Meet our critical care team
Critically ill patients often have complex needs that require special care. Our critical care team treats patients in the intensive care units at Prince William Medical Center and Haymarket Medical Center and serves as a helpful resource for their families. Nurse practitioner Charlotte Thomas shared about the role of the new team and how they’re making a difference for our patients and their loved ones.
How new is the team? I joined as the critical care nurse practitioner in July 2016 and then Joanne Ondrush, MD, followed this year in April as the medical director. We added Izuchukwu Obi, MD, to the team in July of this year.
How does the team work together? The basic set up is a seven-day stretch of intensivist coverage with either Dr. Obi or Dr. Ondrush, who are on call for 24-hour shifts. I work Monday through Friday to provide continuity to the team.
Describe the value of having 24/7 intensivist coverage at Prince William and Haymarket. What services do you offer our patients? In the past, we had community critical care physician support. However, this new model allows for an intensivist to be physically present in the unit with patients and their families all day. Our service line rounds daily on every patient in the critical care unit, and we sit with families each day to update them on results and plans of care. We can also perform diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, such as placing needed central lines, thoracotomy and paracentesis, and even lumbar punctures.
For you personally, what’s the most rewarding part of your work? I love to watch a family get the whole picture from the interdisciplinary team during rounds. We tell them at admission to be present at 9 a.m., if possible, so they can be part of the team and get direct updates. We all go around and give our recommendations and ideas, and then we turn it over to the family and listen to their questions. When we hear their thoughts and concerns, we can address them right then with the appropriate expert, such as a pharmacist, case manager, registered dietitian, rehabilitation specialist or respiratory therapist. It gives family members a sense of belonging to the team and helping with the plan of care for their loved one. It gives me a lot of personal satisfaction when families can have less stress during such a difficult time.