Leading the Way Through Exceptional Care
The UNC Rex Rehabilitation & Nursing Care Center in Apex (RRNCC) provides care to patients who require around-the-clock oversight and treatment, which can only be given by licensed nurses. These patients may come to the facility following a severe illness or accident or they may be bedridden, require treatment for chronic conditions or need assistance with activities of daily living. Leading the Way at RRNCC Apex is RN Clinical Manager, Brenda Struder.
Brenda has been at RRNCC Apex for more than 13 years and is still as passionate as she was on her first day.
“I can’t imagine doing anything else, I love my job. From morning until the night, with the good and the bad,” Brenda shares. “This is my second career, and sometimes I kick myself that I didn’t do it 20+ years ago. I love the patients, the families and my team.”
Sandra Bilal, RN, BSN, Team Leader at RRNCC Apex, has worked alongside Brenda for more than 10 years. She’s watched Brenda grow as a leader and continually better herself as both a person and a nurse.
“Brenda never runs away from hard work,” shares Sandra. “She’s not afraid to tackle hard situations that involve difficult decisions with both patients and teammates. She advocates for her nursing team and has taught them how to reach for your goals and be an outstanding nurse.”
Brenda’s goal is to make sure everyone has what they need – patients, their loved ones and her team.
“She makes sure that the patient has what they need to ensure their safety, recovery and a successful discharge.” Sandra shares. “She’s a wealth of information on community resources that are available to patients. She’s a needed ear for teammates and patients, and provides prompt action when concerns are brought to her.”
This was especially the case for a patient that both Brenda and Sandra shared. The patient was receiving treatment at RRNCC Apex and a wound care clinic for extensive wounds. The patient was reluctant to trust new caregivers, but formed a relationship with Brenda.
“Brenda would listen patiently to this patient’s fears, concerns and dreams of a life past their illness. She also helped advocate with, and for, this patient regarding their treatment,” Sandra recalls. “Unfortunately, this patient lost her battle with this disease – but I had many chances to witness the wonderful nursing care Brenda provided. When we attended her funeral we were able to see the impact our nursing care had on her entire family.”
“I remember the patient like it was yesterday. She will always be with me,” Brenda shares as she reflects on that story and her Values Super Stars recognition. “It’s an honor to care for these patients. It is a lot of hard work, but it is my life. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
Thank you, Brenda Struder, for being one of our UNC Health #ValuesSuperStars and part of our One Great Team.