I had been a PICU nurse for about 15 years before I had my first child. I never really had a problem attaching myself to the kids, and got used to the ups and downs. The first week I returned to the PICU after having my son I took care of a child who had nearly drowned. He was very, very ill with a Ph of 6.9. This was one of the hardest pt's I've ever taken care of. Not because he was so sick, but because he was the same age as my son. Several books that were brought in by the family mirrored the ones I would read to my son every night. To top it off the child was being cared for by his grandparents. My in-laws have a large pond behind their home. Emotionally, it was rough, but I was able to overcome it and realize that this is definately not the NORM. What we see in the PICU is nothing more than a snapshot of a few sick kids compared to the many, many, many kids that do not become ill. Incidently, I this same child a year later and unless you were told, you would never know.