Parents’ Guide to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

What to Expect

Our 12-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at the Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children is dedicated to caring for critically ill or injured children who need a higher level of medical care. When children require “intensive care,” that means they need the care and attention of our specially trained doctors, nurses and clinical teams. 

Our PICU offers a safe and quiet place for children to heal, and all of our PICU rooms have the medical equipment needed to monitor a child’s health. For children who need a level of care, some rooms have added special care equipment to help children get better. We treat children with a variety of conditions in the PICU, including asthma, lung injuries, serious infections and conditions related to diabetes. 

Depending on the type of recovery a child needs, a PICU visit can be for one day or for weeks and even months. Some children will go straight home from the PICU, and others will move to our Pediatric inpatient unit before they leave so our team can ensure they are safe and healthy enough to return home. We provide personalized care to meet the special needs of each child, and no matter the circumstance, our PICU medical team will be with you and your child every step of the way. 

While at the PICU, children are given a private room where a parent or guardian can stay with them while they are here. Each room has a comfortable, pull-out couch and a recliner to provide family comfort and a sleeping area. The rooms have private bathrooms with a tub/shower option, and some rooms offer wheelchair-accessible bathrooms. Each room has a television, complete with age-appropriate movies, games, and information about the health team and the child’s plan of care. Families also have access to a microwave and vending machines and can dine in or take out from our WIP Café.


The PICU Team

During a child’s stay on our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, families meet a variety of team members, including pediatricians, pediatric specialists, registered nurses, patient care assistants, nutritionists, rehabilitation therapists, child life specialists, social workers and additional support teams. With a lower nurse-to-patient ratio, you can be assured your child will receive the expert attention and care they need. 

We recognize that a PICU stay can be scary for a child, so we make every effort to support and comfort you and your family during this very important time. All of our PICU team members are trained to provide excellent medical care and are available 24/7 to answer any questions. Our PICU team is dedicated to meeting the individual needs of each child and family from the moment they arrive until they are ready to go home.


Children’s Care During COVID-19

Our current visitation policy allows for both parents or guardians to be at their child’s bedside. For everyone’s safety, siblings or extended family cannot visit the patient room at this time. To ensure safety, all patients will be tested for COVID-19. If your child tests positive for COVID19, we will follow guidelines established by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent the spread of the virus.

We know that being in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit during a pandemic may be extra scary for young children as team members must wear special clothes and items such as masks, face shields, and gowns to stay safe. Our team members will do what they can to put children at ease, and sometimes that means taking extra steps like wearing funny protective equipment to make children feel more comfortable.

Your family’s safety is our highest priority, and we will make sure your child receives the best possible care, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.