Critical Care

Program Description

The critical care pharmacy residency program at the University of Utah Health offers a specialized training experience in which residents are fully integrated into multidisciplinary teams that includes physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, dietary specialists, and social workers. The hospital is a Level I Trauma Center, an accredited center for Stroke, ECMO, and PAH, and home of the Intermountain Burn Center. As a major referral site for the Intermountain West, high acuity patients are transferred for specialized care from several surrounding states (Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Montana, Colorado, and New Mexico). The purpose of the residency is to enhance professionalism and to develop the knowledge and skills needed to provide comprehensive medication management to diverse critically ill patients. Residents will also enhance their leadership skills and practice management in a critical care environment. Upon completion of the residency, residents will be equipped to practice in a variety of acute care settings. The program is accredited by ASHP.

Program Purpose

PGY2 pharmacy residency programs build on Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) education and PGY1 pharmacy residency programs to contribute to the development of clinical pharmacists in specialized areas of practice. PGY2 residencies provide residents with opportunities to function independently as practitioners by conceptualizing and integrating accumulated experience and knowledge and incorporating both into the provision of patient care or other advanced practice settings. Residents who successfully complete an accredited PGY2 pharmacy residency are prepared for advanced patient care, academic, or other specialized positions, along with board certification, if available.

Program Goals

After successful completion of this critical care residency program, the resident shall be able to:

  • Systematically and methodically develop care plans and monitor critically ill patients for efficacy of drug therapy and possible adverse drug events.
  • Establish a high level of professional responsibility, dedication, skill and maturity to practice in a critical care clinical environment.
  • Exhibit actions and behaviors of a highly sophisticated critical care practitioner and serve as a leader in clinical practice, medication safety, and policy/protocol development.
  • Clearly, concisely, effectively, and appropriately communicate, both verbally and in writing, with health care professionals and with patients and patients’ family members.
  • Attain a level of didactic knowledge that will enable them (after additional study and review) to pass the examination to become a Board Certified Critical Care Pharmacist (BCCCP).
  • Demonstrate motivation and responsibility for honest self-assessment of skills sets and translate this into self-directed, independent study and learning.

Rotation Experiences

The critical care residency offers the following required experiences:

  • Surgical ICU (4-6 weeks)
  • Cardiothoracic ICU (4-6 weeks)
  • Medical ICU (8 weeks)
  • Burn/Trauma ICU (4 weeks)
  • Neurology/Neurosurgical ICU (4 weeks)
  • Emergency Medicine (4-8 weeks)
  • Infectious Diseases (4 weeks)
  • Critical Care Practice Management (4 weeks)
  • Education and Leadership Longitudinal
  • Research/Quality Improvement Longitudinal
  • Service Commitment Longitudinal

Many elective experiences are available, which include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Oncology Intensive Care
  • Newborn Intensive Care
  • Pediatric ICU/Emergency Medicine (outside facility)
  • Solid Organ Transplantation
  • Poison Control Center

The program is committed to individualizing schedules to meet the resident’s personal and career goals, including offering the opportunity for up to 4 weeks to be spent on rotation in an outside facility. Additionally, residents will have the opportunity to attend cardiac arrests, rapid response activations, brain attacks, and code sepsis following the department’s standard operating procedures.

Teaching & Learning Opportunities

The resident will provide in-services to interprofessional colleagues and lead topic discussions during each rotation experience. Moreover, residents are actively involved in the training of PGY1 residents and pharmacy students. Residents will participate in two to four pharmacy student recitation sessions (for P1 or P2 students) and may present a lecture to the college of pharmacy. The resident will also have the opportunity to present to fellow pharmacists and pharmacy technicians through an ACPE-accredited continuing education program (CE) as well as pro/con debate (completed in conjunction with their critical care co-resident). Numerous additional opportunities are available at the hospital, affiliated schools of pharmacy and medicine and our aeromedical transport. This residency includes an optional teaching certificate program.

Service Commitment

The resident will complete their staffing commitment as 4 shifts per month in the Burn Trauma ICU (BTICU), which is a tertiary referral center that receives burn patients from the Intermountain West, accepting patients ranging in age from pediatric to geriatrics. The unit consists of 15 ICU beds, a self-contained OR suite, and an outpatient clinic. The majority of patients cared for in the BTICU have suffered some sort of thermal injury whether from flame, scald, electrical, or chemical source. In addition, the BTICU cares for other types of wound-related problems including Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, frostbite, necrotizing fasciitis, gangrene, and other skin disorders which require surgical management.

The pharmacy resident is responsible for providing comprehensive patient care to all patients in the BTICU. The primary focus of this experience is patient care and for the resident to become the primary pharmacy contact for the team. The resident is expected to attend daily medical rounds with the BTICU team. The BTICU interdisciplinary team consists of an attending physician, a resident, an intern, an advanced care practitioner, nurses, a pharmacist, a nutritionist, a physical therapist, a respiratory therapist, a social worker, a child life specialist, and occasionally a medical student, who rounds daily on each patient.

Additional staffing areas may be included based on departmental needs. Residents are required to staff a portion of observed holidays. Participation in various community volunteer opportunities is encouraged, but not required.

Residency Research/Quality Improvement Project

Residents have the opportunity to complete their required research/quality improvement project within a collaborative, multidisciplinary environment, and as such, residents have the opportunity to meet regularly with other collaborators (e.g., physicians, nurses, etc.) to enhance their overall research design. Residents are also supported by one of the preeminent Drug Information Services in the country, which is readily accessible within our pharmacy department. Residents will demonstrate an understanding of the steps involved in planning and coordinating a project that furthers pharmacy practice, including but not limited to the following:

  • Project selection and defense to the institution’s Resident Advisory Committee
  • Development of project proposal in IRB format and IRB approval as necessary
  • Identification and coordination of data collection and analysis
  • Presentation of research in poster format at the University Health Consortium
  • Presentation of research in platform format at Mountain States Conference
  • Preparation of a manuscript suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal

Professional Meetings

The resident is expected to attend ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting and Mountain States Conference, and will have the opportunity to attend the Annual Meeting of the Society of Critical Care Medicine. Travel support is provided.

Qualifications

Candidates must graduate from an ACPE-accredited pharmacy program with a doctor of pharmacy degree (or equivalent combination of education and clinical experience) with a minimum GPA of 3.1 on a 4.0 scale. Residents must have completed an ASHP accredited PGY1 pharmacy residency program. Applicants must be eligible for Utah licensure and are expected to obtain licensure as a pharmacist in Utah within the first 60 days of the start of the program year.

Recruitment and Selection

The following information must be submitted by the date specified on the residency application for the applicant to be considered for an onsite interview:

  • Completed PhORCAS registration
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Letter of intent
  • College of pharmacy transcripts
  • Three recommendations using the PhORCAS standard form

All residency programs at University of Utah Health use the Pharmacy Online Residency Centralized Application Service (PhORCAS). No paper applications will be accepted. Completed applications in PhORCAS are reviewed, and competitive applicants are invited to attend an on-site, full-day interview in January or February. The program participates in the ASHP Resident Matching Program.