Carrie L. Griffiths, PharmD, BCCCP, FCCM, is an associate professor at Wingate University School of Pharmacy in Wingate, North Carolina, USA, and has a practice site with Atrium Health as a tele-critical care pharmacist. She joined the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) in 2011 and has been actively involved as secretary of the Chapters Alliance Executive Committee, member of the Tele-Critical Care Committee, and immediate past president of SCCM’s Carolinas/Virginias Chapter. She is an author of SCCM’s Fundamental Critical Care Support, 7th Edition. Her clinical interests include tele-critical care, infectious diseases, and pharmacology. During her free time, you can find her traveling and working out. Dr. Griffiths opens up about her love for critical care and provides advice for those just starting their careers.
Why do you love being in critical care?
I love being in critical care because I enjoy the challenge and fast-paced environment. The complex disease states keep me on my toes and up to date with the literature.
How did you get into critical care?
Critical care was not on my radar during pharmacy school because my mother had passed away in the ICU many years before. After that, I did not want to be in the ICU. However, during my fourth year clinical rotations, I chose an ICU rotation to see what it would be like as a pharmacist rather than as a patient’s family member. And . . . I loved it! Being in critical care has been a kind of therapy for me. Now, I enjoy the day-to-day challenges, and there is never a dull moment on the various units I follow.
What advice do you have for those starting their critical care careers?
My advice is to not try to do everything at once—otherwise, you will burn out fast! Join your local SCCM chapter. There are great networking opportunities, and you get to know those in your region. These allow for research collaborations and speaking opportunities.
What do you see as the most challenging issue facing critical care?
Critical care’s most challenging issue is resources—from ventilators to medications to staffing.
What is your biggest professional achievement?
My biggest and most rewarding professional achievement was becoming a fellow in the American College of Critical Care Medicine in 2019. This was a culmination of my work with our chapter and at my practice site.
What are the top advances in critical care since you started your career?
One of the top advances since I started my career is tele-critical care. As a tele-critical care pharmacist, I am excited to be helping advance this area of critical care.
What do you love about SCCM membership?
SCCM membership has afforded me wonderful networking opportunities—not only within the Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology Section but with other critical care leaders. In many organizations, the president may not be accessible, but the SCCM president gives the keynote address at the yearly symposium held by the Carolinas/Virginias Chapter. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet the SCCM leadership.
Connect with @Carrie Griffiths on SCCM Connect.