Charlotte Thomas, DNP-DNES, RN, AGACNP-BC, CCRN, is the chief of advanced practice and critical care medicine at Scripps Mercy Hospital in Chula Vista, California, USA. She joined the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) in 2016 and has since actively participated by serving on several committees. Most recently, her committee involvement includes FCCS: Crisis Management, Quality and Safety Committee, and Patient Management During Disasters Program Task Force.
In her free time, you will find her reading and working out. Her clinical interests include disaster preparedness and management, quality and patient safety, and professional development. Dr. Thomas shares her love for critical care and her achievements in the field.
How did you get into critical care?
I was a flight paramedic in the U.S. Army right out of high school. During nursing school, I thought I wanted to be an emergency department nurse until I walked into my critical care rotation and was fascinated by all the drips, machines, and devices. I’ve been critical care focused ever since.
What is your biggest professional achievement?
I built critical care APP teams from the ground up in two hospitals on opposite coasts. These programs show how APPs can bridge the gap to provide evidenced-based care in smaller community hospitals without full intensivist services.
Why do you love being in critical care?
I love the complex nature of each patient—every system needs to be examined for cross-links and impacts.
What advice do you have for those starting their critical care careers?
Be open to learning from every member of the team every day. Value every voice—especially the patient and family.
What are the top advances in critical care since you started your career?
- Shock resuscitation
- ARDS mechanical ventilation support
What do you see as the most challenging issue facing critical care?
The most challenging issue is healthcare disparity. The difference in critical care at a large, well-funded academic center serving a wealthier population versus a small charity hospital in an underserved and under-resourced area is too large. We have to find a way to do better and close that gap.
What do you love about SCCM membership?
I love the multiprofessional focus on every member of the team. Within the SCCM community, every voice is highlighted and amplified. I also like being able to go to one source to keep up with current practices and research.
Connect with @Charlotte Thomas on SCCM Connect!