An overview of the role and contributions of a clinical pharmacist in the ICU, with Laura Means Ebbitt of the University of Kentucky, a clinical pharmacist specializing in colorectal/ENT surgery and critical care.
- A clinical pharmacist is a “knowledge pharmacist,” dispensing advice rather than medications. They round with the team to review meds and answer questions about routes, interactions, etc, follow up on patient education and post-discharge coordination, assist with medications during cardiac arrests and other emergencies, and provide other clinically-oriented guidance and oversight. Most have completed post-graduate residency programs.
- Clinical pharmacists generally have an important role for antibiotic regimen selection, monitoring, and stewardship.
- They consider cost in a way that providers rarely do.
- They provide patient education that we typically defer or omit.
- They’re great at catching deviations in good ICU practices, such as missing DVT or stress ulcer prophylaxis, managing and reconciling home medications, and coordinating nutrition needs (particularly with TPN).