Sean Ustic, PharmD
Pain Management Specialist
South Florida Baptist Hospital
Plant City, FL
How has membership in APS been of value to you and your professional development?
Through APS, I have been able to network and grow as a clinician, learning from experts in various fields. APS is a unique group that gathers practitioners in a concerted effort to maximize pain management for our patients. In addition, the APS Pharmacotherapy SIG is an active listserv that shares difficult case concepts and innovative protocols. I was also able to present on the national level at the 2012 Annual Scientific Meeting in Hawaii.
What is your area of specialty?
I am currently the pharmacy clinical coordinator for South Florida Baptist Hospital, a small 147-bed BayCare hospital in Plant City. My position entails managing our pharmacists’ daily workflow and also filling the role of clinical specialist on the floor by tackling total parenteral nutrition (TPN), anticoagulation, kinetics, and pain consults. In addition, I have become the sponsor for our pain resource nurses and an active spokesperson for the BayCare Pain Management Task Force, which focuses on Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores system-wide.
What has been a highlight of your work? Perhaps you and your staff are proud of a certain project or accomplishment.
The highlight of my work has been the opportunity to influence hospital and also hospital system pain management policies and practice via the catalyst of the HCAHPS pain management focus. Through multiple meetings and skills fairs, our South Florida Baptist Pain Resource Team was able to achieve enough consistent progress with our HCAHPS scores to catch the eye of the other hospitals in our system. We are now in the process of duplicating our successes throughout the BayCare hospital system. In addition, we have initiated a nursing-pharmacy collaboration, on several pilot units within each hospital, to address patients struggling with pain earlier. To be continued…
What initially sparked your interest in working in your field? Briefly describe your career path.
The spark for my interest in pain management occurred during the summer after my second year at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy. As a Walgreens pharmacy intern in my small hometown of Coolidge, AZ, I was able to work with community patients and local physicians to assist with improving their pain, and I knew I had found my niche. I then sought out the possibility of becoming a pain management pharmacist. While looking for pharmacists specializing in pain, I found APS and became the first pharmacy student to join APS and the APS Pharmacotherapy SIG, and I also met David Craig, PharmD, pharmacy residency director of H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center Pain and Palliative Care Residency. After interview me, he suggested a general residency at Lakeland Regional Medical Center (LRMC) where his mentor Jennifer Strickland, PharmD BCPS, was the pharmacy director.
After completing a general residency at LRMC, I went on to complete my specialty residency in pain and palliative care at Moffitt Cancer Center. Subsequently I was very lucky to find my current position as the pharmacy clinical coordinator/clinical specialist with the possibility to assist in rebuilding the current pain management policies and practices at South Florida Baptist Hospital. This opportunity has continued to flourish, and I am an active committee member of the BayCare Health System Pain Management Task Force and training other pharmacists to assist nurses with pain management.
Who is your favorite role model and why?
One of my role models is Atul Gawande, MD MPH, a well-respected surgeon and author constantly striving for the most effective and efficient practices. He has been very influential in applying successful practices of nonmedical fields, like the restaurant or skyscraper construction business, and converts their productive methods into hospital practice. I admire his resourceful approach of reinventing the fundamental crux of a problem of common practice.
Featured in the December 2013 Issue of E-News