Getting to Know You
Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Institute infusion nurse Chandra McElroy, RN, BSN, gets to know her patients to provide them with the best possible care.
Q: What is your role at Shepherd Center?
I am a full-time infusion therapy nurse at Shepherd Center’s Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Institute. We see patients on an outpatient basis. Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) come in regularly for infusions to help them manage their symptoms. Depending on the infusion drug prescribed, this can be every month to every six months.
Q: How long have you worked at Shepherd Center, and what made you decide you wanted to work here?
I came to Shepherd Center in 2013 from Memphis. I was working at an acute care facility in Memphis, and one of my patients was recovering from a stroke. He went to Shepherd Center for rehabilitation services, and I was really intrigued by the level of care that he received. He had a lot of deficits from his stroke, and when he came back from rehabilitation at Shepherd, he came walking down the hall; he said my name, and his speech was extremely clear. He described his experience at Shepherd. I could see that it really made a difference, so I did my own research about the hospital!
Q: What do you like most about your job?
The patients. Our patients are so magical because they're the ones doing the hard work. They come in, they get their treatments — even when they feel discouraged, or things are not going their way, they still show up. So, I can't help but appreciate them and come to work and do a good job. I make sure I do everything that I can to make patients feel good and special. I also have really good coworkers. They have been so supportive.
Q: How do you think your role impacts patients?
My job as a nurse is often to educate but also to break down barriers — to let patients know they can trust us. MS patients often get misdiagnosed, and they say, ‘I started showing symptoms 10 years ago, and nobody ever gave me a diagnosis.’ I care, and I am a nurturing person. I want them to feel comfortable with me so that they can share details about their health, and I can convey that information to their physician. Sometimes they forget to tell the physician certain things — I spend hours with them, so I find out everything. All these things tie into one common goal, and that's great outcomes for the patient.
University of Memphis
- Bachelor of Science, Nursing
- Before starting full-time at the Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Institute, Chandra filled many different nursing roles at Shepherd Center, including Shepherd Pathways, the Multi-Specialty Clinic, and the Dean Stroud Spine and Pain Institute. She says she’s never afraid of a challenge.
- Chandra considered a career in journalism before she decided on nursing. She loves to write, and when she’s not at Shepherd or spending time with her husband and daughter, she enjoys writing stories and covering events for ATL Plus magazine.
- Chandra is athletic and loves sports. In high school, she played basketball and volleyball, ran track, and was also a cheerleader! As a teenager, she dreamed of playing basketball for Coach Pat Summitt and the University of Tennessee. She still enjoys playing basketball today.
Shepherd Center provides world-class clinical care, research, and family support for people experiencing the most complex conditions, including spinal cord and brain injuries, multi-trauma, multiple amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and pain. Ranked by U.S. News as one of the nation’s top 10 hospitals for rehabilitation and the best in the Southeast, Shepherd Center treats more than 850 inpatients and 7,600 outpatients annually with unmatched expertise and unwavering compassion to help them begin again.