Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Sanford Bemidji Medical Center provides constant skilled nursing care for seriously ill patients. Generally, people in the ICU have a life-threatening illness or condition. Because of the severity of the patient’s illness, each person is in a separate room.

Sanford Bemidji Medical Center has ten intensive care rooms with state-of-the-art monitoring equipment, providing global (computer) access of information to caregivers throughout Sanford Health. Global access allows instant access to labs, radiology/imaging/x-rays, and charting at the bedside. 

In the ICU we strive to:

  • Promote the highest quality nursing care by applying learned interpersonal skills, technical skills, and general nursing knowledge.
  • Deliver care in a kind, caring, and respectful manner.
  • Display continued personal growth in learning, teaching, and caring; constantly striving to discover and apply methods to improve care to our clientele and their families.
  • Communicate effectively, professionally, with kindness and respect, to patients, families, co-workers, physicians, and other hospital personnel.
  • Participate actively in developing, implementing, and evaluating measurable goals that impact our care.
  • Promote good will among staff.


Visitors are limited to two in the room to allow the person to get the rest he or she needs. There is a waiting room adjacent to the ICU that is reserved for relatives of ICU patients.  For the patient’s welfare, visitors should:

  • Keep visits short, preferably no longer than 15 minutes.
  • Limit number to no more than two at a time in the patient’s room.
  • Refrain from loud talking and laughing which may disturb other patients.
  • Refrain from using patient’s restrooms, sitting on patient’s beds, and from placing coats or other items on patient’s beds.  These requests are made to control the spread of infection.


Staffing in the ICU is made up of all registered nurses who are Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certified and serve both medical and surgical patients that require extensive monitoring and nursing care. We also have capabilities of monitoring 16 hospital patients using a portable electronic monitoring system.

Saving 100,000 Lives

Our ICU, along with Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota, was an early adapter in the IHI (Institute of HealthCare Improvement) “Save 100,000 Lives” Campaign. We have implemented a “Rapid Response Team”, and initiated evidenced based protocols (standards of care) for patients with central lines or on ventilators. Because of these standards, our ICU has not had a ventilator-associated pneumonia since 2005.