Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

The pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) is part of the spectrum in medical care, filling the gap between neonatal and adult care. This is the unit within a hospital that cares for and treats critically ill children up to age 17. Like all other variations of ICUs, the PICU provides care that other units cannot provide. 

It also has a staff of specialized and highly trained doctors and nurses who are especially trained to treat children. The staff in a PICU is aware of the side effects of treatments and medications and how those might affect children specifically, both in the long and short term. They constantly monitor patients to treat their conditions as well as to minimize detrimental side effects. Besides doctors and nurses, PICUs count on the expertise of other experts such as  physical and occupational therapists, nutrition specialists, and social workers. 

Conditions Treated in the PICU

The PICU is focused on providing the best care to children and adolescents suffering from a wide range of medical issues. Equipped with a highly trained team of nurses and doctors the PICU is a place where children can get the help they need to go on to live a happy and healthy life. Some of the conditions treated in PICUs include:

  • Congenital heart defects – congenital heart defects are cardiac conditions a baby is born with. They are one of the most common birth defects and affect how the heart works and its shape.

  • Oncology – patient’s with cancer.

  • Sepsis – harmful bacteria present in tissues.

  • Kidney failure – conditions that arise when the kidneys are unable to remove waste and balance the fluids of the body.

  • Postoperative care –  the care patient’s receive following a surgical procedure.

  • Respiratory conditions – complications that arise when the body’s respiratory system is unable to fully supply oxygen or remove carbon dioxide form the body. It can occur due to a variety of reasons which include: trauma, obesity, injury, inhalation of carbon monoxide, and more.

  • Endocrine conditions – the endocrine system produces hormones, and conditions come about when there is a problem in the endocrine glands. 

You can learn more about Pediatric Intensive Care Nursing job opportunities or find more information about certifications that will take your career to the next level.