Pediatric Intensive Care Unit


Dear Families:
Welcome to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. The staff at Cottage understands that your child is special and that these are difficult times for all of you. We want to provide the very best care for your child while hospitalized in our unit.
We ask the family and friends of the patient to follow a few guidelines so that your child’s care can be given as efficiently as possible.


PICU Staff


The PICU staff is comprised of many different team members. We have our own doctors, called Pediatric Intensivists, who oversee all our patients, along with the doctors that have been consulted for your child’s specific needs.
Also included in this team are experienced PICU nurses, pediatric respiratory care practitioners, dieticians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, licensed clinical social workers, and a child life specialist.
The nurses and respiratory care practitioners work 12-hour shifts, beginning at either 7:00 a.m. or 7:00 p.m., and the others work Monday through Friday, in eight-hour shifts.
Visiting Policy

The PICU staff is aware of the importance of parental involvement in the medical care of a child. For this reason, parents may visit anytime.
However, we do ask that during the hours of 7:00 - 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 -  8:00 p.m. you either stay in the room or do not come to the unit. This is when nurses give report to each other, and in order to maintain patient confidentiality, we ask visitors not to walk through the unit during these times. We may also ask you to wait in the visitors lounge in the event of a procedure or emergency.
We allow one parent to sleep at the bedside if it does not compromise the care needed for your child. Two visitors are allowed at the bedside at a time, and we ask that you use the courtesy phone outside the PICU entrance before entering the unit.
We also ask that you wash your hands when entering and leaving your child’s room. This is to insure the safety of both patient and visitor.
Please do not bring food for yourselves into the room if your child is not permitted to eat. Beverages are acceptable.
Siblings may visit at parents’ and nurses’ discretion. A child life specialist is available to help with these visits.
Telephone Calls
Parents are welcome to call the unit at any time. Your child’s nurse will give you any information and assistance if they are free to leave the bedside. If not, please leave a number for a return call. Information will be given to parents only. Please inform family and friends that we cannot give information to anyone other than the parents.
There is a bedside phone in each room which the family may use for local outgoing calls. You may use a calling card or call collect for long distance calls. Please dial “9” to get an outside line.
We appreciate your cooperation as we work together to give the best possible care to your child. If any questions or problems arise, please feel free to contact any member of the nursing staff.