Explaining the job of someone in pediatric intensive care

Yes, I Understand What The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Is, And Yes, I Still Want To Work There

Explaining why I want to work in the pediatric intensive care unit.

Yes, I Understand What The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Is, And Yes, I Still Want To Work There
Meghan Craig

As a college student, almost every person I encounter asks me about my major and my dream job. I tell them all the same thing, "My major is neuroscience and I want to be a physician`s assistant in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU)." The PICU is an area of the hospital for children who are facing life-threatening illness or injuries that require around the clock care. As soon as I tell people this, you can immediately see that they are both surprised and concerned.

From their facial expressions alone, I already know what people are thinking. They wonder why I would want to surround myself with such sick children, such depressing situations, and bluntly, so much death and despair. This is the negative connotation the PICU has, and their facial expressions, along with their questions that follow, prove to me that most do not have the same upbeat and affirmative views I have of the PICU.

What most people envision of the PICU is a place of dying children, who receive constant bad news, and are surrounded by innate medical jargon and grey hospital walls — but, this is not what I see.

Now yes, the PICU is full of terminally ill children, but what I see and what most fail to see is the tremendous hope and optimism that supports the PICU walls. They fail to see the dauntlessness of the children behind every tube and wire. And, they fail to smell and taste the ethereality within the air.

Growing up with a terminally ill sister, my parents instilled an idea to me about the hospital I think all should believe. They told me that when you go to a hospital, you go there because you are sick and that when you leave the hospital, no matter where you go, that you are leaving better than before. Working in the PICU means that I will see these critically ill children every day fighting for their lives, but it also means that I will see them overcoming their greatest battles and leaving the hospital happier than before.

For those that ask me why I want to do this, it's easy for them to see one side, the side most see, the side where children leave and go back home healthier, but they often have a hard time understanding how this is still possible for the children that don't go home, for the children that ultimately pass away. With tears in my eyes, I tell them about pain and suffering. I tell them that when a child's final battle comes, it's never an easy one. It's easy to put a new tube in or to perform a surgery in order to make someone live longer, but what happens when that person can't live any longer? What happens when life is just too hard, and their pain is unbearable? Sometimes, that extra tube or surgery is not fixing anything, and just merely putting off the inevitable, it's merely buying time and not sparing pain. I want to be there in order to tell the children and their families that their life does not have to be spent in pain.

My job in the PICU will be to make these children comfortable, to make them happy in their days there. For those that get the opportunity to go home, I want to send them home happier and healthier than before. And for the children that don't get to go home, or don't go home healthier, I want to tell them about the glory to come. I want to help to rid them of all the suffering and stand by their side and support them in making their final decision to live happily and pain-free. So yes, I do know what the PICU is, and yes, I still want to work there.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B just dropped the hottest summer single yet. It's called "WAP" and we're going to get into all the intoxicating lyrics.

This song empowers females and their sexuality. These women put the ridiculous music industry female beef to bed, and I mean tucked away in a coma.

Keep Reading... Show less

How To Write Down The Holy Grail Recipe Everyone Begs You To Make

Because everyone has a signature cocktail, cake, or pasta they bring to every potluck.


From back when I used to bring my mom's classic white chocolate chip cookies to preschool on my birthday to now stirring up my signature tequila cocktails at every friends' barbecue, I've always had a couple of standby recipes in my culinary rotation.

Keep Reading... Show less

Meet My Cat: Cheshire, The Stray Turned House Cat Who Lives in Michigan

I never considered myself a cat person, but Chess immediately stole my heart.

Madelyn Darbonne

In 2016, a stray cat gave birth to a litter of three grey kittens on my aunt and uncle's property. I had never considered myself to be much of a cat person, but these furballs immediately stole my heart. I got to watch them grow up until they were old enough to leave their mother's side.

Keep Reading... Show less

How To Binge-Watch A TV Show —And Then Write A Review About It

Writing your favorite and least favorite things about a show could not be more fun.

Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

Looking for a new show to binge? Stop scrolling through your options and listen.

Sometimes a good show doesn't come down to the genre or the actors involved, it comes down to the fact that it is simply a GOOD show. If any of these things sound appealing to you, you should definitely watch.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

11 Reasons Why Getting A Cat Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Mental Health

Cats may mess up your puzzles but they'll always love you unconditionally — as long as you have some catnip, that is.

Scout Guarino

Alright, everyone, it's time to stop spreading the rumor that all cats are mean, aloof, and hate everyone. Like dogs, each cat has its own personality and tendencies. Some like a lot of attention, some like less — each person has to find the right cat for them. As for me, my cats Bienfu and Reptar have seen me at my worst, but they've also helped pull me out of it. They're a constant in my life and they give me the strength to get through the day in spite of my depression, and there's even scientific evidence to support it!

Keep Reading... Show less

I've been bleaching my hair since I was in seventh grade. Yes, you read that correctly, seventh grade. That's nearly 10 years of maintaining a very light shade of blonde that too-often brings about dryness and brittle strands.

Keep Reading... Show less

Chances are if you're here, you're probably interested in writing an open letter. Yay! We're excited to have you.

Of course, not all open letters are created equal. In fact, there's a recipe to writing one for Odyssey that'll get featured on one of our many verticals. When it comes to Swoon specifically (for those new around here, that's our dating and relationships vertical), we receive dozens of open letters each month, many of which are all very similar.

Keep Reading... Show less

With a new phone comes great responsibility: Do not break it! And the best way to do that is with a case. However, picking a case can be a challenge. No need to fret, I am here to help break down some of the best cases for the new iPhone SE 2020. Honestly, I think it's going to be impossible to choose!

Keep Reading... Show less

To some who have been out of the dating world for a while, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things after being single for some time. So, I asked 26 people what they think is important to know before looking for love again, here's what they had to say.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments