Year of the Nurse and the Midwife

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, recognising the valuable contribution of Nurses / Midwives to the health of people everywhere.

As part of this, European Society Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care (ESPNIC) and PCCS teamed up to celebrate the value of the nurse in Paediatric Intensive Care. Our members do an incredible job every day of the year, caring for critically ill children and young people and their families. At no time has this been more evident than during the PICU response to COVID 19 when all staff had to adapt rapidly to support adult ICU provision and ensure safe care to children and young people. PCCS want our members to know how much we value your bravery and hard work during this difficult time.

We are therefore featuring three key responses:

PCCS Council testimonials
Nurses’ views on working in PICU
Multi-disciplinary colleagues views of nurses

You will find testimonials under each section. More contributions are welcome! If you would like to be involved please contact Julie Menzies for further information and you will receive guidance documents and a template.


PCCS Council testimonials

These are messages from current or past PCCS Council members to show the value they place on our nursing workforce.

James Fraser (President)

” The Covid-19 pandemic provides an opportune moment to celebrate the dedication, professionalism, and expertise of all nurses working in paediatric critical care.  The 2020 Year of the Nurse allows us to properly acknowledge what a vital role our nursing colleagues play in caring for the sickest children in our society. Thank you”

Peter-Marc Fortune (Immediate Past President)


Carli Whittaker (Vice-president Nursing)

“PICU nurses deliver highly complex clinical care whilst humanising the environment and supporting children and their families. They utilise a multitude of practical and interpersonal skills. They are valued members of the critical care team”

Adrian Humphry (Treasurer)

“How much space am I allowed to talk about my nursing colleagues? They alert me to dangers I hadn’t spotted. They prepare the drugs I want before I’ve even mentioned them. They force me to eat when I am working flat out. They suggest tactics I hadn’t thought of. They hold families in a way I never can. They fend off pressures when they know I can’t cope with them. They magically create beds when I need them. They bring out their fabulous dark humour to lift me in low times. They are kind enough to say well done at the end of a tough day. They make what is a difficult job a hundred times easier and fun to boot. They make me a better doctor.

So there is really very little I could do without nurses, or for that matter, would want to do. Thank you for all your brilliant hard work.”

P Ramnarayan (Hon Secretary)

“PICU/NICU nurses are central to the care to of sick children – whether on the ICU or on retrieval, they are their patients’ fiercest advocates, the families’ best friends and the clinical team’s most valued members”

Patrick Davies (Medical rep)

“PIC is a team: and without nurses we are nothing. Their inexhaustible efforts at the bedside are the cornerstone of our practice. I am constantly amazed at the strength, focus, and good humour the nursing team brings to the complexities and difficulties of intensive care.”

Sarah Mahoney (Medical rep)

“When I think back to my most difficult times on PICU, the abiding memory I have is of the amazing nurses that stood beside me, offering help and support when I needed it most. A heartfelt thank you to each one of them.”

Tracy Philips (Nurse rep)

“PIC nurses are not humans they are superhumans!!!! They are multi-skilled and are able to respond to ever-changing situations. A PIC nurse can be identified by the 4 colour pen they carry in their pocket!”

Julie Menzies (Nurse rep)

“Care by a Registered Nurse is associated with safety, quality, better outcomes and improved patient and family experience. Our nurses are absolutely vital! We must celebrate, value and protect their role on PICU”.

Simon Gates (AHP rep)

“Nurses are the heart, soul and soul of the PICU. They shape the physical and emotional environment and make the unit what it is”

Mehrengise Cooper (Medical rep)

“Our PICU Nurses are amazing.  When our unit looked after large numbers of adult ICU patients for Covid-19, every single nurse looked after these patients with unbelievable care, compassion, enthusiasm and love.  I was blown away by the work they all did and through this, we have grown as a team with kindness and dedication.”

Miriam Fine-Goulden (Medical rep)

“What does it take to care intensively?

To be at a child’s bedside hour after hour, responding to their needs and neglecting your own.  To gain their family’s trust, so they know you will treat them as if they were your own.

To ensure that, no matter what, they never feel alone.”

Akash Deep and Ajay Desai (PICS-S&E)

“PICU is a very focused, technology-dependent and emotionally demanding environment reliant on highly specialised professionals dealing with life-threatening conditions on a continual basis. Nurses are vital to care delivery and can take on many different roles.  These include roles as educators providing specialist education to all clinical staff, as managers supporting and leading service provision, as Advanced Nurse Practitioners contributing to clinical management of patients and as researchers supporting the advancement of knowledge and implementing evidence into practice.”

Barney Scholefield (PICS-SG)

“The huge growth of the UK PICU research portfolio over the last few years is thanks to the amazing teams of PICS nurses who have developed skills and expertise in research delivery and in becoming independent researchers”

Madeleine Wang (Lay rep)

“There’s something very special about Paediatric Intensive Care nurses: their ability to show compassion and extraordinary endurance during task focused challenging days work; their ability to show vulnerability whilst maintaining a professional composure; the tenderness to say ‘sorry’ with a kind, patient, human face. To know how it is to be in my shoes.”

Working in PICU can be incredibly hard, but is also incredibly rewarding. We’ve been asking PCCS members to tell us more about why they love their job and what makes them want to come to work. We want to share with other registered nurses and student nurses the positive aspects of working in PICU and why a career in this setting is so rewarding.

Please note this video does not have an audio soundtrack

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Multi-disciplinary health care professionals
As PICU nurses we work closely with a wide variety of health care professionals. We’ve been asking our colleagues from outside of nursing to tell us about the vital work that nurses do and why they value PICU nurses. These testimonials tell us how highly regarded nurses are and demonstrate that safe, high-quality care in PICU is reliant on our amazing nursing workforce.

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