February 28, 2022
In honor of Black History Month, HCIF would like to recognize and amplify the work of Black health care professionals in our region. We are proud to share insights from an interview with Chaudron Carter Short, PhD, EdD, RN, NEA-BC, Chief Nursing Officer & Vice President of Patient Care Services at Temple University Hospital’s Episcopal & Northeastern Campuses. Chaudron has been a member of HCIF’s Board of Directors since January 2020.
What drove you to pursue a career in healthcare?
My mother always worked in a hospital and as a single mom, she sometimes brought me to work with her. She recommended I go into nursing, but when it came time for college, I chose to go for pharmacy. However, I realized I didn’t really enjoy being in a lab as a college student and decided to change trajectories to nursing. It sounds cliché’, but I love helping people so nursing was the perfect choice. Prior to becoming a nurse, I was always a nurturer; it was kind of a passion for me. I found nursing fascinating and engaging very early on.
What are some of your responsibilities in your current role?
In my current role as the Chief Nursing Officer & Vice President of Patient Care Services, I have the responsibility and oversight for the nursing department. In my role some of my obligations include vision setting for the department, establishment of best practices for patient care, regulatory compliance, and to ensure there is a strong line of communication between the Chief Nursing Officer and my team. My team is essential to my role, as I have the responsibility of helping them develop and to realize their potential as clinicians and leaders.
During this past year, my team and I had to manage in the face of crisis. In order to be the person that my team looked upon during the height of COVID, it’s been important for me to take the time to de-compress and take care of myself. I enjoy reading, working out, and spending time with family/friends to help me overcome the stressors that have been associated with each COVID wave.
What has been your proudest professional achievement?
My proudest professional achievement was attaining Magnet status for Temple University Health System. Prior to that, I worked as a clinical director at another facility and was looking for a new and different challenge. When I went to Temple in 2015 to support the Magnet journey, some of my colleagues thought the idea was wild. I admit, there were many obstacles and bumps in the road, which made getting Magnet status that much more pleasurable. We were actually designated Magnet with exemplars (which are additional accolades you can receive by appraisers). The most gratifying reward was when one of my prior cynics that originally doubted me, came to personally visit me and said, “if anyone could do it, I knew you could.”
What is a recent memorable experience you have had as a healthcare professional?
When the pandemic hit, we had to build a full COVID hospital in a different building by moving all ancillary services out of the building to make space. We took care of about 300 COVID patients in that building. The teamwork and collaboration that took place to provide exceptional care for patients was awe-inspiring. Temple received most of the COVID patients in Philadelphia and had the highest number of patients with the best outcomes. We postponed elective procedures/surgeries, and the nursing staff from those areas, developed a team model concept to care for the COVID patients. Staff were on the units with the sickest of the sick, when patients could not have visitors or could not speak with their loved ones, nurses went above and beyond by providing technology (sometimes their own personal devices) to connect patients with family members. The staff was fearful and exhausted, but you never heard one complaint. The team made sure no person was left alone and as a leader this is what nursing is all about.
What inspires you?
I get inspired by really helping others, especially helping others to achieve a goal through mentorship and support.
What is something you’ve learned being a part of the HCIF Board?
I’ve learned that there’s an opportunity to learn about other organizations across the region. The HCIF Board provides an opportunity to break down silos among healthcare organizations to share and educate. I am enjoying helping to grow HCIF and I’m especially encouraged by HCIF’s desire to diversify the Board of Directors.
When you’re not busy working to improve the lives of others, what do you like to do?
I enjoy being with family/friends, watching TV, reading, playing games, and weight training. I have a daughter who is 27 and a son through marriage who has a 1-year-old. My grandson is the highlight of some of my weekends.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I used to be a competitive figure bodybuilder; when I’m stressed, I need to work out and I try to do it most mornings.