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!

Nikita Patel

Medstar Washington Hospital Center

SVN Member since March 2020

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

My first extensive exposure to vascular surgery was when I worked on a surgical trauma step down at UF Health. It was during this experience where I was able to care for patients needing acute, life-saving limb salvage. It was rewarding to see patients ambulating with physical therapy and healing major wounds. I later graduated with my DNP/FNP and knew I wanted to work in a surgical specialty that allowed me to incorporate management of common chronic diseases. Currently, I have been working in Vascular Surgery at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC for almost 2 years.

What is your favorite aspect of vascular nursing?

My favorite aspect of vascular nursing is that it allows me to educate patients on non-surgical interventions that may reduce their PVD symptoms, in addition to helping them understand how chronic disease processes can affect PVD. This allows me to utilize my training as a family nurse practitioner in a surgical specialty. I enjoy educating and counseling patients on medical and lifestyle management of chronic diseases that lead to PVD such HTN, HLD, DM, obesity and tobacco use.

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

The most challenging part of my job as a vascular nurse practitioner is access to care and resources which can make patent continuity of care difficult. I try to provide as many resources and tips that I can to help my patients succeed and optimize their vascular health, this often includes reiterated education about comorbidities, non-surgical interventions, referrals to primary care providers and lifestyle modifications.

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

Given the recent covid pandemic, there has been a reduction in patient volumes thus a decline of nursing staff. We were encouraging our patients to remain home to reduce their risks of getting ill given their typical and often comorbidities. This made surveillancing our patients difficult. Prior to the covid pandemic, I was able to work as an independent medical provider here in DC which allowed increased access to care for our patients.

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

I’m working on a grant funded project by the Women’s Vascular Summit to bring recognition to Pelvic congestion syndrome, which is an often overlooked diagnosis of chronic pelvic pain in women. In addition, I intend to start research projects for venous ulcerations and best practices for wound healing. Lastly, I am proud to work in the District of Columbia which is a full practice authority state for Nurse Practitioners. I independently run a clinic one day a week and I am excited to see my patient volumes continue to grow.

What is a fun factabout yourself that you would like others to know?

I love taking pictures and I pride myself on being an amateur iPhone photographer when exploring the city on my days off with my dog.