Paediatric intensive care medicine - sub-specialty

The paediatric intensive care physician resuscitates, stabilises, transfers and treats critically ill and injured children. Find out more about this sub-specialty and its curriculum.

What makes a paediatric intensive care physician (PICP)?

The PICP is a clinician from a paediatric, intensive care or anaesthetic background who resuscitates, stabilises, transfers and treats critically ill and injured children. They identify those children who need intensive care support and are skilled at the procedures and techniques necessary to deliver that support. They are highly skilled at directing, leading and coordinating both medical and surgical resuscitation, and can prioritise and respond to new and urgent clinical situations.

The PICP treats children with a wide range of life-threatening pathologies within emergency, transfer and intensive care settings. They interact with, coordinate, educate and supervise all members of the multi-professional intensive care team, understanding the unique interaction of the intensive care unit with every component of the hospital. They work in difficult and challenging environments within the emergency, transfer and intensive care settings. The PICP also coordinates and delivers appropriate care when a major incident has occured.

PICM specialty recognition within Intensive Care Medicine

Paediatric Intensive Care Medicine (PICM) has been approved by the GMC as a specialty of Intensive Care Medicine. The Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine (FICM) sets the training requirements for adult Intensive Care Medicine (ICM). Trainees engaged in a Single or Dual CCT in ICM can undertake specialty accreditation in PICM via the Grid Training Programme.

Single ICM CCT trainees incorporate the PICM training into the exiting programme, which requires no extension of training time. Trainees undertaking Dual CCTs in ICM and a partner specialty (e.g. Anaesthesia) may also wish to apply for the PICM Specialty Programme. Undertaking Dual CCTs and specialty recognition, however, will result in a significantly prolonged period of training with an additional 24 months required.

The full details of how PICM can be incorporated into the ICM training programme can be found within the FICM’s ICM CCT curriculum in the downloads section below (see page 21).

RCPCH Progress curriculum

As of 1 August 2018, sub-specialty trainees use the RCPCH Progress Level 3 Generic syllabus alongside the RCPCH Progress Paediatric Intensive Care Medicine Syllabus, which are available to download below.

Sub-specialty learning outcomes

In addition to the generic learning outcomes for level 3, paediatric intensive care medicine trainees must fulfil the following requirements:

  • Recognises, assesses and manages the full range of both medical and surgical paediatric conditions requiring intensive care support, including the management of safeguarding issues within this environment.
  • Assumes the role of intensive care team leader and liaises with hospital and community specialist teams, effectively managing and coordinating patient flow, staffing, safety and quality in the context of a busy paediatric intensive care unit (PICU).
  • Resuscitates, stabilises, and transfers critically ill children, performing the high-level clinical and technical skills and procedures necessary to carry this out in the paediatric intensive care, emergency and transport environments.
  • Performs high-level technical skills and procedures utilising the appropriate medications necessary for managing critically ill children, and troubleshoots appropriately.
  • Supports and communicates with families when their child is extremely unwell, dying or has died.

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