Clinical Nurse, Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU)

Nominated by Robert Veilleux, MSN, RN, nurse director, Perianesthesia Services; with letters of support from Barbara Audin, BSN, RN, CPAN; and Karen Foley, RN, clinical nurse colleagues in the PACU  

As a clinical nurse in the PACU, Josette Renda, BSN, RN, has limited time to connect with and create a healing environment for her patients during this vulnerable and fast-paced postoperative recovery phase of care. Yet, as her colleagues describe, Renda’s compassionate and calm way of caring, allow her to not only make an impact in the moment, but one that lasts long after her patients and families leave the unit.

“The true ‘essence’ of Josette emerges in the way she cares for the emotional well-being of patients and, in particular, their family members,” wrote Barbara Audin, BSN, RN, CPAN, a clinical nurse colleague in the PACU.

Karen Foley, RN, who has worked closely with Renda for more than 15 years, noted how Renda always takes extra time to embrace each patient and family, ensuring their comfort and tending to their unique needs.

Renda has sought opportunities to learn the art of integrative nursing care such as Reiki, reflexology and aromatherapy, to benefit her patients. In her clinical narrative, Renda reflects on introducing Reiki to enhance healing and relaxation for a woman who had undergone surgery for chronic back pain and was experiencing distressing pain. When medication didn’t seem to help, Renda offered Reiki – a Japanese technique used to alleviate various forms of pain and stress through healing energy. After completing the treatment, Renda stayed by the woman’s side while she rested and when the woman awoke, she was thankful for the special care. Renda remembers the family’s relief when they saw their loved one smiling and looking much less in pain.

Robert Veilleux, MSN, RN, Renda’s nurse director, shared an email he received from Sanjiv Chopra, MBBS, MACP, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a former patient of Renda’s. Chopra acknowledged the healing connection he had with Renda in the brief time she cared for him, writing: “I vividly remember Josette. She was caring, compassionate and so surely nurtured my healing … She is the embodiment of the ‘Essence of Nursing,’ and I was fortunate to be her patient.”

Renda passionately participates in multiple BWH committees and groups – including the Magnet Interprofessional Committee, the Peri-operative Clinical Advisory Committee and the OSA Standards Committee – to help advance the practice of nursing and ensure the highest quality of care for BWH patients. She’s also an Epic super user and has been a preceptor for nursing students since 2008.

“She is an integral part of the BWH family, admired by her patients and respected by her peers,” wrote Veilleux.

Renda has worked as a clinical nurse at BWH since 2002. She received her BSN from the University of New Hampshire and is currently enrolled in an MSN in Nursing Education program at Emmanuel College.