Nursing in our Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)
Approximately 1,200 patients are admitted to our Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) each year. They are mainly admitted from the North Thames area, but our specialist departments also service the UK and abroad.
We offer support and services for our colleagues in general surgery, ear nose and throat, spinal surgery, neurology, oncology, renal, respiratory, endocrinology and metabolic medicine. We are also one of two London centres for children requiring neurosurgical intensive care in London. Consequently, almost all children and infants admitted to PICU receive supportive ventilation.
Our PICU has state-of-the-art equipment and facilities to allow the development of new treatments and management strategies for critically ill children. We have a variety of ventilators to provide individualised ventilator strategies appropriate to the care of each child. We also promote a full range of nurse-led renal support therapies.
Staff are acutely aware of the stress suffered by parents and relatives of children who are admitted to the Unit. To ensure the child and family’s needs are met, we use the partnership philosophy of nursing care to encourage parents and significant others to participate in care as they feel able. We have a large support network, which includes a team of family liaison nurses, a play specialist, access to interpreters, social workers and psychological support.
PICU can be a very stressful environment to work in. We are a diverse team who work incredibly hard for the children and families in our care. We aim to minimise stress through reflective practice, the preceptorship programme, psychosocial meetings and regular social events, as well as close co-operation and teamwork.
Taking the initiative and innovation are encouraged on the unit and we fully support nurses who take on research and teaching projects to improve their knowledge and clinical practice.
We also use a system of individual performance review to facilitate personal and professional development. All members of staff have regular appraisals with their preceptor/mentor to agree individual objectives.
Read more about career development on PICU.