Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

CHKD’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit is an 18-bed critical-care unit dedicated to the expert care of infants, children and adolescents who require stabilization and life-supporting interventions. In 2012, the unit was expanded and refurbished.

The mission of the PICU is to provide exceptional critical care to patients, outstanding customer service to all who enter the unit, and camaraderie among its staff members. No matter what changes and challenges occur in the PICU environment, the nursing staff remains dedicated to their number-one task: patient care and safety.

CHKD nurses who care for PICU patients rely on their critical thinking, multi-tasking and strong organizational skills to prioritize patient needs on a minute-to-minute basis. They are instrumental in coordinating all aspects of patient care. They also understand that a child’s stay in the PICU is extremely stressful for parents and siblings, so they do all they can to support and educate families.

New nurses are provided with a strong competency-based orientation, with unit-based clinical assignments while paired with a preceptor who will actively coordinate experiences specific to the learner’s needs. Ongoing learning opportunities are offered regularly, using a variety of teaching strategies that include lectures, discussions, skills practice, simulations/case studies, and poster and article review.

Our patients come to us for a variety of reasons. Some are transported via CHKD’s own critical-care transport team, some arrive with acute and life-threatening illnesses or injuries, and some need intensive care after a complex surgery. The most common admitting issues include:

Multi-system organ failure and hemodynamic instability. CHKD’s wide range of specialists, including pediatric intensivists, are available at all times to care for these critically ill children. As members of our staff, they are on hand for constant evaluations and consults. Our updated unit includes technology required for advanced pro-active treatment and interventions.

Post-operative care. Sub-specialty surgical services are available at CHKD, including cardiac surgery, neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery and craniofacial surgery. Patients requiring close observation and monitoring after long, complex surgeries will recover under the expert attention of our nursing staff.

Emergency airway management. Under the watchful eyes of expert staff members, including PICU-trained respiratory therapists, in-unit physicians and knowledgeable PICU nurses, our patients are never left alone. Patient needs are met with advanced technology such as state-of-the-art ventilators, oscillators and other respiratory devices. The proficiency of our nurses and therapists allows for safe care, transfer or discharge of their patients after resolution of the critical event.

Trauma and burns. The complex needs of children who’ve experienced severe trauma or burns are handled by a multi-disciplinary team, including specialty physicians, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, child life therapists, social workers and chaplains, all coordinated by the bedside nurse.

Come experience the rewards of building your pediatric critical-care career at CHKD. Our team is here not only to provide outstanding patient care but to help you in building a satisfying career.