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Dome - Snow in the PICU

February 2010

Snow in the PICU

By: Mary Ellen Miller
Date: February 4, 2010

Snow in the PICU


Left to right: Sheree Dyer, clinical tech; Megan Quick, R.N.; LaTonya Brown, support associate; Lisa D’Anjou, R.N.; Samantha Bell, R.N.; Molly Dubansky, R.N.; Chip Custis, respiratory therapist.
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Left to right: Sheree Dyer, clinical tech; Megan Quick, R.N.; LaTonya Brown, support associate; Lisa D’Anjou, R.N.; Samantha Bell, R.N.; Molly Dubansky, R.N.; Chip Custis, respiratory therapist.

During the big snow storm just before Christmas last year, when pediatric intensive care unit charge nurse Megan Quick and her colleagues (and hundreds of other staff members throughout Hopkins Hospital) got snowed in overnight, Quick had an idea. Acuity was low, there were no admissions, and she and the staff were looking to make the best of the situation. They decided to use the very thing that had stranded them to hold a “Snowman-Off.”

A nurse and a tech went outside and brought basins and basins of snow up to the 7th floor of the Children’s Center. The staff broke up into teams—respiratory therapists, support associates, nurses—and were charged to make snow people using whatever they could find on the unit. “People stepped up to the plate,” says Quick, and their creativity came through. Syringes, tape, medical masks, caps, nail polish, tooth brushes, respiratory tubing and diapers were put to work.

Then, patients, families and physicians acted as “celebrity guests” and judges. In the end, the entry called “Betty and Baby Baltimore,” decked out in a pink sweater, won the improvised first prize—a bit of Christmas candy on a snowman plate.

“It was an extension of their personalities,” says Ivor Berkowitz, director of the PICU, of the event. “It embodied the spirit of the unit.”

—Mary Ellen Miller

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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