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Transforming Healthcare Transforming Lives:
Creating the Nursing Leaders of Tomorrow and the Research that Improves Health

Posted on Feb 6, 2018

Preceptor Spotlight Series: Julie Trinadel, ARNP

Preceptor Spotlight Series: Julie Trinadel, ARNP

Confident. Caring. Compassionate. A great listener. An even better teacher.

Those are words nursing students have used to describe Julie Trinadel, ARNP, a nurse practitioner at USF’s Student Health Services who has been mentoring future nurses for nearly three decades.

Trinadel started her career at the university’s student health clinic in 1990 after graduating with a master’s degree from the College of Nursing. Within a year, she began mentoring student nurses through preceptorships — the first 17 years in the general medical clinic and the past decade in women’s health and gynecology.

One of her main goals is teaching students the critical skill of listening to patients — a vital part of being a successful nurse practitioner. Making patients feel at ease to share what is going on in their lives starts with being comfortable and confident, especially when it comes to the sensitive, yet important, topics in women’s health.

“As nurse practitioners, we are so unique in the care we offer. We’re going to really listen to you as a patient. I want my students to be good at building that relationship with their patients, which is what sets nurse practitioners apart,” said Trinadel.

Trinadel said training well-prepared nurse practitioners means teaching them to excel at the basics — collecting a comprehensive patient history, completing a thorough examination, knowing what additional tests to order to pinpoint a possible diagnosis, and presenting various treatment plans.

She says most students arrive with no experience or interest in women’s health, but by the end of the preceptorship rotation, they leave with a newfound love for the specialty and comfort level in talking with patients on the most delicate topics.

“Nurse practitioners are such excellent explainers and teachers. I think (my students) feel they are part of the solution,” she said. “It’s so rewarding to watch them and their transformation.”

At the start of a preceptorship rotation, Trinadel has nursing students shadow her, so they can learn her style, and how she speaks with patients.

“We are talking with young patients, so we are definitely taking a gentle, thoughtful approach. I find that the students really pick up on that, and they start doing the same thing,” she said.

Trinadel said she loves what she does, and working at student health services has been the most amazing and fulfilling job. She is especially proud of teaching future nurse practitioners the steps to building trust with patients, and how to be warm and compassionate, and not judgmental.

But more importantly, nurse practitioners shouldn’t feel scared to ask the most sensitive questions, she said.

“I think one of my special skills in helping them is teaching the students how to talk to the patients even before you lay a hand on them,” she said. “My students are always amazed. It’s a skill and an art to learn to put the patients at ease. Often my students don’t come to me with those skills, but they leave with those skills.”

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) student Crystal Williams described how her preceptorship with Trinadel was a phenomenal experience.

Trinadel “embodies the strengths of nurse practitioners through her exemplary patient care and patient education. She mentored and guided me on how to confidently address these issues in ways that build a strong sense of trust between patients and their provider,” she said.

Williams said she hadn’t requested the rotation, and never thought women’s health would be something she would be interested in, but learned a lot in a short amount of time.

“She was just so incredibly warm. She’s wonderful,” said Williams.

Story by Elizabeth L. Brown, USF College of Nursing