Hospital Care Levels. All units in a hospital are patient care units however the equipment and nursing staff present differ according to the nature of the patient's illness or illnesses. Icu is for the sickest patient. Subacute or stepdown unit is for a patient who still needs close monitoring often still needing special equipment. Regular unit is for a patient needing hospital care but usually not seriously ill.
Level of Services. In an icu, the nursing staff are generally more highly trained. The ratio of nurses to patients is generally much less. Modern ICU units are set up to include specialized monitoring equipment in each room, which is not practical to have in every room on a general care unit.
Level of care. An intensive care unit is a specialized place for the most seriously ill patients who require the most individualized attention. Usually an intensive care rn has only one or two patients to monitor. Regular patient care units have patients who are less ill and may be monitored, but are not as unstable.