TAKING CARE OF THOSE CLOSEST TO YOU Understanding the Pediatric-Intensive Care Unit (PICU)
Having a child admitted in the PICU can be extremely stressful and overwhelming. The PICU team at Apollo Cradle and Children’s Hospital is here to help you understand what is going on and help you in any way we can. If you have any queries, please let us know.
ABOUT THE PICU
You can find out the location of the PICU at the front desk. After the patient has been brought inside the PICU, all the visitors must wait in the visitor’s area. Depending on the condition of the child, initial stabilization and admission process can take as long as 2 hours. All visitors are advised to be patient during this time. The PICU team is doing their best to attend to the patient’s needs in this time. After the patient is stable and settled, the PICU team will inform you and escort you inside the PICU.
WHAT YOU SHOULD EXPECT IN THE PICU
In the PICU premises, almost all the patients will be connected to tubing and other medical devices. All the medical equipment have an alarm attached to them that alerts the nurses if there is any change in movement. During the first visit, the nurse will help you understand the purpose of these devices.
ABOUT THE PICU TEAM
The PICU team includes the following:
- Nurses – Takes bedside care of the patients on a day-to-day basis.
- PICU Coordinator – Helps the family in connecting with the financial team and the hospital administration team. They also assist in billing and other hospital processes.
- Dieticians – Makes sure that the patients are getting the right food while they are admitted in the PICU.
WHILE IN THE PICU
Here are a few guidelines to people visiting the patient inside the PICU:
- Stay courteous to the staff and other visitors.
- If the staff asks you to leave, understand that it is best for the patients.
- All the visitors are advised to leave the PICU premises between 8:45 am – 10:00 am and 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm. During this time, patient rounds are facilitated. So, if you’re not told specifically to stay by the PICU team, you should leave and wait outside. This is done to protect the patients and their health needs.
- Inside the room and near the bedside of the patient, only one parent should be present at a time except during the visiting hours when 2 members can stay at the bedside.
- Give the patient your presence and your support.
- Talk to the patient and remind them of the date and time.
- Respect the privacy of other patients admitted to the PICU.
- Do not use your mobile phone inside the PICU. For making any calls, please step outside the premises.
- You can bring a few belongings of the patient including toys and video games after consulting the PICU Staff and doctors.
CALLING FOR UPDATES
For every patient, there should be 1 contact person who will receive all the information regarding their medical status. All the information will be provided to that and only that person. They will be responsible for sharing any information or update regarding the health of the patient with friends and family. The contact person will also have to provide their contact information to the nurse so that they can be contacted if there is any change in the condition of the patient.
For regular updates, you will have to meet with the financial team daily. The PICU teams only deal with medical care. All the billing and financial counseling are handled by the billing department exclusively. If required, a meeting can be organized with the financial team and the PICU coordinator.
CARING FOR YOURSELF
Having a child admitted in the PICU is a very stressful experience. Therefore, it is very important that you also take care of yourself. You need to be well and strong too.
- The PICU team conducts morning and evening rounds to ensure there is a proper care plan.
- The PICU teams work alongside the primary doctor of the patient. If needed, they also take consultations from other specialists.
- The PICU team is responsible for leaving a daily progress report in either the PICU counseling room or at the PICU bedside. The timing of the report can be either from 10 AM to 11 AM or from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM.
- If there is any major change in the condition of the child throughout the day, you will be notified.
- Asking questions is encouraged.
- If sufficient time is available, any change in the child’s treatment will be first informed to you. However, if the change in the condition of the child is life-threatening, treatment will be done first. After this, information will be provided.
- To stay updated on the treatment plans, it is advised that at least one member of the family attends the daily counseling session.
- We follow all the standards for maintaining the confidentiality and security of health information.
VISITING YOUR LOVED ONE
The team treating the child is usually responsible for creating the visiting policy. In most cases, only one parent will be allowed 24*7 to stay with the child except during the time where either the chief consultant is making rounds or any procedure is being conducted.
Only one family member other than parents or guardians will be allowed to visit the patient every day between either 10 AM to 11 AM or 4 PM to 5 PM. For this, they will have to get a visitor pass from the security office. At the PICU entrance, they will have to show the visitor pass to the security officer for gaining access to the PICU. Any visitor below the age of 12 years is not allowed inside the PICU premises.
INFECTION CONTROL PRECAUTIONS
- All the patients admitted to the PICU must be kept strictly under the guidelines mentioned in the PICU Standard Isolation Precautions. These guidelines will keep your loved ones safe during their stay.
- All the visitors and staff members entering the room must use a hand sanitizer to clean their hands. They must also do the same while leaving the room.
- Any person with any sign of illness or cold will not be allowed to enter the PICU.
- No one should bring any live plants or fresh flowers inside the PICU as the water from the soil in plants and vases has germs which can lead to infection in patients.