What is a SPI and CSPI?

A Specialist in Poison Information (SPI) is a specially trained nurse, pharmacist, physician, or physician assistant employed by a regional poison center. These specialists have the knowledge and experience to assess, triage, manage, and monitor toxic exposures using the latest computerized, comprehensive poison assessment and management techniques after undergoing an intensive training in the field of toxicology during their first year of employment. Each specialist must successfully pass a national certification exam after working 2,000 hours in a poison center and handling 2,000 exposures, therefore certifying him/her as a Certified Poison Information Specialist (CPIS). Certified Specialists in Poison Information must re-certify their status by examination every seven years thereafter.

Poison Information Specialists are responsible for answering calls from the public and health care professionals regarding poisoning exposures, poison information, and other poison-related topics. Poison Information Specialists use available resources to provide treatment recommendations and/or triage to a health care facility as well as, contributing to the poison center’s data collection system, provide education for both the general public and health care professionals, and assist in research projects.

The selection criteria for the position of a Poison Information Specialist are as follows: 

  • Graduation from an accredited college or university with a degree in Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy or Physician Assistant is required. 
  • Possession of a current State of Florida license (required only for Nurses, Pharmacists and Physician Assistants). 
  • A current State of Florida license is not required for applicants who have graduated from an accredited college or university with a degree in Medicine.
  • Physician Assistants must also be nationally certified (PA-C) with a minimum of one year of experience in an emergency department or critical care unit; two years of experience in pediatrics is preferred.

Candidates interested in possible job openings at the Florida/USVI Poison Information Center – Jacksonville can email Dawn Sollee, PharmD, DABAT at sollee@poison.ufl.edu.  Click here for information and application materials for the Clinical Toxicology/Emergency Medicine Fellowship program

Candidates interested in possible job openings at the Florida Poison Information Center – Miami can visit Jackson Memorial Hospital or email Eva Jerez, BA at ejerez@med.miami.edu.

Candidates interested in possible job openings at the Florida Poison Information Center – Tampa can email Jemima D. Desir, MD, MBA at jdesir@tgh.org.