Sarah Waters, RN, MSN, ANP, has been a nurse practitioner in the Division of Cardiology for 13 years. She has helped develop a remote heart failure monitor program and enjoys connecting with patients. Outside of work, Sarah can be found on her farm with her two horses or playing/watching hockey!
I am a Heart Failure Nurse Practitioner. I see patients in clinic throughout the spectrum of heart failure; from a new diagnosis to end-stage heart failure on home inotropes, needing heart transplant/LVAD or hospice.
Where are you from?
I grew up in a small town in the mountains in the southeast corner of British Columbia, called Kaslo. It is just north of Spokane, Washington.
Did you always envision yourself as an APP?
Once I started nursing school and realized how much I loved it, I knew I’d want to be an NP.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
I enjoy teaching patients about heart failure, their medications and why they take them, and how to manage their symptoms. I feel like the more independence you can give a patient, then better they do. I love when a patient comes back to clinic and tells me how successful they have been at managing their heart failure. It’s also very rewarding to tell a patient that their EF has improved on guideline directed medical therapy.
How has your role evolved over time since you’ve been here?
Since I’ve been in this role for 13 years now, it’s definitely grown. The bones are the same – seeing patients in clinic, but I have added so much. I helped develop a robust remote HF monitoring program that uses patients’ ICD/pacemakers to monitor their fluid status as well as a CardioMems program (a direct pulmonary artery pressure monitoring device) to help manage patients from home. I helped create the IV diuresis clinic, so that we can keep patients out of the hospital and still treat their symptoms aggressively. I’ve also developed contacts with other advanced heart failure APP’s across the state, which has been great when it comes to reaching out for advice or help with a patient who lives further away.
What is one thing that you wish people knew about your job?
My job is so much more than just adjusting diuretics and uptitrating medications. It’s about teaching patients to care for themselves, providing them with the understanding of their disease process and how they can help improve their QOL and live longer.
Personally or professionally, what are you most proud of?
I am very proud of the role that I play in my patients’ lives. To have patients trust you and your advice is priceless. There is no better compliment than to have a patient want to refer a family member or friend to you (even if they don’t have heart failure).
If you didn’t have a career in medicine, what would you be doing?
I thought about being an architect when I was in high school and I love math, so I’d probably be some type of architect.
I have 2 horses and a small farm property, so you can find me out there riding my horses, fixing fences, and working on the land. Hoping to have a garden this year. Being the good Canadian that I am, I also love watching and playing hockey!!
If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Don’t eat yellow snow 🙂
What do you hope to accomplish in the next year?
I’d like to increase our HF patients’ access to the newer devices that have come out to improve QOL with hopes of extending the time they have before they need LVAD/transplant or hospice. And to improve the quality of that time.
What’s the last song you listened to?
Can’t remember, am currently listening to an audiobook by James Patterson called Death of the Black Widow