East Tennessee Pediatric Intensive Care
Critical Care from Skilled Medical Experts
Some children need extra attention and special care in the hospital. These
patients are critically ill or injured. They receive constant help and
special treatments in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at East
Tennessee Children's Hospital. Many children in the PICU are on different
forms of life support until their bodies can heal. The PICU staff is trained
to work with any child in need of critical care.
Pediatric critical care is used when a child is seriously injured from
an accident or has severe asthma, a risky infection or another condition
that needs careful watch. Pediatric critical care specialists are experts
in reducing children's fears throughout the treatment process. They
work only with children, so they know how to talk to parents and make
the hospital less scary for patients. All of the medical equipment in
this department is designed just for children.
Staying at the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital PICU
There is no typical PICU patient or story. Children in the PICU may have
a chronic illness or may have never been in a hospital before. The PICU
staff is trained to work with any child in need of critical care.
The PICU has 14 beds. Each nurse is assigned to only one or two patients.
Your child's treatment is planned by five children's critical
care physicians and three critical care nurse practitioners.
The nurses are at your child's bedside during their entire shift. They
provide total care to the patients. This includes feeding, bathing and
giving medications. The doors of each room are glass, so you can get the
attention of PICU staff easily. If you want privacy, you can pull a large
curtain in front of the glass.
The PICU staff at Children's Hospital knows how tough it is for your
child to be in the hospital. They want you to be present in the hospital
rooms and to ask questions about your child's care. Each nurse is
comfortable doing medical tasks in front of family members.
The PICU staff at Children's Hospital has the highest percentage of
advanced certifications in the hospital. They are experts in children's
Our PICU physicians spend shifts checking in at the bedside of your child
and will answer any questions that your family may have. All of our PICU
staff aims to build relationships with patients, parents and siblings.
The PICU works closely with home health care and other Children's Hospital
departments. A PICU patient's journey to healing can involve many
specialties. All of our Children's Hospital doctors are highly-trained
to work specifically with children.
Focusing on Children
The PICU does have medical equipment and beeping machines, but Children's
Hospital has made it a place for children to feel comfortable. Your child
can choose from a movie cart with popular children's movies to watch
in their rooms. Also, HABIT dogs come to children who want some comfort
from a gentle four-legged friend. The PICU is colorful, clean and private.
We see many families coming in time and again to receive treatment for
chronic illnesses. Over time, we build relationships with these patients.
These families know first-hand that our staff cares about the safety and
well-being of our patients and their loved ones.
Pediatric Critical Care Transport Service
The Pediatric Critical Care Transport Team is staffed by specially-trained
PICU nurses and respiratory therapists with a supervising physician. This
team transports children who are very sick from area hospitals that do
not specialize in pediatric care to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.
This allows your child’s pediatric-specific care to be started from
the minute the transport team arrives at the facility. Children's
Hospital's Lifeline ambulances are custom-made neonatal/pediatric
transport vehicles equipped like mobile intensive care units and have
the equipment to transport your child safely, from birth to 21-years-old.