Skip to content

Intermediate Care Unit (IMCU)

Child in the hospital with people dressed as animalsStill considered a part of critical care, the 6th Floor Intermediate Care Unit (IMCU) delivers care to two distinct patient populations. One group includes patients whose condition requires a longer hospital stay due their dependence on medical technology to support, respiratory, nutritional, or other needs. The other group includes “step-down patients” who still require the skills of critical care nurses or physicians, but do not require the intense level of support or monitoring provided by the PICU. The IMCU is staffed by Pediatric Critical Care physicians and nurse practitioners, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, together with surgeons, pulmonary and other specialists. The IMCU nurses are specially trained in the technologic needs and psychosocial needs of children requiring prolonged or step-down intensive care and their families. Other health care team members participating in the IMCU include respiratory therapists, occupational and physical therapists, speech pathologists, pharmacists, child life specialists, medical social workers, chaplain services, patient advocate representatives, and many others.

The IMCU contains a total of 21 private patient rooms. Families are encouraged to spend as much time as possible at the bedside of their child and, if possible, participate in the daily care of their child. It is also a teaching environment where we provide technical and safety training for the parents of our technology-dependent patients before discharge from the hospital. Each room in the IMCU provides ample space so that parents and caregivers can spend comfortable, quality time during their child’s stay. Each room can accommodate up to 2 parents or caregivers at the bedside 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with furniture that converts easily from sitting, to resting or sleeping. The principles of developmental care are incorporated into the routine of all patients in the IMCU.

To provide more room for large groups of family and friends, there is a spacious family area located just outside the clinical area on the same floor. This room provides a place where families can talk, share a meal, or just relax with others in a larger group setting.

Due to the long length of stay many of our technology-dependent patients, parents are encouraged to bring their child’s brothers and sisters, regardless of age, to spend time with their sibling. A Child Life Specialist can help prepare brothers and sisters for visitation. This helps them feel as comfortable as possible before coming to the IMCU. Once a child’s condition is improved, they will move from the IMCU to another patient care area, or possibly back to their home environment. Over the past 20 years, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital as pioneered the transition of technology-dependent children from the hospital to home.

Last Published: Mar 15, 2018