The ICP is a 12-bed unit that cares for patients who are require more intensive nursing than can be provided on the floors. Commonly encountered disorders include diabetic ketoacidosis, severe status asthmaticus, complex medical patients requiring intensive respiratory monitoring or noninvasive ventilation, and significant electrolyte abnormalities (such as diabetes insipidus) requiring close monitoring and frequent blood analyses.
The ICP has 6 beds on the 9th floor and 6 beds on the 11th floor. Each floor is staffed by 1 senior resident and 1 intern and 1 attending physician staffs both floors. There are also nurse practitioners on the team. 1 junior or senior resident and 1 intern staff the ICP at night. The nursing staff (who care for 1-2 patients each) and dedicated respiratory therapist participate actively in morning and night rounds. An interdisciplinary approach is emphasized. Given the intimate structure of the team and the higher acuity on the unit, many formal and informal teaching opportunities arise. Daily didactics focus on topics such as management of DKA, airway obstruction and respiratory compromise.