HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Baltimore, Maryland, USA or Virtually from your home or work.

8th Edition of Nursing World Conference

October 17-19, 2024 | Baltimore, USA

October 17 -19, 2024 | Baltimore, USA
NWC 2017

Tracey Wilson

Speaker at Nursing World Conference 2017 - Tracey Wilson
University of Maryland, United States
Title : Life after the intensive care unit-you have the power to change outcomes and improve quality of life


Post Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS) is a response to critical illness which affects the patient and family along the entire continuum of patient care and recovery. As survival rates of a critical illness increase, the prevalence of psychosocial symptoms has also risen. PICS is finally gaining the attention it deserves.

 As a response to critical illness both families and patients may experience an array of psychological disorders. These include anxiety, depression, complicated grief, and panic attacks. It is known that patients and families may continue to experience these symptoms for over a year following a critical illness event making recovery a challenge and affecting overall quality of life.

Certain factors may be key indicators in developing PICS. These include mechanical ventilation, delirium, multi-system organ dysfunction, sepsis, fluctuating glucose, uncontrolled pain, malnutrition and immobility.

Patients who have been identified with PICS report lower level of quality of life and many have a functional dependence further aggravating the syndrome for both the patient and their families.

Just as risk factors have been identified so have interventions to minimize this syndrome. Many of the risk factors are considered modifiable, meaning we have the ability to change these risks. Interventions include vent weaning, optimizing nutrition, aggressive rehabilitation, minimizing sedation, early mobilization, effective communication between healthcare providers and the patient/family, and having an active palliative care team in the intensive care unit.

Family members also suffer from PICS. Risk factors include, previous experience of critical illness, history of anxiety/ depression, ability to be present at bedside, education level and support system. There are a variety of interventions being studied to minimize effects of PICS in family members. These include, receiving frequent updates from ICU team in a clear language, taking an active role in the physical care of the patient and keeping a diary.

Audience Take Away:

The public will can use the knowledge learned to select the appropriate instrumentation system for each case.

This session covers the growing concern of Post Intensive Care Syndrome for Patients and Families. Knowledge and technology continue to improve the chance of survival from a critical illness. Due to this increase in survival, we are now faced with the challenges of understanding PICS.

This session covers risk factors for PICS, identifies knowledge barriers, and discusses significance of early and consistent interventions for both patients and families.

This session will also include an interview from a family member who suffers from PICS.

1. Identify patients and families at risk for developing PICS
2. Identify interventions to minimize the development of PICS

3. Identify current research directed toward PICS

4. Identify impact PICS has on recovery and interventions to improve outcomes post-acute stay


Tracey Wilson works in the Medical ICU at University of Maryland Medical Center as Senior Acute Care Nurse Practitioner for over 14 years. She holds an adjunct faculty position in the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program at University of Maryland School of Nursing. Her interests include palliative care, post-intensive care syndrome, precepting and advancing nursing practice.
Kimberly Bowers works in the Medical ICU at University of Maryland Medical Center as Clinical Program Director for 12 years. She serves as a preceptor in the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program at University of Maryland School of Nursing. Her interests include resuscitation, post intensive care syndrome and patient quality/safety.