are some of the most stressful places possible to work in.
Don't believe me? You should. You are working with critically ill children and their families, their parents, their siblings, their extended families, their other caregivers. You are working, or should be working, with just one or two patients at a time. You may work with those patients for a very long time. You will, despite the best efforts of everyone involved, lose some patients - despite that thirty-seven hour non-stop effort.
In PICUs you will find cancer patients and cardiac patients, patients who have had organ transplants, patients with respiratory failure and trauma patients. Sometimes there will be children who have been so severely abused you wonder that they have survived to reach the PICU.
The PICU here is where the wonderful Whirlwind spent her last hours. She was given the very best care and attention available. From the moment she was admitted there was always someone there. Her father was also given the same level of care and the Covid restrictions in the rest of the hospital were ignored when he asked for me to come even though I was not strictly "family".
Any PICU is a bad place and a good place. I have written any number of communication boards over the years for patients in PICUs. I have shared in debates about whether to tell a road accident victim that "mummy" can't be there for the most tragic of reasons and how best to get a child who is conscious but cannot speak to communicate and how much information they need about their own circumstances.
I would not want to work in a PICU. I admire those who can. They need all the support they can get.
This is why it was alarming to read that our PICU in the children's hospital could lose their training accreditation. This should not even be being considered. I know it is not just a matter of more staff or more funding. There are likely complex reasons for this that the present authorities and the government may not be happy to have to address.
They need to address the issues. The patients in a PICU need every possible care and support - and so do their families.