Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

PICU provides expert assessment and intensive treatment for adults (18+) detained under the Mental Health Act in the most acute phase of their mental illness, where their capacity for self-control and associated risks cannot be therapeutically managed on an acute psychiatric ward. PICU aims to support people to achieve their full potential by working collaboratively in a safe and friendly environment with local services and external agencies.

At times, PICUs can appear noisy and hectic with acutely unwell patients; there may be occasions when students witness incidents of both verbal and physical aggression and self-harm.

Key learning opportunities/skills development

  • Gaining an understanding of signs and symptoms of mental ill health and how they are treated.
  • Holistic assessment of needs, including the assessment of risk.
  • Gaining an understanding of provision of basic nursing care including admission, assessment and discharge process.
  • Planning and implementation of care, including the management of risk.
  • Understanding of the Mental Health Act
  • Clinical decision making.
  • Communication and MDT working.
  • Medication management.
  • Record keeping.