Spotlight: PICU Nurse Shan

The 618 Series is a series of interviews with Registered Nurses designed to give you an inside, uncensored look into real nurse life.

The 618 Series Presents…

Nurse Shan, BSN, RN

Specialty: Pediatric Intensive Care Nurse; Adult Intermediate Care Nurse

Shan, what are the 6 most interesting things about your specialty? 

  1. In the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, or PICU, we take all ages from newborns to 23 year olds with childhood chronic disorders/ transplant recipients.
  2. Watching how Pediatric Nurses and Physicians have the ability to calm a child is thee most creative thing I have seen. Many of the children we see are facing scary situations and it makes them the strongest little warriors.
  3. Being in the PICU for the past couple of months has opened my eyes to the relationships that are formed with the patients and their families. You get attached to the children, watching them heal and grow like they are your own. The time children spend in the PICU  allows you the chance to see many of their first moments. You appreciate every milestone as a huge accomplishment.
  4. Working in pediatrics takes patience and understanding because most children see what you are doing and how you are doing it. If there is a particular treatment a child doesn’t like, while they may not be able to comprehend the importance of needing that treatment, they can certainly comprehend how uncomfortable it makes them feel and they will refuse the treatment.
  5. [Bonus from Tae] Common reasons that a child may need to stay in the PICU are: respiratory failure, postoperative care, lung disease, severe infection (sepsis), or because they are suffering from a neurological problem (like seizures), to name a few.
  6. [Bonus #2 from Tae] One of the most difficult parts of your day can be working with the parents/families.  The child’s loved ones are dealing with an incredible amount of fear and stress. At times, family members may project their anger and sadness onto you, but it’s important to remember not to take their outbursts personally.

What is the number 1 thing you wish you had been told as a nursing student? 

Honestly, my story of how I started nursing school is a crazy one. I wouldn’t change my overall choice of becoming a nurse, but if given the opportunity, looking back, I wish I could have had more time to look into other programs and scholarships. Additionally, something I did not know before starting nursing school was all of the different pathways you can take once you do become a nurse.  There are also so many organizations that need nurses and thus are willing to pay for your education.

If you had 8 minutes to speak to the entire world on one issue in healthcare, what would you speak about? 

One of the biggest issues within healthcare across the world is the inability for all to have the right to good health. Some countries have instituted free healthcare for all citizens, but for others countries, political and financial gain negatively impacts the health of the people. The inability to afford treatment not only puts a financial strain on those who are sick, but it has a negative impact on their mental and emotional well-being as well. It is my hope that as time progresses we find a better way to provide free, preventative measures and healthcare for all.

Shan provides excellent study tips, check her out on Instagram @_nurseshan!!


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