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PICU Hosts Advanced Care Conference

First annual conference draws pediatric caregivers from throughout Central California


“We’re going to need a larger room the next time around,” said Carole Cooper, clinical practice specialist at Children’s Hospital Central California and emcee for the 2012 Advanced Care of the Pediatric Patient Conference held May 14. Approximately 110 pediatric caregivers traveled to Children’s Hospital from cities as far as Modesto, Bakersfield and San Luis Obispo for the first annual conference sponsored by the Hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). “A broad spectrum of licensed professionals came, mostly emergency department nurses and acute care nurses,” she said.

Stacy Hamilton, registered nurse (RN) in the PICU at Children’s, served as chair of the conference planning task force. “Bakersfield Memorial Hospital sent 13 nurses,” said Hamilton. “Hanford sent five and we had 39 employees from Children’s here. They came on their day off.”

Other members of the task force included Katie Cooper, RN; Ken Hamilton, RN; Emily Hunt, RN; Joanne Lizarraga, health unit coordinator; Denise Lydon, RN; Tom McGuire, respiratory care practitioner; Steve Odom, RN; Mary-Ann Robson, RN, clinical education specialist; and Andrea Simpson, RN.

The conference featured physicians and nurses from Children’s as faculty, and offered participants an opportunity to increase their knowledge regarding emergency care and stabilization of pediatric patients.

Conference highlights included:

  • Understanding the presentation and treatment of congenital cardiac defects
  • Recognizing the Central Valley’s problem with child abuse and trafficking
  • Managing traumatic brain injuries
  • Caring for patients presenting with shock
  • Preparing patients for transport
  • Decreasing endotracheal intubation through noninvasive ventilation

The faculty was informative, entertaining and comfortably familiar with public speaking. “Most of our speakers are part of physician teams and outreach programs that regularly give presentations out in the community,” said Cooper during the afternoon break, which featured fresh fruit and fancy desserts. “Everyone seems to be enjoying it. They all came back after lunch and that’s a good sign.” Evaluations completed by attendees praised everything from content to cuisine.

Positive feedback included comments like these:
"Excellent lectures with tons of useful and thought-provoking information."
“Great speakers! Everyone is very passionate about what they do!"
“I enjoyed the facilitators and the interactive aspect of class.”
“I'll definitely look forward to the conference next year.”
“Overall an excellent experience – loved it!”
“Great conference! Good food!”
“Definitely looking forward to next year's conference. Fantastic. Thank you.”
“Excellent course overall, well presented and organized. Food was fabulous!”

Attendees received a USB flash drive containing course content, and left with a deeper understanding of how to best provide advanced care to the pediatric patient. Children's Hospital Central California congratulates Stacy Hamilton and her team for presenting a successful conference that promises to improve the comprehensive care ill and injured children receive at healthcare facilities throughout our region.