For Renee Bujol, PT, SCCE, Cert. Mdt, Cert. DN, her career as a physical therapist has been entirely at Our Lady of Lourdes Health.
Renee started as a staff physical therapist and is now the outpatient rehab coordinator for Our Lady of Lourdes Outpatient Therapy Clinic. Over the years she’s witnessed not only the evolution of healthcare but also her own growth within the organization.
Having grown up in New Mexico, Renee came to Louisiana to attend LSU and moved to Lafayette after that. She was 24 and her first interview was at Our Lady of Lourdes. She was offered a position ofphysical therapist and has remained committed to Our Lady of Lourdes for more than 25 years.
It took some time for Renee to find out exactly what type of therapist she wanted to become.
“As a new grad, you really don’t know what you don’t know,” Renee says. “The ability to be with so many senior clinicians who I could learn from was important to me.”
Renee was able to experience working in several therapy roles, including pediatric and neuro therapies, learning a little bit about everything.
“In about two years, I figured out my niche was orthopedics,” Renee says. “I’ve been there ever since. It’s been a journey, and I’ve never looked back.”
why work here: it’s more than a job
When asked what she would say to someone considering a job here, Renee mentions how we approach our work as ministry. Being part of a faith-based healthcare organization is important to her.
“I would say to really experience the mission and to be part of a bigger picture,” Renee says. For her, it isn’t just about the job. It’s about making a difference in people’s lives.
“It’s rewarding. It is,” she says. “I feel we have an extra set of hands with us, spiritually guiding us in our work.”
Renee is a Franciscan Service Award recipient, an honor she cherishes because it’s given based on nominations from her peers.
“I get compliments from patients and of course pats on the back during yearly evaluations, but to have my coworkers nominate me for something like that, that was probably one of the best moments,” Renee says.
She also feels a strong connection to the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Sisters who established our nonprofit Catholic health system and continue to serve as sponsors.
“I am really inspired by the Sisters’ story,” Renee says. “To this day, I’ll go to church and see a Sister and can think, ‘Hey, we’re on the same team.’ It’s not just work colleagues. It goes above that.”
prioritizing career growth
Renee has seen her clinic grow in size, and her career has grown alongside it. When she expressed a desire to become a leader, she was supported to take on the coordinator position.
She was also able to make use of additional training and education to become certified for mechanical spine therapy.
“The hospital saw the need to provide that service, and they helped me get my certification. That was huge for me,” Renee says. Our Lady of Lourdes also helped Renee achieve aquatic therapy and dry needling certifications, answering needs within the community.
“I think if somebody has an interest that would benefit the health system, they’re open to receiving that,” she says. Renee was also able to complete Six Sigma certification, a leadership development program.
“I feel like Lourdes in general, through these programs they’ve offered and opportunities I’ve been given, has pushed me to be a stronger clinician,” Renee says.
“When I first started, I was only 24, which was a very different time in my life,” Renee says. “My initial goals at Lourdes were building up my career and gaining experience. I needed to be a clinician, and balancing work and home was important.”
Raising two kids shifted Renee’s priorities but not her career focus.
“My priority was not only making a living, but it was also caring for my two young kids,” she says. “My boss was really good about letting me be flexible with my hours as long as it worked for the clinic and was reasonable.”
At the same time, Renee worked to build herself into the clinician she wanted to be. That included taking on additional responsibility as a student coordinator.
Physical therapy students from across Louisiana and beyond come to train at the clinic as part of their internship.
“I help place them with clinicians who are willing to take a student,” Renee says. “It’s so rewarding, at the end of 12 weeks for students to turn around and say, ‘I’ve learned so much from you.’”
As her children have grown up, they are following in Renee’s footsteps pursuing healthcare careers — her daughter is in medical school and her son is studying occupational therapy.
“They’ve seen how important it is in my life,” Renee says. “Now my priority is to be an example for them and continue to be a leader in my field.”
staying here through the years
Her patients inspire Renee to keep working in healthcare.
“I know this is so cliché, but helping people for sure keeps me working in healthcare,” Renee says. “Whatever I would do in my profession, even if it wasn’t healthcare, I would want to somehow be helping better somebody’s life.”
Her patients’ success stories are also motivators that keep Renee going. “My patients constantly inspire me to be better,” she says. Working with patients, together they can find solutions to problems, pain and physical limitations.
“There’s always that moment of a patient saying, ‘I haven’t been able to do this in years. Thank you,’” she says. That causes her to think, “Oh, this is why I’m in healthcare.”
People are at the center of Renee’s dedication to her career and Our Lady of Lourdes Health.
“If somebody were to ask me why Lourdes, it’s about the community of Acadiana, too,” Renee says. “The answer to why I keep working at Lourdes specifically: I feel great loyalty and I think that they’ve done a lot for me here.”