Critical Care Medicine
The Department of Critical Care Medicine is a self-contained facility which provides complex multi-system life support for infants, children, and adolescents, as well as for obstetric women.
The Department of Paediatric Critical Care Medicine (DPCCM) incorporates the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), Paediatric High Dependency Unit (PHDU) and the Medical Emergency Team (MET).
The Department is a self-contained facility which provides complex multi-system life support for infants, children, and adolescents, as well as for obstetric women. It acts as the tertiary referral centre for critically ill children in South Australia, the Northern Territory, Western New South Wales and Western Victoria.
The Unit has 13 beds, and each year admits approximately 500 ICU and 300 HDU patients. The medical staff are recognised by the relevant Specialist Advisory Committees as Specialists in Intensive Care. The DPCCM is recognised for tertiary training by the College of Intensive Care Medicine, RACP, ANZCA and ACEM. There is a Registrar (Medical Officer) within the Unit at all times and a Paediatric Intensive Care Consultant on call 24 hours a day. There are approximately 80 Nursing Staff employed in the unit of which approximately 85% have specialist qualifications in Intensive Care.
The DPCCM provides the following services:
- Paediatric Critical Care Services for South Australia, the Northern Territory, Western NSW and Western Victoria
- Intra-Hospital Code Blue, Medical Emergency and Trauma Teams
- Medical consultation with the Paediatric Retrieval Service for South Australia – MedSTAR Kids who also retrieve patients from the Northern Territory, Western NSW and Western Victoria
- Obstetric/Gynaecological Level 1 and level 2 ICU careÂ in consultation with WABS
- South Australian Paediatric Major Trauma Service
- Ongoing support for patients requiring Home Ventilation
- Rural work and outreach education
- Advanced Paediatric Life Support workshops
- Trauma workshops
- Vocational Registrar Training, College of Intensive Care Medicine, Australia and New Zealand
- Paediatric Critical Care Course for Registered Nurses
- In-service programmes for postgraduate and undergraduate medical and nursing staff including simulation based scenarios
- Transition Course for Nurses whom are new to Paediatric Critical Care
- Involvement in National as well as International Research projects.
The DPCCM provides an atmosphere where staff, patients and their families feel valued and cared for. In providing such an environment people can obtain a high level of job satisfaction while striving to provide the best care possible.
How to access this service
Zone B, Floor 3
Clarence Reiger Building
We welcome the involvement of parents and caregivers while children are in PICU/PHDU.
There is a small waiting area with tea and coffee making facilities outside PICU/PHDU. Please inform the nurse caring for your child when you leave the unit in case we need to contact you.
A team of health professionals provide comprehensive care for your child 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This team may include doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, social workers, dieticians, Aboriginal Liason Officers, radiographers and chaplains.
At all times there is a doctor present in PICU/PHDU. For each shift there is a nurse assigned to care for your child. There is also a senior nurse who coordinates the care of children for each shift.
Please ask the nurse who is caring for your child if you wish to see a social worker, interpreter or minister of religion.
Meals for parents and caregivers are available from the café. For safety reasons, warm drinks are only allowed at the bedside when they are covered with a lid. Parents are able to have food and cold drinks by the bedside. There are tea and coffee making facilities both inside and outside the unit in the family waiting area.
Bedside phones can not be used to make calls. There are phone boxes provided around the hospital.
Incoming calls can be transferred through to the bedside phone. Please limit incoming personal calls, as excessive calls tie up PICU phone lines. Nursing staff will take messages and pass them on to you but we cannot give details about your child's condition to anyone other than parents or guardians.
Mobile phones must be on silent when by the bedside. Mobile phone calls are not to be taken by the bedside. Calls can be taken in the parent kitchen, waiting rooms and public areas of the hospital.
Car parking is available on or near the hospital grounds.
The WCH Butterfly Card scheme assists families where children are admitted to hospital for an anticipated period of more than a week or who have frequent admissions or outpatient/day therapy appointments.
Visiting PICU is different from the rest of the hospital. A maximum of three people may visit at the bedside at any one time and it is preferable that only immediate family visit.
Parents, care givers, siblings and grandparents may visit 24 hours a day. For other family members and close friends visiting times may be negotiated with the nurse caring for your child.
Visitors must ring the doorbell prior to visiting the unit. Once you ring the doorbell wait outside until a staff member answers. If no one answers within a reasonable time, please ring again. At times you may be asked to wait in the waiting area for a few minutes. There are many reasons for this which will be explained to you at the time. If not please ask nursing staff.
It is important that all visitors wash their hands upon entering and leaving the unit. It is important that people who are unwell do not visit the Unit.
You may wish to make arrangements for other siblings to be cared for while you are visiting particularly if your child is very tired. Siblings may be cared for in the WCH creche.
Parents may sleep overnight by the bedside in a recliner chair. For safety reasons there is a maximum of only one recliner at each bedside and therefore only one parent/ carer can sleep at the bedside overnight.
Recliner chairs are to be removed from the bedside during the day to make the patient more easily accessible for medical and nursing staff.
Recliners are only to be used during the day to breast/bottle feed infants or for cuddles. At all other times, visitors should use the chairs provided.
There are 2 overnight rooms for parents to use; these are allocated based on the needs of patient’s families.
Each room is allocated on a daily basis therefore all personal belongings need to be removed and keys returned to staff daily at 9:30 am. Lockers are available for parents to use.
Alternatively, accommodation is available at nearby hotels or motels.
(08) 8161 6265
(08) 8161 7457
Department of Paediatric Critical Care Medicine
Women's and Children's Hospital
72 King William Road
South Australia 5006
Nursing Director – Ms. Cathy Lyon
Coordinates, manages and oversees all nursing staff, projects, and day to day running of the department.
- firstname.lastname@example.org or (08) 8161 6265
For job enquires for Nursing positions or course information, please contact Cathy Lyon, Nursing Director.
Equipment and Transport Facilitator Clinical Practice Consultant (CPC) – Jennifer Hurn
Coordinates the management of equipment resources within the DPCCM. Provides management support in relation to education, maintenance and use of equipment and provides an expert clinical consultancy service to units, divisions and external customers, , including home ventilated children and their families.
- email@example.com or (08) 8161 6265
Research Coordinator Clinical Practice Consultant (CPC) – Georgia Letton
Coordinates and manages all site led projects as well as National and International research projects within the DPCCM. Provides support and education to nursing and medical staff within the DPCCM and other participating sites.
- firstname.lastname@example.org or (08) 8161 6265
Nurse Education Facilitator – Erin Beckingham and Olivia Rogers
Acting – Jodie Nuske, Honorah Lowe and Matthew Curtis
The unit has one full-time Educator position which is responsible for the orientation of new staff, the Transition Course, as well as the ongoing education needs of all staff.
- Health.PICU-NEF@sa.gov.au or (08) 8161 6265
Associate Nurse Unit Manager – Michelle Duncan, Alexia Brook and Paul Knudsen
Acting ANUM – Melissa Christensen (for Alexia Brook)
There are three full-time nursing ANUM positions rotating over a seven day roster. The ANUMs provide specific support and work in collaboration with the Nursing Director, the Clinical Practice Consultants and the NEFs. Each ANUM has their own Portfolio and responsibilities. These portfolios are rotated every two years.
- Michelle Duncan – email@example.com
- Paul Knudsen – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Alexia Brook – email@example.com
- Melissa Christensen – firstname.lastname@example.org
Paediatric Critical Care Nursing Studies (PCCNS) Course Coordinator – Matt Curtis
This course prepares a competent Paediatric Critical Care Nurse to care for critically ill children and their families. This course is for one year and is for registered nurses working in the PICU. For further information please contact:
- email@example.com or (08) 8161 6178
- Centre for Education & Training
Level 2, Samuel Way Building
(08) 8161 7140