Post-Intensive Care Syndrome: ICU Interventions Matter

Part of AACN Critical Care Webinar Series

Presenter(s): Brenda T Pun, DNP, RN

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Webinar Summary

Although critical care nurses are doing more than ever to ensure optimal outcomes for patients, sometimes patients are discharged with additional problems. Post-intensive care syndrome, or PICS, is a frequent consequence of time spent in ICUs.

Formally defined about four years ago, PICS can present new or worsening physical, cognitive or mental health issues after critical illness ― including depression, cognitive decline and prolonged muscle weakness — that persist beyond hospitalization. At least a third of ICU patients experience PICS, and the risk rises to 50 percent if the patient has had sepsis, acute respiratory distress syndrome or delirium.

In this webinar, advanced practice nurse Brenda Pun will discuss the defining criteria and impact of PICS, helping participants understand how to decrease patient risk while in the ICU and mitigate the effects after discharge.


  • Define PICS and its impact on patients and their families.
  • Identify strategies they can implement in the ICU to decrease the severity of PICS.
  • Discuss tactics to help patients recover from PICS after hospital discharge.


Brenda T Pun, DNP, RN

Brenda T Pun, DNP, RN

An advanced practice nurse with a special interest in critical care, Brenda Pun conducts and participates in patient-oriented health services research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville. As a program clinical manager in the Vanderbilt Coordinating Center, she is involved in studies, grant writing, data collection, analysis of data and communication of results, with an emphasis on delirium and sedation in the critically ill. Pun holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing. She is a highly regarded nursing and medical educator, teaching at local, regional and national conferences and providing research consultation to hospitals and organizations throughout the U.S.

Continuing Education Disclosure Statement

Successful Completion

Learners must attend/view/read the entire activity and complete the associated evaluation to be awarded the contact hours or CERP. No partial credit will be awarded.


This activity has been reviewed by the Nurse Planner. It has been determined that the material presented here shows no bias. Approval of a continuing education activity does not imply endorsement by AACN or ANCC of any commercial products displayed or discussed in conjunction with the activity.


The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC's) Commission on Accreditation, ANCC Provider Number 0012 (60 min contact hour). AACN has been approved as a provider of continuing education in nursing by the California State Board of Nursing, California Provider number CEP01036 for 0.6 contact hours (50 min contact hour).

AACN programming meets the standards for most states that require mandatory continuing education contact hours for license and/or certification renewal. AACN recommends consulting with your state board of nursing or credentialing organization before submitting CE to fulfill continuing education requirements.