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Your Critical Care Unit Team Members

Leadership team

The PICU Leadership team plays a valuable role in ensuring each child receives excellent care during their stay on the fifth floor. Our team is accountable for many unit responsibilities such as staffing, quality care, supervising unit workers, addressing family needs, facilitating communication, supplies, equipment and collaboration with other unit and hospital team members. Our team comprises individuals who serve in management, educator and administrative assistant roles.

Charge nurses

PICU charge nurses have many responsibilities to ensure safe and efficient workflow. They plan nurse assignments and manage bed flow in the unit. They work with the other team members to help provide excellent patient care and address any family needs. Charge nurses are also key members of the Code/STAT team, Rapid Response Team and the Family Initiated Response System Team. Each charge nurse is a licensed registered nurse who has served as a PICU bedside nurse.

PICU nurses

The PICU registered nurse is specially trained to care for critically ill children of all ages needing special attention due to trauma, surgery and medical conditions. This role is essential to meeting patients' physical and pain management needs. They address changes in the patient's condition, communicating with the health care team about medications and medical treatments. Meeting the developmental and emotional needs of patients and ensuring patient and family safety are priorities.

Care partners

The care partners in the PICU provide age-appropriate care under the supervision of a registered nurse. Care partners ensure staff have supplies and equipment needed to perform patient care. They assist in performing medical tasks and daily hygiene care. They also comfort and play with patients to address their emotional and developmental needs. Care partners play a vital role in patient and family safety by ensuring a clean and safe environment.

Medical receptionists

The medical receptionist facilitates communication between health care team members to promptly provide patients with needed support. They answer phone calls to the unit from families and staff, answer the door bell and verify visitors to the unit to ensure patient safety. The medical receptionists also update computer systems to ensure patients' smooth transitions between hospital units.

Medical equipment technicians

Medical equipment technicians (MET) oversee appropriate medical equipment availability to the unit and delivery to patient rooms, sometimes during critical situations. They also verify that equipment is safe and functioning properly, performing repairs as needed. METs are essential in setting up equipment for unit procedures.

Respiratory therapists

Our pediatric respiratory therapists are responsible for many aspects of patient care, such as ventilator management, airway clearance therapy, oxygen and specialized gas delivery and aerosol therapies. They  run blood gas analyses in our central laboratory. Our team comprises all Registered Respiratory Therapists, who have advanced life support certification and a minimum of one year of experience. All team members have received specialized in-house training on decision making and special equipment.

Child life specialists

Child life specialists work with patients and families to reduce stress and anxiety that may be associated with the healthcare experience. Their work helps to meet the developmental, psychosocial, educational and emotional needs of patients and families. The child life specialist provides opportunities to help children develop appropriate independence, promotes normal growth and development through play and increases both patient and family understanding of the hospital experience. The specialists also work with siblings to aid in their understanding of and coping with the hospitalization of their brother or sister.

Case managers

Case managers assemble and coordinate your team of health care service providers, including doctors, nurses and therapists. The main goals of a case management nurse are to ensure your child receives quality and appropriate care and the most cost-effective services. They work directly with patients and their families, developing a professional relationship with them to perform patient assessments. Once an assessment has been completed and all proper data has been collected, the case management nurse works with the patient's health care team to coordinate and manage all aspects of care and services, including arranging needed referrals.

Social workers

Social workers work closely with families and team members to meet patients' and families' needs. The variety of services they provide include sharing information about community resources, addressing practical needs, directing families to supportive counseling, explaining the medical system and facilitating healthy coping. Our PICU social workers have each earned a Master's degree in social work and have many years of experience working in the hospital setting.

Guest service representatives

Guest services representatives are part of the PICU team with a primary focus on the patients' families and guests. They provide orientation to the unit, assist families and guests with navigating the hospital and recommend local restaurants and accommodations. The guest services representative also connects families with the appropriate resources or staff members during their time in the unit. They are instrumental in helping families achieve a positive experience.

Critical Care programs at Children's Hospital