We had the pleasure of interviewing one of our hero healthcare professionals. Cardiac Nurse, LeAnn Pettis, tells us why she chose her profession, how her father was her role model, things she turns to for motivation, and explains how her local Homes for Heroes real estate specialist helped her sell her previous home and purchase a new home for her family.
“Experiencing the relationships, I get to have is why I really value being a clinical nurse. And to take it around to the beginning, being a clinical cardiac nurse provides me the kind of relationships that I had with my dad growing up. Meaningful, supportive and encouraging. I get to be that for my patients now… I absolutely love my job.” – LeAnn Pettis, Cardiac Nurse
Meaningful, supportive and encouraging. These three words are often reserved to describe our closest relationships. For LeAnn Pettis, Cardiac Nurse Clinical Coordinator/Team Lead at UCHealth North in Colorado Springs, every patient relationship is modeled around these words. She believes being a cardiac nurse is more than treating the heart. It’s an opportunity to create these types of relationships with the people of her community: meaningful, supportive and encouraging.
My Dad was a Nurse in the Air Force
“I never thought I was going to be a cardiac nurse. Instead, all the way through school, I thought I would be a delivery nurse. The first thing that intrigued me about being a cardiac nurse was that my dad was a nurse in the Air Force. I was born later in his service right before he retired. So, I remember very little about him being a nurse. However, I watched all the interactions that he had with me. Everything that he was able to do for me, and it was just something that I wanted to be able to do. He always had all of the answers to my boo boo’s and my emotions. He was always supportive and always there for me. I know that’s part of being a dad, but that’s also part of being a nurse. He taught me the compassion and strength needed to support and be an advocate for somebody else. My dad set the example that really guided me into wanting to be a nurse,” said Pettis.
Rewards of Being a Cardiac Nurse
I started working at Subway looking for a nursing job, any nursing job. But, I really wanted to work in labor and delivery specifically. My grandmother was seeing a cardiac doctor at the time and she asked him if he was hiring. He was a clinical doctor, not in the hospital. I thought, “That’s not a good nursing job…I don’t want to be that type of nurse.” But I applied, and I got the job with UC Health Heart Clinic, which is now known as Pikes Peak Cardiology. Ever since that day, I’ve been working there, and I love it! It’s way more work than just a desk job. I get to build long-term relationships with my patients. Instead of acutely taking care of them when they are at their worst, I get to know about their families. I get to know about the variances in their life. And many of my patients went through both of my pregnancies with my boys. They send me Mother’s Day cards and birthday cards. Experiencing the relationships is why I really value being a clinical cardiac nurse instead of a hospital cardiac nurse. And to take it around to the beginning, it’s the kind of relationships that I had with my dad growing up. Meaningful, supportive and encouraging. I get to be that for my patients now in a more chronic setting. I absolutely love my job.”
LeAnn was fortunate to get a jump start on her nursing career through a family member contact, but the job required someone willing to hard work. She prides herself in working hard to make a life for herself and her family, and in providing exceptional service for her patients. She takes it all on, and lives by, “Be okay being better.”
Two Favorite Phrases that Elevate LeAnn’s Nursing Game
Be okay being better are words LeAnn uses to motivate herself. As she explains it, “There have been two things that have been given to me from people that are very important to me, who I admire. The first is, “Be okay, being better.” That came out of a time when I was feeling that I was expending beyond what I had available. I was working so much more than my coworkers and colleagues. I was talking to one of our doctors and I was complaining about being the one that had to work so hard. “Why am I the one that they put more on? Is it just because I am willing to work? Why do I have to do all of this stuff?” He responded, ‘You know what LeAnn, be okay being better. Because when you are better, you get recognized. You move on in life, you move up in life and people look up to you. You have more responsibilities. But being better always gets you further in life. Be okay being better.’ And to me that was huge! It meant a lot to me. Anytime I struggle, or I feel like other people might not be pulling their weight, I just buck up and tell myself, “Be okay being better.” The second one is, ‘People hear the words that you say, but they feel your attitude.’ Sometimes as a nurse, or a mom, dad, coach, teacher or anybody, you get completely drained out. Your attitude is short, bitter, or a little negative and you might say something to somebody with nice words, but with negative attitude behind them. So, to me the biggest thing is to watch your attitude because people can pick up on that. They feel what comes out of your mouth, they feel the vibes from you. You have to make sure to portray yourself in a positive, professional, respectful and compassionate manner when you’re dealing with anybody.”
A Work of Heart
“I took care of this lady who came in incredibly sick. I’d never seen her before and she was very young. Her husband was an engineer. He had been taking blood pressure numbers and her oxygen numbers when he realized how much her exercise had decreased. He had done all these calculations and then she came into my office and she said ‘I just don’t feel good. I just don’t feel right. I just can’t breathe.” I watched her go through a couple of tests that determined she needed a valve replacement. I then went with her to get evaluated for cardiovascular surgery, they assessed her and got her ready for valve surgery. I watched her undergo surgery, come out of surgery, and progress well as she got better. Years later, she came into the office and told me, ‘You guys saved me. I feel amazing. I feel so good and I feel so much better.’ Having her and her husband both trust us with their lives, that is incredible. She is one of my favorite patients, because I was able to be there all the way from the beginning, to watching how her and her husband have improved. Whenever they come in to the office, they always ask about my boys, my husband and my life. It’s so much more than just her heart. It’s our families, and we’re invested in each other and the relationship. I just love that.”
As you can see, LeAnn truly appreciates and values the people in her life. And, it just so happens that through one of her best friends, she found out about Homes for Heroes and the benefits provided to healthcare professionals. She was able to sell her previous home, buy a new home with her dream kitchen, and the Hero Rewards® savings she received will help pay for her children’s college education!
The Homes for Heroes Experience
LeAnn was paired up with Homes for Heroes real estate specialist, Ryan Moberly, with RE/MAX Real Estate Group in Colorado Springs, CO to both buy and sell her homes. “I have a really good friend and she bought a house through Ryan. She told me that he does this really cool service with Homes for Heroes. She said, ‘My brother is a firefighter who took advantage of it, and it was a good service for him.’ She actually works for the school district and used Homes for Heroes herself. So, it helped her family a lot, and she was excited about how neat the program was for her.
Ryan came over and took photos of our house and was getting our listing ready. He also placed a Homes for Heroes sign in our yard, even though the home wasn’t listed yet. It wasn’t on the market yet because we hadn’t found a house to buy yet. But for some reason, this gentleman drove by our house. He said, “I don’t know why I drove down your street, but I did, and I’m interested in your house. It looks like the house I want.’ So, his agent contacted Ryan. Ryan called us and said he made super offer. We really couldn’t pass it up. So, we sold it.
Ryan then found us a home through an agent he works with. Ryan contacted the sellers agent and said, ‘Don’t put the house on the market. My clients want it. I will get them out there right now.’ Ryan contacted me. I picked up my husband from work. We went out to see this house and we absolutely fell in love with it. We were able to close less than 30 days later. Everything was very smooth and very peaceful. There were a few hiccups along the way, but I am a person that believes dearly in God, and I believe he was watching out for us. Everything happened very beautifully. Then of course, you get the Homes for Heroes savings “cherry on top” of everything. That felt really nice coming from Ryan and Homes for Heroes because of all the work that he put into making everything come together. Ryan and Homes for Heroes gave me recognition for my work and profession that I typically do not receive.
The kitchen in my new home is my favorite! I think that a kitchen is where you make memories around dinner tables and around family baking. My kitchen is huge and there is nothing left to be done to it. It’s awesome! So, the savings we received through Homes for Heroes will be going into my children’s college fund.
Thank You for Your Service, LeAnn.
Hero Rewards Savings for Healthcare Professionals
If you work in a healthcare profession and are thinking about moving, or if you know a healthcare professional who may be looking to relocate, here is additional information on how Homes for Heroes can save healthcare professionals money when they buy, sell or refinance a home with their real estate and mortgage specialists.