1) what is the most common type of diagnosis? typically in our picu, we see a little bit of everything. a lot of trauma, as i work in a major city, and a lot of respiratory illnesses. also included: rsv, hem/onc, brain tumors, dka, cardiomyopathy, sepsis, esrd pts. on dialysis, hus, ingestion, cv surgical pts, unforunately abuse.. its quiet the variety
2) how often do your pt's "graduate" and get well? i would say 85% of the time, our patients get better and are transferred out of the icu. the other 15% of the time, they are transferred to boston or chop, or they pass away, and very very rarely go home form the icu.
3) what do you think makes you a born picu nurse? (i'm sure its almost impossible to describe but worth a shot!) i think that a born picu nurse loves taking care of very sick children and making a difference in their life. you must pay great attention to detail, be caring, passionate, extremely patient, be very organized, be able to prioritize, and still love the adrenaline rush when things go haywire.
4) do you feel you have the time in your day to take the extra safety precautions that are needed in the pediatric population? safety is the number one concern in a picu. not only do you have a multitude of equipment, but there are families around, who sometimes, may not understand the significance of not laying on top of ventilator tubing, etc. siderails are always up, bed is locked in the lowest position, pt. is restrained if necessary, and pt. is frequently checked by the rn.