- Pediatric Intensive Care Unit stands for Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Nurses in the PICU care for children and adolescents who are critically ill or injured and require regular monitoring and interventions.
- PICU nurses are in charge of the day-to-day care of a small group of patients. A PICU RN, or Pediatric Intensive Care Nurse, often cares for one to three children at a time. This high nurse-to-patient ratio is critical to the PICU’s success because it allows nurses to be completely aware of their patients’ requirements and thoroughly involved in their care. This one-on-one care is especially important for young patients, who can be very volatile and delicate.
- Because of the fast-paced nature of the PICU, PICU nurses must pay close attention to detail. In as little as 30 seconds, a patient’s condition might alter. It’s your job as a PICU nurse to recognize even little changes in your patient’s status and adjust rapidly to changing circumstances. Precision is extremely important to PICU nurses.
PICU nurse – Qualifications
To become a PICU nurse, you must be a graduate of an accredited nursing program. This can include an ADN or a BSN.
- Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) — An ADN is a two-year program that prepares students for the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) and provides the necessary skills to start working as a registered nurse.
- Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) — This four-year program provides comprehensive skill building and occupational experience. BSN programs also prepare students for the NCLEX, and can improve job prospects compared to those with an ADN.
PICU nurse – Responsibilities
A PICU nurse is responsible for several different elements of their patient’s treatment at any given time. As a PICU nurse, you’re intimately involved in your patients’ treatment assessment, planning, execution, and evaluation stages.
A PICU nurse’s daily duties may include the following:
- Monitoring vital signs and specialized readings – PICU nurses must keep track of a large amount of data about their patients in order to detect and prevent any complications. This can include things like blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and temperature monitoring, as well as cardiac and respiratory data, urine and fluid output, fluid consumption, prescription intake, and test results.
- Administering medication, treatment, or therapy — A PICU nurse’s role also includes administering treatments that are required to improve the patient’s health and lifespan. This can include giving medications, changing bandages, inserting and removing catheters and IV lines, administering infusion therapy, and even performing emergency treatments in life-threatening conditions.
- Recording care information — Keeping records of all care information in the appropriate manner and on the proper forms is one of the most critical aspects of a PICU nurse’s job. This involves noting how and when treatment was given, as well as any negative reactions the patient may have had and any changes to the treatment plan. Nurses and other medical workers can understand exactly what treatment was given to the patient and what should be done next if their records are kept properly.
- Collaboration with other doctors and healthcare professionals — Although PICU nurses are involved in the care and treatment of a specific kind, they are not the only ones who contribute. As a PICU nurse, you’d collaborate with other medical professionals such as the attending physician, fellows, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, nutritionists, social workers, and other experts as part of a PICU team. This cross-specialty collaboration provides a variety of perspectives and aids in determining the best course of action for each patient.