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Welcome! You will soon begin your rotation in the Intensive Care Unit at Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC). We look forward to working with you. Many residents feel some anxiety about their first rotation in ICU, and have a number of questions about how the unit works and their role on service. On the first day of your rotation, you will have an orientation session during the morning that will outline for you how the rotation will work, and outline your responsibilities. However, we expect that, prior to your first day, you will have familiarized yourself with the information contained in this memo as well as the Goals and Objectives for Rotating Residents in the Intensive Care Unit. These objectives, as well as much other useful information, can be found in the Rotating Resident Program section our website.

Mandatory Orientation Session

On the first day of your rotation, an orientation will be held beginning promptly at 07:45 a.m. in the Davies 2 Conference Room (Room # 22-2-351). Please arrive on time and ready to go. If you are post-call on the morning of your first day, you are still required to attend the orientation session.

Orientation Agenda

07:45 – 08:00      Introductions

08:00 – 09:15      Structure of the ICU Day
                            Rotating residents’ role on the team
                            Questions & answers

09:15 – 09:30      Tour of the ICUs

09:30 – 11:00      Technical Skills Session:  Central Venous Catheter Insertion 
                             (normally held at the New Medical Building Surgical Skills Lab 1, Rm. 206 A)

11:00                    Meet the attendings & fellows for patient handover


On-call Schedule

You will take in-house call one night in four during your rotation. We endeavor to schedule two junior residents to do call each night, however, in the second half of the rotation you may find yourself alone in-house with Fellow and/or Attending backup. The on-call schedule will be circulated electronically at least 2 weeks prior to the start of each block. You are welcome to trade on-call nights with a colleague; this is a privilege, however, and if we find that the schedule becomes muddled or there is confusion about who is on-call, the privilege will be revoked. Please do not give yourself an overly stressful schedule. Any changes to the on-call schedule must be clearly communicated to Laura Garofalo

Your monthly on-call stipend forms should be submitted to the Critical Care Chief Resident at

Requests for vacation or conference leave must be submitted four weeks prior to the start of the block in which the leave will occur. Please submit requests to Laura Garofalo using the form found on the Critical Care website. We generally will not approve vacation requests during the first two weeks of your rotation. In addition, we will usually only allow one resident to take vacation in any particular week.

Morning Teaching Seminars
From 08:00 – 09:00 a.m. each weekday, there is a teaching session scheduled for rotating housestaff. A schedule of seminars can be found in the Critical Care Rounds section of our website. On Wednesday mornings, teaching will take place in the Simulation Lab on Douglas 3. All residents are required to attend the morning teaching sessions. Urgent patient care issues during that hour should be handed over to the Critical Care Fellow or Senior Resident supervising your team.  Post-call residents are expected to attend as well (formal handover follows the teaching session).

Critical Care Grand Rounds
You are invited to attend CCM Grand Rounds on Thursdays from 12:00 – 13:00. Lunch is provided. A schedule, including the location of the presentations, can be found on the Critical Care website.

Your Role on the Hospital Cardiac Arrest Team
The residents on-call for the ICU on any particular day also act in the role of Code Team Leader, under the supervision of the RACE team physician, for in-hospital cardiac arrests. You will carry a cardiac arrest pager at all times when on call. To support you in this role, you will receive extensive resuscitation training in the simulator as part of your teaching curriculum in ICU. Please review the description of the hospital cardiac arrest team’s roles and function that is found on the Critical Care website. All residents rotating through ICU are expected to have completed an ACLS training course and to be familiar with current ACLS guidelines/algorithms. You will be asked to complete a written test during your first simulation session.

Comments, Questions or Concerns

Please contact us should you have any questions or concerns before or during your rotation. In addition, please check the Critical Care website for additional information that will be of use to you during your rotation.

We hope you will enjoy your time in ICU!


Paul Heffernan MD, MSc, FRCPC, FCCP

Program Director
Laura Garofalo
Program Assistant

613 549-6666 x 6337