Essence of Nursing Honoree: Harriet Uden Imbriaco
In Medicine units, no two days are the same, and there are no “typical” patients. For Harriet Uden Imbriaco, BSN, RN, this is what makes medicine so special.
“Having worked in medicine for my entire nursing career, I am massively privileged to have taken care of people coming from all walks of life and carrying with them all kinds of ailments,” said Imbriaco, of the Intermediate Medicine/Integrated Teaching Unit, Braunwald Tower 16AB. “I learn something new every day about my patients, about their lives, about what motivates them and sets them back.”
Imbriaco is known among her colleagues and unit leaders for her unwavering dedication to providing expert, compassionate care to her patients and helping them to feel safe.
“Harriet always makes sure patients are known and heard,” wrote Kathryn McMahon, MSN, RN, and Michael Ferrazzi, MSN, RN, of Braunwald Tower 16AB in their nomination of Imbriaco for the Essence of Nursing Award.
Nursing Director Linda Delaporta, MSN, RN, agreed. “Harriet has a special approach in the care of every patient,” she said. “She develops trust and unique bonds with her patients, partnering with them and their loved ones to understand their concerns and advocate for their wishes.”
In her narrative, Imbriaco wrote about the rewards of working in Medicine, where she cares for patients with chronic illness, psychiatric and behavioral needs, dementia and many other diseases and conditions.
“Our rewards come in the form of an elderly patient with dementia beginning to feel safe in our care,” she wrote. “Thank you is in the form of a substance abuse patient we’ve cared for on and off for years asking for resources on sobriety. It is a privilege to be next to our patients not just during the big moments but the tiny moments, too. Each tiny moment adds up to the big one, and getting to be with them through that process is magic. It is the essence of nursing.”
Imbriaco is passionate about teaching and educating the next generation of nurses, both as a clinical instructor at Regis College and as a preceptor for new nurses on the unit.
“Harriet was there for me every step of the way,” said Chelsea Correia, BSN, RN, of Tower 16AB, who felt fortunate to be paired with Imbriaco as her preceptor. “She encouraged me in a way that drove me to become more independent and self-sufficient. I wanted to be just like her. Truth be told, I still aspire to be like Harriet. On multiple occasions, I’ve witnessed Harriet take the hand of a patient or loved one and demonstrate the true meaning of empathy.”
As a member of the unit-based practice council, Imbriaco was integral to efforts to create a simulation program to support nurses on the unit in caring for patients with maladaptive coping.
Imbriaco earned her BSN from Northeastern University and is enrolled in the university’s MBA program, with anticipated graduation in 2022.
Nominated by Kathryn McMahon, MSN, RN, and Michael Ferrazzi, MSN, RN, with letters of support from Linda Delaporta, MSN, RN, nursing director, and Chelsea Correia, BSN, RN