Critical care nursing (video transcript)

Transcript of video about what it's like to be a Critical Care nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). The video can be viewed on the main Critical care nursing jobs page or alternatively, you can also watch it here on YouTube.

Narrator: At GOSH, many of the children and young people we see need our Critical Care services and our Critical Care nursing team are central to the care we are able to provide. We have the largest intensive care unit for children in the UK and demand for our services mean that we are looking to recruit more Critical Care nursing staff to join us.

Heather Parsons, Senior Staff Nurse, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU): I work in the Neonatal Intensive Care unit, which is a unit specific to generally pre-term babies, anything from 24 weeks gestation up to usually about term.

Jo Garwood, Senior Staff Nurse, Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU): PICU deal with 0 to 16 year olds primarily. You can have single organ failure - that might just be breathing, because PICU is mainly breathing machines.

Mary Sellings, Senior Staff Nurse, PICU: So it’s looking after patients who are typically intubated and ventilated.

Suzanne Cullen, Head of Nursing: Cardiac Intensive Care (known as Flamingo Ward) care for children not only having cardiac and thoracic illness but also children who are undergoing heart or lung transplant, tracheal reconstruction, pulmonary hypertension, ECMO and children who require a Berlin Heart as a bridge to transplant.

Anja Fierens, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Cardiorespiratory Unit: My job means that I follow a specific group of patients round the hospital. I do whatever the patients need, basically.

Narrator: Being in intensive care is a critical time for patients. It is unimaginably stressful for parents like Deborah, who are so reliant on the expertise of the team to care for their child.

Deborah, parent: Any parent would be very anxious about moving into intensive care. You feel that you’re really treated by the best people. You’re in the best hands, you feel comforted that you’re going to get the best possible care, possibly in the world.

Narrator: We’re really interested in hearing from nurses from a variety of backgrounds. We want nurses to build their careers with us and we have practice educators to help support you with education and training. Our nurses have the opportunity to develop levels of expertise which are second to none.

Orla Hogan, Staff Nurse, Cardiorespiratory Unit: I moved from Dublin to Birmingham to undertake my studies. I stayed there for two years to complete my diploma and after that I decided that I’d like to stay in the UK.

Jo: GOSH is one of the most renowned children’s hospitals in the world so as a children’s nurse you want to work in one of the best hospitals in the world.

Heather: GOSH is generally end of the line, so if no-one else can look after it, then we will try our very best, which means we see everything pretty much, surgical, that you can see.

Mary: As an outsider, looking into PICU, it can be extremely daunting. However, with the support of Senior Staff Nurses and the programmes and development we have, it isn’t as scary as one might think it looks like it is.

Simon Mansfield-Sturgess, Charge Nurse, PICU: I think what’s good about GOSH as a whole is the education and training for nurses. You get the opportunities which you probably wouldn’t get in other hospitals because we want to be the leading centre for children’s nursing so we want to have nurses who are leading the way as well.

Jo: There are so many opportunities, like the Children’s Acute Transport Service that hopefully we’ll be doing next year.

Simon: So what that means is we go and do several shifts a month out with the retrieval service and that can be in ambulances, in helicopters, in aeroplanes, picking up children from around the country.

Mary: The accommodation service helped me re-locate.

Jo: They gave you a price range so then you could choose what sort of accommodation you needed to suit your needs. Where I stayed on Bernard Street is just a five-minute walk to the hospital so it was brilliant.

Anja: I think one of the things I enjoy most about GOSH is the variety of people who work here, the different ethnicities, the different cultural backgrounds, the different skills, and I think there’s a place for everyone.

Astrid, patient: My nurse was really really really nice.

Deborah: They have a nice time with you, don’t they? They try to make you forget about pain. They try and help you do things that you don’t want to do…

Astrid: Like needles!

Deborah: Like you don’t like needles!

Heather:  l love my job, I get a lot back from it, the families are so thankful for everything you can do, even if it’s not the best ending.

Orla: You do need to be enthusiastic. It is children you’re looking after, so you need to be someone that they want to talk to.

Simon: As a team, we support each other and having the ability to see the lighter side of things at times is important.

Mary: There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t learn something new, and even if you look at someone who’s been there 20 years, they’d say the same.

Marianne Forbes, Staff Nurse, NICU: I’m very proud of where I work, we deliver an excellence of care, we get so much feedback, we have friends on the floor, every team member works together. That’s what we do.

Narrator: If you’re interested in joining our Critical Care services team, you can find more information on our website at As well as details of current vacancies, you’ll find contact details for the different units and information about how to arrange an informal visit. We look forward to meeting you.