Pediatric Intensive Care (PICU)

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Pediatric Intensive Care (PICU)

For a pediatrician at Northridge call 1-877-417-WELL.

The 14-bed PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) is certified by the California Children’s Services (CCS) and provides sick children with the highest level of intensive medical care, including constant monitoring of bodily functions; specialized services for specific childhood diseases and injuries; pediatric therapies that are unavailable in other parts of the hospital; and equipment specifically for children.

Pediatric Services at Northridge Hospital Medical Center ensures continuity of care for pediatric patients. Our Emergency and Trauma Center is Approved for Pediatric Care. The new Pediatric Trauma Center is the first facility in the San Fernando Valley designated by the Los Angeles County EMS Agency for Level II Pediatric Trauma.

An elite team of pediatric physician specialists in more than 20 subspecialties, which include emergency medicine, anesthesia, orthopedics and neurosurgery care for the children in the PICU. In addition, we have RNs, social workers, pharmacists, registered dieticians, occupational and physical therapists, speech-language pathologists and respiratory therapists who are all specialty trained in pediatric care. We also have school liaison staff who coordinate the educational needs of children during their hospital stay.

A PICU Guide For Parents

Pediatric Intensive Care can be a very frightening place for both the child and the parents. We would like to help decrease the stress of admission as much as possible.

The phrase, "intensive care" indicates that your child needs close observation and monitoring . The staff caring for your child is specially trained in pediatrics. Northridge Hospital's Pediatric Intensive Care Unit provides one full-time nurse per every one to two patients - depending on the patient's condition.

When your child's condition improves and intensive care is no longer needed, she/he will be transferred to the Pediatric Unit. As your child's condition improves, we encourage active parent participation in patient care. This provides a smooth transition as you and your family prepare for hospital discharge.

Visiting Policy

Parents: Visiting hours are unlimited for parents of the patient. In most cases, we allow one parent to spend the night in the room (at the discretion of the nursing staff). A cot will be provided, but we ask that it be closed up by 9 a.m. each day.

Family Members: Visitors are limited to immediate family and no more than two people at a time. Hospital policy states that no children under the age of 12 years will be permitted to visit Intensive Care patients. Children under the age of 12 years should wait with an adult in the first floor lobby.

Help Us Help Your Child

To provide the high quality care that your child needs right now, we ask for your cooperation when it is necessary to temporarily leave your child's room. Visitors may need to leave the patients room during patient examinations or in-room procedures; during a change in our staff's shifts; or in case of a medical emergency with your child or another patient on the unit.

Child Life Specialists

A Child Life Specialist (CCLS) is a professional who is specially trained to help children and their families understand and manage challenging life events and stressful healthcare experiences. Our specialists are skilled in providing developmental, educational, and therapeutic interventions for children and their families.

They support growth and development while recognizing family strengths and individuality, and respecting different methods of coping. While our CCLS is assigned to the PICU and Pediatrics department she is available to cover all areas of the hospital.

What Does Child Life Specialist Do?

  • Helps patients develop ways to cope with fear, anxiety, separation, and adjustment to the hospital experience.
  • Provides consultation to the health care team regarding developmental and psychosocial issues.
  • Provides preparation and individualized support before, during, and after medical procedures.
  • Facilitates developmentally appropriate play, including medical play, at the bedside and in the playroom.

Our Certified Child Life Specialist has earned a Master's degree with an educational background that includes human growth and development, education, psychology, and counseling. CCLS are required to complete an internship program in a healthcare setting, a rigorous application and a board certification exam. Plus, they are certified through a program administered by the Child Life Council.

You Can Help!
Donations to the Child Life Program at Northridge Hospital are deeply appreciated! All items donated to the Child Life Program must be NEW!

Gift cards are always a great way to donate! Due to our limited storage space and specific patient needs, we ask groups to choose from the following items only:

  • Crayons & Markers (8 & 16 pack)
  • No Spill Bubbles
  • Coloring books/paint-by numbers
  • Barbie Dolls/small dolls
  • Hot wheels/small cars
  • Infant toys/rattles/mobiles (toys must be all plastic)
  • Playdoh/Model Magic
  • Small Lego kits/Bionicles/models
  • Action figures (super heroes, Dora, Little People, Transformers, etc.)
  • Beads and jewelry kits
  • New Release DVD’s (English and Spanish)

To make delivery donation arrangements please e-mail our Child Life Specialist at or call 818-885-8500, ext 5452.

You Can Volunteer
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer with the Child Life Department and making a difference in the lives of our pediatric patient's please contact Volunteer Services at 818-885-8500, ext. 2961.

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© 2014 Dignity Health

Northridge Hospital Medical Center
18300 Roscoe Blvd
Northridge, CA 91328
(818) 885-8500