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The best care in the most challenging times: Pediatric intensive care unit earns national award
March 29, 2021
The best care in the most challenging times: Pediatric intensive care unit earns national award

    Pediatric intensive care unit earns national award

    When infants, kids and teens need life-saving care for critical illnesses and injuries, they come to CHoR. Families count on the team in our pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) to provide not only clinical expertise, but compassionate, holistic care in their most trying times. That’s why our PICU has earned a silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses.

    This is the second time our PICU has earned a Beacon award.

    “I’ve only been at CHoR for a short time, but as soon as I saw this incredible team in action, I knew they had a special touch,” said Donna Johnson, associate chief nursing officer for CHoR. “I am so proud of the team for embarking on this journey in the midst of the pandemic. It takes a high performing team to produce remarkable outcomes for our patients and that in itself deserves recognition.”

    PICU beacon awardBeacon units set the standard for quality and safety in patient care through collecting and using evidence-based practice to improve patient outcomes, quality of care, patient satisfaction, and team member retention and resiliency. At CHoR, this is done in several ways, including a shared governance structure where nurses who care for patients at the bedside team up with leadership to identify and implement improvements. They meet regularly to discuss topics and make decisions that align with hospital-wide values.

    “Each member of this team brings unique experiences and perspective – and each one is immensely valuable in ensuring that we’re providing every child with safe, quality and compassionate care. This award was earned because of the passion of these team members, and I’m proud to work alongside them every day,” said Dory Walczak, nursing director.

    AACN also noted our team’s consistency in applying evidence-based practice. Through the PICU practice council, members of the interdisciplinary team – including respiratory therapists, nurses, nurse practitioners and doctors – share the latest research and encourage use of the newest techniques and technologies in providing the best care. Team members also nominate each other for PICU recognition awards, a way of celebrating and reinforcing outstanding care.

    “We encourage everyone to always ask why we’re doing things the way we are and how can we do them even better,” said Jessica Krop, nurse manager of the PICU and pediatric rapid response team. “Our team takes care of some of the most critically ill children with grace and strength. This Beacon award reflects the commitment we all have to this very special population of patients and families – it solidifies the ideals we live and practice by.”

    The award also signals to families that their children are in the right hands at CHoR.

    “Our nurses, physicians and advance practice providers work together with social work, child life, our chaplain and other colleagues throughout the hospital to ensure comprehensive care and the best possible experience for our patients as well as their families. They come to us in extremely challenging situations and we’re here to guide them through,” added Jessica.

    Learn more about how the PICU team helps kids faced with surgery, trauma or critical illness.

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