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Domain 7 : Comfort and recovery
The compassionate care of patients and families is a fundamental duty of any clinician, which is given particular emphasis by the special circumstances of critical illness. The process of rehabilitation starts in intensive care and is continued for many months - sometimes years - following discharge from hospital. This journey to recovery requires attention to both the physical and the psychological consequences of critical illness.


By the end of specialist training, the trainee...

7.1 Identifies and attempts to minimise the physical and psychosocial consequences of critical illness for patients and families
7.2 Manages the assessment, prevention and treatment of pain and delerium
7.3 Manages sedation and neuromuscular blockade
7.4 Communicates the continuing care requirements of patients at ICU discharge to health care professionals, patients and relatives
7.5 Manages the safe and timely discharge of patients from the ICU

Features of competent performance

  • Awareness of impact of ICU environment on patient and relatives
  • Effective communication and interpersonal skills - patients, family and staff
  • Attention to patient comfort (physical and psychosocial)
  • Awareness of relevant applied physiology and pharmacology
  • Consider indications, contraindications and complications of intervention - alternative modes, methods & techniques
  • Clearly defined therapeutic strategy / care plan for immediate and longer term care
  • Evaluation & modification of therapy according to clinical response
  • Safe use of equipment / device / drugs
  • Effective team-working: promote collaboration, communication & continuity of care
  • Appropriate referral / consultation
  • Recognition of limitations (self and others)
  • Attention to patient safety


All competencies

Note that the "Resources" that are included in this page, have not been updated in the recent years. An updated collection of useful resources will be available soon as part of the ESICM Academy (for more details, see www.esicm.org).

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