Types of Hospital Units

 

Hospitals have different types of units which provide different types of care and services for patients. Hospital units can be separated into two categories based on the level (or acuity) of care they provide.

Intensive Care Units

Intensive care units (ICUs) are areas of the hospital where seriously ill patients receive specialized care such as intensive monitoring and advanced life support. These units are also called critical care units, intensive therapy units, or intensive treatment units. Some common kinds of intensive care units are:

  • Neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) which provide care for newborn infants
  • Pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) which provide care for children
  • Coronary care and cardiothoracic units (CCUs/CTUs) which provide care for heart attack or heart surgery patients
  • Surgical intensive care units (SICUs) which provide care for other surgical patients
  • Medical intensive care units (MICUs) which provide care for patients with medical conditions who do not require surgery
  • Long term intensive care units (LTAC ICUs) which provide care for prolonged critical care needs patients

Non-Intensive Care Units

Non-Intensive Care Units often make up the majority of beds in a hospital and provide a lower level of care. These units may also be called wards. Some common kinds of non-ICU units are:

  • Neonatal units which provide care for ill premature infants and neonates
  • Women and infant health units which provide care before, during and after childbirth (perinatal) for mothers and for well newborn babies
  • Pediatric units which provide care for children younger than 19 years old
  • Post-critical care (or step down) units which care for patients no longer needing ICU level care
  • Oncology units which provide care for patients with cancer and immune system disorders
  • Surgical units which provide care for pre- and post-surgical patients, and/or which may specialize in certain types of surgery (like orthopedic joint surgery)
  • Medical units which provide care for conditions like stroke, heart attack, or pneumonia
  • Rehabilitation wards which provide care to improve mental or physical function after injury, trauma, stroke, or other acute neurologic condition
  • Long-term care wards which provide care to patients for an extended period of time

Other units providing specialty care

There are many types of units which provide specialty care (such as burn, oncology wards, trauma ICUs, and neurologic ICUs). Patients in some types of units may be more likely to get infections than in other types of units.