Critical Care (PICU)
When your child has a critical illness, serious injury or surgery, you want the highest level of care provided by a team of experts in pediatric critical-care medicine. Although no parent wants to face such difficult circumstances, you can rely on the compassionate environment of the Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital's Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) to provide for children who need it most.
Our PICU is a 12-bed, state-of-the-art unit that offers around-the-clock service delivered by a staff specially trained in pediatrics and critical care. The PICU treats many serious conditions, including asthma, acute respiratory failure, severe infections, seizures, some complications of diabetes, and multiple organ dysfunction. In addition, our team provides perioperative care for children at risk for postoperative pain and complications in cooperation with surgical specialists, including pediatric surgery, orthopaedics, ENT and urology. The combination of our highly trained team of specialists and facilities in the PICU enables us to provide care and monitoring of your child's status during the provision of a variety of therapies, including mechanical ventilation (breathing machines) and administration of medications that need close medical supervision when given.
Your child will be cared for by a multidisciplinary team of medical professionals. Board-certified pediatric intensivists, who have received specialized training in pediatric critical care, oversee and coordinate the medical attention of all PICU patients including consultation on all surgical patients 24 hours a day. Children with complex diseases may be followed throughout their hospital stay by these same physicians to ensure continuity until discharge. The intensivists will participate in discharge planning to ensure that your child's care continues seamlessly after hospital discharge. In addition, pediatric hospitalists, hospital-based pediatricians, work closely with the intensivists and are in-house 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Nurses with training and experience in pediatric critical care will provide the minute-to-minute bedside care for your child in the PICU. Other personnel who tend to your child include respiratory therapists, radiologists and technicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, pharmacists and child life specialists. Spiritual support is available to patients and family members from our Pastoral Care Department.
In the PICU, our focus is the health of the children,but we know that having a child in the hospital is a stressful, uncertain time. That's why we try to ease the burden on the parents and other relatives of our patients by providing services, like cots for overnight visits, showers, washers and dryers, and beverages and snacks. Parents are allowed to visit 24 hours a day, and one parent may sleep at your child's bedside overnight.
It's normal for both you and your child to feel frightened or unsure at a time like this. That's why we do everything we can to make the experience go as smoothly — and safely — as possible. At Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital, you can rest assured that your child will receive the best and most compassionate care available from the staff in our PICU.
Child Life Specialist
At Bon Secours, we understand that being in the hospital can be a very stressful time for children as well as for their parents. Our child life specialist is prepared to assist you in easing your child's anxiety and making the experience the best possible one for you and your child.
Child life specialists are trained and certified healthcare professionals who have backgrounds in areas such as child development and early childhood education. This valuable resource is available to every child admitted to the St. Mary's Hospital Pediatric Unit.
Specialized Care, One-on-One Attention
Our child life specialist is assigned to help you and your child cope with the hospital experience. We understand that each child is unique. Therefore, we offer personalized care that keeps your child's family, culture and special needs in mind. Therapeutic play and age-appropriate games are utilized to help your child feel more comfortable in the hospital.
Should the referring physician deem it helpful, pre-admission and pre-operative teaching can be arranged, and informative handouts can be provided to explain common medical words and abbreviations.
Our program also includes:
- Audiovisual and book library for all ages
- Board and card games
- Infants' mobiles, tapes and toys
- Arts and crafts
- "Medical" play including doctor's bags and dolls
- Movies and video games provided on request in the rooms and if available
John Beverly Rankin Playroom
With the generous funds provided by the family and friends of John Beverly Rankin, a playroom is open to ambulatory patients with physician's permission, where play is unhindered by procedures or equipment. Supervised computer and Internet access is also available.
The hospitals of Bon Secours Richmond Health System provide comprehensive care for children with nutritional disorders and special dietary needs. Registered dieticians are important members of the care team. They are specially trained in nutrition science with experience in childhood growth and development and the management of specialized pediatric nutritional needs.
Our nutrition care services include:
- In-depth nutrition assessment
- Individualized medical nutrition therapy for children
- Patient and family education on therapeutic diets, specialized formula preparation and meal planning
- Consultation with the patient's primary physician to provide nutritional recommendations
- Coordination of care with the medical team
We will work with you and your child on nutritional problems that include:
- Disease-specific diets
- Failure to thrive
- Childhood obesity
- Diabetes management
- Gastrointestinal disorders, including inflammatory bowel disease
- Food allergies and intolerances
- Developmental feeding issues
- Nutrition support
We'll partner with you to create a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere for you and your child. We will take the time to explain your child's nutritional needs so you fully understand the medical concerns. We can also help you develop an effective, realistic and healthy meal plan that considers your lifestyle and your child's individual needs and preferences. At Bon Secours, your child's health is our first concern.