Healing Through Renewed Confidence

Aug 10, 2023, 11:43 AM by Faculty Group Practice Newsletter

When you ask Jill Resendez, MSN, RN, AGACNP-BC, about the most rewarding part of her work in UTMB’s Division of Plastic Surgery, her answer comes quickly, and with a big smile.

She’s found her passion in helping individuals regain their confidence.

“It makes me feel good to help people in a way that is treating more than ‘just an illness.’ You feel like you're making a difference when they walk out happy,” Resendez says.

Resendez earned her nurse practitioner degree in 2020 and began working at a lung practice at the height of the COVID pandemic. The work was emotionally draining, and she often felt helpless as a practitioner to do any more than manage symptoms.

Some of the people she knew from her previous nursing role at UTMB’s burn unit encouraged her to pursue a position in Plastic Surgery, telling her it seemed like a good fit for her interests and skills. She joined the division about two years ago.

Her work gives her the opportunity to help a diverse patient base with a wide variety of needs. Resendez may be one of the first clinicians with whom a new patient consults when they are considering a cosmetic surgery procedure, and she helps to manage post-operative patients to make sure they are recovering well.

She also performs a variety of non-surgical cosmetic services, like Botox and dermal filler injections and laser procedures.

One unique way she has found to apply her skills for good is through a procedure that specifically helps breast cancer survivors. Resendez is trained to perform areola tattooing for patients who have undergone a mastectomy and breast reconstruction. It is often the final step after a difficult process and sets them on the pathway to survivorship with greater confidence.

“I get a lot of patients that are referred after they've finished their cancer treatment and their breast surgeries. They'll come to me, and it’s like the final stage that makes them feel and look like themselves again,” she says.

Resendez’s work keeps her plate full, as she divides her time between UTMB’s League City Campus Clinics, UTMB Plastic Surgery and Aesthetics at Town Center in League City, the UHC in Galveston, and at MD Anderson in League City.

She is excited to contribute to the division’s growth and success, and she hopes to continue building her patient base for non-surgical services. She says patients can feel confident in the practitioners’ training and credentials, as well as safety and cleanliness of the facilities, when they come to UTMB for these services.

So far, she has been reaffirmed by the feedback she’s received.

“I have had people tell me, ‘I sent my mom,’ or ‘I sent my sister.’ That's the biggest compliment,” she says. “It feels good when they are happy, and I know they mean it when they're sending their friends and family.”

Learn more about Plastic Surgery services at UTMB Health.