The Society for Vascular Nursing (SVN) aims to highlight our members who are making a positive impact in their careers as vascular nurses. SVN members work hard every day advancing the care of individuals living with vascular disease and supporting the mission of the Society. Interested in being part of the member spotlight or nominating a peer? Email Moe at mmalek@vascularsociety.org or complete our survey for inclusion!

Nayla Zreik, BSN, RN, GRN-BC

Brigham and Women’s Hospital

SVN Member since December 2021

What is your personal background in vascular nursing (how long have you worked in the vascular field, did you practice something before, etc.)? 

I have been a nurse-in-charge on a 29 -bed cardiovascular unit for the past fourteen years. Before that, I worked on a surgical intermediate unit and interventional cardiology unit for nine years, and on a medical intermediate care unit for eleven years when I started at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 1987.

What is your favorite aspect of vascular nursing? 

My favorite aspect of vascular nursing is seeing patients go home or to rehabilitation feeling much improved after a successful intervention or a complicated course in the hospital. Because of the course of the disease, we get to know the patients and their families well which is so comforting for them should they get readmitted.

What is the most challenging part of your job as a vascular nurse? 

Many of the vascular patients have multiple procedures and amputations during their life. The most challenging part of my job is caring for patients who undergo lower limb amputation due to diabetes and/or vascular disease. This care includes education, assisting in their ADLs, managing their pain, providing emotional support, and encouraging positive thinking especially that family support has declined due to limited visitors allowed.

Another challenge is caring for the older post -operative vascular patients to help them avoid delirium. As part of SSTEP (Superior Surgical Treatment for Seniors Pathway), I am blessed to work with a great multidisciplinary team including a geriatrician seeing our older patients.

Have there been changes in your work force? How so? 

The pandemic has caused changes in our nursing workforce that are consistent with the changes in nursing occurring in the country. Some of which are an increase in turnover rate and an increase in nurses entering retirement at a time when the needs for medical care have increased exponentially.

Patients are much sicker than in the pre-Covid days because most of them have not seen a doctor in the past couple of years this has progressed their disease and has led to complicated surgical courses and outcomes.

What are your personal goals within the vascular field (implement protocols, increase patient volume, research, societal involvement, etc.)? 

I am currently leading a unit-based quality improvement project on our cardiovascular unit which aims to reduce patient fall rate. This study is a multidisciplinary study with a team of nurses, patient care assistants, and physical therapists. The goal is to improve patient mobility by implementing novel measures, including a dedicated mobility patient care assistant, and engaging the patients in his /her plan of care. My goal is to continue to improve the quality of patient care and to publish.

What is a “fun fact” about yourself that you would like others to know?  

I enjoy traveling, reading, walking entertaining, swimming, and kayaking. In the summer, I look forward to being in Maine with my family.