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!

Christie Pettit, MSN, CCRN, AGACNP-BC

Tucson, AZ

SVN Member since June 2022

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

My background is 7 years of ED and MICU nursing at a level 1 trauma center in Cincinnati, Ohio. I graduated in May 2020 with my Master’s in Acute Care. The pandemic changed a lot for many. For me, I felt strongly about staying at the bedside in such times. Although incredibly emotionally and physically exhausting, I cannot imagine having been anywhere else during that time. About 1 year into the pandemic, I left to pursue travel nursing while I started figuring out my next move with my NP license. I was pretty drained from working in COVID ICUs for so long. I had enjoyed my surgical rotations in school and started looking into such practices. Vascular stuck out to me in a variety of ways. First, surgical interventions within this population often provide relief. Having been bedside during Covid that was something I did not get to see often. Second, the potential to provide preventative care in addition to giving patients the power to take control of their health is very empowering. Many of our patients are with us long term and establishing that rapport is not only important but also provides me time to get to know individual patients and their families.

With that, I packed my bags and moved to Arizona to begin my career as a vascular NP. It has been an awesome experience. I am very grateful to have started my practice as a provider in a field that demands stellar treatment and is continuously changing in order to provide the best care for patients. Although new to the field, I have already loved learning from my colleagues and getting to take the time to get to know our patients.

What is your favorite aspect of vascular nursing? 

My favorite part of vascular nursing is getting to partake in giving patients results. Those results may take work such as lifestyle changes and tough discussions but it is empowering when patients come back with an improved quality of life whether it is post operatively or with medical management.

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

I have found that vascular nursing can be challenging in the fact that for some patients, regardless of lifestyle, it comes down to genetics. Modern medicine has given us medications and interventions that have been life changing for many but there are many that we still do not have answers for. Not to mention the surge of post-covid related clotting disorders we have come across.

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

Being new to the Vascular field, I do not think I can say too much to how it was pre-pandemic but I do think that it has been impacted by covid immensely. There have been young adolescents presenting with DVTs post-covid and although they are otherwise healthy, they are failing mechanical thrombectomies. In these cases, they are looking at life-long blood thinners and daily life changes such as compression stockings. These are big changes for anyone but for a 17 year old? That can impact so much more of one’s development other than what medicine they have to take daily.

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

My goals in the vascular field are to be a proactive and well-versed practitioner. I have a lot to learn and as we know with medicine, it is always changing. Staying up to date on current research and practices is only one example of how I want to improve. I also want to be involved with preventative care for my patients and understanding what I can provide to set them up for success. I have really enjoyed getting to work with our outpatient partners such as the amputation services. They provide such a wonderful service for our patients and can bring joy and activity to their lives that the patients may not have ever fathomed.

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

I have backpacked 7 countries and always pack my compression socks 😉