College of Health Professions
Nurse Practitioner approaches patient care with a servant’s heart
When Dr. Chandler Hash entered Anderson University, he knew he wanted to help others in a healthcare setting, but initially was unsure what that would look like. Then he learned about a new Doctor of Nursing Practitioner (DNP) program, became excited about the possibilities and enrolled as one of the program’s first students. Two major takeaways from Anderson University continue to guide Dr. Hash in his new position at a growing pediatric practice—a commitment to excellence and having a servant’s heart as he treats his young patients.
Dr. Chandler Hash
How did you discover Anderson University?
I played basketball in high school; I was looking to do that in college as well, and so the first interaction that I had with Anderson was around recruitment for basketball. Coach Brookman and Coach Taylor had both come out and watched me and one of my teammates practice and do a little workout. I met them there and they offered me a scholarship shortly after that, but in my stubbornness I just kind of pushed them off to the side, and so I actually played basketball for (another university) my freshman year of college.
After my freshman year I decided I was going to transfer. One of my friends, David Bentley, was one of the managers for the basketball team. I just remember I texted him and let him know I was leaving. I was giving him a heads up and just thinking about different places.
As soon as I got my letter of release from the school, I had a conversation with Coach Taylor, who was super gracious to invite me back to the campus. I just remember I visited the campus one time just to watch a basketball game in high school, and then really again, I was kind of closed-minded about Anderson, but this time when I went back, I remember we were taking a tour. I don’t remember who the tour guide was, but the overflow of Jesus, talking about that on the campus tour was incredible to me. I was just blown away by that, and everyone I met there that day was so incredibly welcoming. I just felt at home and so I got a chance to play with the guys that same day—a little pickup game. They were just super awesome and welcoming and obviously highly talented in basketball. I was sold that day. Didn’t have to think about it. I didn’t talk to any other schools. Coach Taylor offered me a scholarship. There was no persuasion, really.
What are some of your favorite memories of being an Anderson University student?
Just being on campus. I know Anderson’s just exploding and growing year after year, but it still has that small campus feel. I remember being able to go to the events and know people. Just getting to know people and seeing familiar faces every single day. That was something I enjoyed. Even though we were busy with basketball and practice things like that, because of our campus and being smaller, right after practice I could roll over whatever event it was, whether it was like BCM or some of the student activities. Being able to hang out was super nice.
How did you become interested in health care?
I was originally a kinesiology major. I just did kinesiology because I liked science, I liked movement and those kinds of things. As I spent a year or two finishing off some prerequisites and moving into some kinesiology classes, I was just thinking, “I have no clue what I want to do after school.” I wasn’t super interested in going to physical therapy school. I thought about maybe doing some basketball training and trying to work that as a business, but I didn’t really feel 100 percent about that.
I heard that Anderson was starting a nursing program. I was like “I want to know what this is about.” You get to be face-to-face with people in super difficult situations and some awesome situations as well. I wanted to serve and to help people in science. That’s how I got started in nursing. I enjoy figuring things out, being a problem solver. I knew that as a nurse practitioner or provider that you get to do that. You get to look at all those pieces—symptoms—and then come up with a diagnosis and hopefully prescribe medication that’s going to help them or have those conversations.
After being in nursing and looking at what a nurse practitioner does, that really excited me and so early on, even in nursing, I knew I wanted to go on and be a nurse practitioner.
You were part of the first DNP class, right?
First BSN to DNP class. In nursing, I was in the accelerated program because I had already accumulated so many hours, so they let us start having to take two years… you had a certain amount of credit hours being in accelerated nursing, and so we were actually the second nursing class to go through, so we were part of all of the accreditation in undergrad and graduate school. That was a lot of fun.
What are some ways your Anderson University education helps you in your job?
The commitment to excellence at Anderson with the people that were leading those programs at the time was second to none. They were constantly seeking feedback from students. Does this work well? Does this not? Not to baby us and make it easy, but “how does this help you learn?” That commitment to excellence I just found incredibly challenging to myself, especially being a student-athlete, that was something I felt like I tried to emulate on the basketball court as well.
The teachers and instructors were such servants to their students and were just willing to help and to communicate. I remember being blown away by that.
And so those are two big things that I take away from my time at Anderson—the commitment to excellence and the servant’s heart behind what they do.
Tell me about what you do at Parkside.
I’m a nurse practitioner. We see kids for their well child checks. Then we see sick visits, we do ADHD management. I’m still in the onboarding process; I’ve just been there a short little bit. We see kids from birth up to their transition to family medicine, which is super cool for Parkside, because they’ve actually recently opened up Parkside Family Medicine. That’s kind of a cool continuity of care… What we get to see is these kids grow up and transition into adulthood, but still get to see them as they hopefully choose Parkside Family Medicine to be their primary care providers as they grow older. I think that’s such a cool and unique place to work because of them going out and stepping into this realm of family and adult medicine.
They took over the old Food Lion on Reidville Rd. It moved across the street into a (former) Bi-Lo. They’ve renovated it to house the Spartanburg location which is where I and Nathan (Heffington—another AU graduate) currently work together. It’s so cool to see what they’ve done to make it look inviting and welcoming and honestly beautiful for patient care.
What’s special about Parkside?
From the top down at Parkside, but also with each provider, is that servant’s heart. It’s truly a unique situation and something that when I was looking to transition into a different position was I want to be with like-minded people who care about the population that they get to serve. We love to serve people and we’re truly there to minister to our patient population. It’s fun to work with people like that. The goal is bigger than just healing people’s physical needs but it’s meeting their emotional and spiritual needs as well—it’s holistic. I’ve been blown away to witness that first hand. That’s a big part of what makes us different as providers. Especially coming from Anderson, we have that foundation through school and that was a big thing we talked about all the time, and then it’s amazing getting to work in a place that also values and pushes that. I think that makes us different.
What advice would you give to someone considering a healthcare career?
The biggest thing would be don’t be afraid to ask questions of people that are in health care, whether you’re a student… like in nursing or your in high school or whatever it may be, get connected with people that are in health care. There are plenty of people who love to teach and love to answer questions. I think the purpose of getting into healthcare… make sure that it’s about serving and caring for people. Healthcare is hard. If you don’t have the right motivation, it’s a lot harder. But if you’re motivation’s right, then it makes the hard days more bearable. You can look ahead past those hard times and enjoy that.
At the end of the day, what gives you a feeling of accomplishment?
I think just seeing a child feel comfortable at the end of their visit, whether they’re there for a well visit or a sick child visit, seeing the child comfortable and relaxed; then also on the flipside of that, because if they’re sick they may not feel that way. Seeing a parent relax and feel heard and listened to, it is something that makes you feel accomplished. Part of that isn’t anything I do in particular or as far as medicine or the right diagnosis. Sometimes that’s being an ear to listen to and giving them that affirmation, like “it makes sense if you’re exhausted.” That goes a long way, even sometimes more than the right diagnosis or the right medicine.
Note: Dr. Hash is joined at Parkside Pediatrics by fellow Anderson University graduate Dr. Nathan Heffington.