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Published: Nov 10, 2010

By Tampa General Hospital


November 10, 2010 (Tampa, FL) - Tampa General Hospital’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit has been recognized as one of the best in the country by receiving the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) for fall 2010. It is one of only two Pediatric ICUs in Florida to receive the Beacon Award since the inception of the award program in 2007, and is one of only 13 such units nationwide to ever receive the award. The AACN is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world and represents more than 500,000 nurses. The organization presents the Beacon Award in the spring and fall each year to honor the nation’s top critical care units. “I’m really proud of the entire staff and the entire team. It speaks to their level of commitment and to the level of care they provide our patients on a daily basis,” said Veronica Martin, TGH’s vice president of Women’s and Children’s Services. TGH’s nine-bed unit, located in the Children’s Medical Center on the fifth floor of the West Pavilion, provides care to trauma, burn, nephrology, kidney transplant, critically ill and medical-surgical patients. The unit’s team, comprised of 25 nurses and five pediatric intensivists, work with other specialists from throughout the hospital to care for the patients. “We wouldn’t have the Beacon Award if we didn’t have this collaboration; it is true teamwork,” said Karen Van Cleaf, the unit’s nurse manager. Keeping the family involved is also a key factor in the team’s approach to patient care, said Karen. Part of the unit’s family-centered care approach includes allowing parents to stay overnight in their children’s rooms. They are also included in the team’s daily rounds and are free to ask questions. “The Beacon Award shows a true commitment of the Pediatric ICU’s staff to not only high-quality critical standards, but to the family-centered care practiced by the medical and nursing staff each and every day,” said Karen. Completing the Beacon Award application was a rigorous process and took about a year to complete, said Veronica. The award is designed to recognize adult critical care, adult progressive care and pediatric critical care units that meet standards of excellence in staff recruitment and retention, education, training and mentoring, research and evidence-based practice, patient outcomes, leadership, and organizational ethics, and a healing environment.