The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) previously awarded the Children's National Pediatric Intensive Care Unit with a silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence. The three-year award marked an important milestone on the path to exceptional patient care and achieving a healthy work environment. The silver-level designation signifies continuous learning and effective systems to achieve optimal patient care and shows alignment practices with AACN's six Healthy Work Environment Standards.
The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) is a 46 bed unit. This unit serves as a regional referral center and is a designated Level I Trauma Center for comprehensive care to pediatric patients and their families. The PICU Patient Care Management Team coordinates interdisciplinary patient assessment and patient care and provided by pediatric intensivists and specialty nurses in conjunction with multiple specialty services within the Medical Center. Patients are admitted to the PICU from the ED, Trauma Services, the Operating Room, and transfers from in-house units as well as transports from other institutions via the Pediatric Transport team.
Trauma patients comprise about 10%-15% of patients in the PICU. These patients often have multiple injuries or severe head trauma. The PICU is also a Pediatric Burn Center and receives referrals from the region. Other complex patients requiring general surgery, ENT, craniofacial, neurosurgical and other surgical subspecialties are also cared for in the PICU. Medical patients comprise 50%-60% of patients and include children with respiratory failure, meningitis or seizures, sepsis, multi-system organ failure and chronically ill children. Children with cancer also require PICU care for complications that develop as part of the underlying disease, chemotherapy or following bone marrow transplantation. Services are provided daily, 24 hours per day.