critical Care is important, and we will do everything possible to help with your needs and keep you informed. Please let us know if you have questions or concerns.

Visitor guidelines

  • Please turn cellphones off in patient rooms. It is our policy to restrict cellphone use in patient care areas.
  • Visiting hours are determined by each patient’s individual needs and changes in his or her condition. This allows us to ensure privacy and rest for each patient.
  • Quiet time is from 2 to 4 p.m. daily. Please visit during a different time.
  • It is our policy to restrict cellphone use in the unit. Please do not use cellphones in patient rooms or halls. Cellphone use is welcomed in the waiting areas and the Healing Garden.
  • If you are ill, please visit at another time. Face masks are available from a nurse if you have a cough or think you could be getting ill.
  • There may be times when visiting is restricted while procedures and tests are completed.
  • Please ask permission from a nurse before bringing children to visit.
  • We are a tobacco-free organization, and smoking is prohibited everywhere on the property.
  • Restrooms in the patient rooms are reserved for patient use only. Visitors should use a restroom in the waiting area.

Waiting areas

There are two waiting areas for families of Critical Care patients. One waiting room is located near the Critical Care entrance. Hearts at Home provides family members a quiet place to relax and escape from the hospital environment. 

  • Family waiting rooms are available 24 hours a day.
  • Family eating areas, televisions, kitchenettes and computers for family use are available in both waiting areas.
  • Families and visitors are encouraged to use a waiting area for meal times.
  • Telephones with direct access to the nurses’ stations are available. If you are in the waiting room and the telephone rings, please answer it.
  • Please have the sleeping area picked up by 7 a.m. if you stay overnight. Linen bags are available for the dirty linen.
  • Family members of all Critical Care patients use the waiting rooms; please respect the space and privacy of others.

Support person program

When your loved one is admitted to the hospital, we ask him or her or a family member to identify one support person who will be the primary person to receive information and updates about the loved one’s condition. This support person also is responsible for communicating these updates to family and friends and acts as the loved one’s advocate.

Core care rounds

Family members are encouraged to be present during Core Care rounds. During this time, your loved one’s health care team reviews progress and treatment plans and set goals for the upcoming days. Rounds begin at 9:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and take place in your loved one’s room.

Enhanced Critical Care

Enhanced Critical Care is a remote, electronic monitoring system that provides 24/7 expert medical and nursing support for Critical Care patients. This service is provided by Mayo Clinic.

The in-room computers, high quality video camera and audio monitors transmit information taken at your loved one’s bedside to a remote control center staffed by nurses and physicians.

The system cannot temporarily or permanently record video or audio from your loved one’s room. Patient information is always kept secure and confidential. Please talk with any staff member if you have any questions or concerns about Enhanced Critical Care.


Sometimes, Critical Care patients become confused or have trouble understanding what is happening around them. This could happen to your loved one. Confusion occurs when there are changes in the way the brain works. Illness and pain can contribute to confusion.

Although this may be a frightening experience, confusion is usually temporary and reversible. The following are things you can do to help to eliminate the sense of anxiety that may contribute to confusion:

  • Discuss current events and interests with your loved one.
  • Make the room as calm and quiet as possible. Encourage the use of glasses and hearing aids, if needed.
  • Bring familiar objects from home, such as a favorite bathrobe or family photos.
  • Encourage your loved one to rest often. Use this time to leave the room and take care of yourself.  

Healing Garden

The Healing Garden is located near the CCU entrance. You are welcome to enjoy peacefulness and greenery in the garden year round. There is also a Meditation Room available for private discussions or if you need a quiet moment alone.

Please supervise children in the Healing Garden and within the organization at all times.

Flowers and balloons

Due to infection control policies and allergy concerns, flowers and latex balloons are not allowed in patient rooms. If your loved one receives flowers, we ask that they are kept at the nurse station or taken home. Mylar helium balloons and cards are excellent ways to brighten someone’s day.

Caring Bridge

Caring Bridge allows patients and family members to create a free website to stay in touch with family and friends during times of illness or injury. Family and friends can visit the site to stay informed and leave supportive messages. Mayo Clinic is a proud partner of Caring Bridge. 

Telephone numbers

  • Hearts at Home family waiting area: 715-838-1405
  • Family waiting area near Critical Care entrance: 715-838-3547
  • Support person information: 715-838-3251 or 888-838-4777 (toll-free)