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Trina Ullius

Trina Ullius: Knowledgeable, professional, compassionate and humble

From the Nurses Week 2022: Celebrating Napa County's heroes series
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Trina Ullius

Trina Ullius

According to Adele Cotter, the colleague who nominated her for Nurses Week recognition, Napa Public Health nurse Trina Ullius really knows her stuff.

“Trina is a mentor for all of Public Health,” Cotter said. “She approaches every situation with calm professionalism. More than that, Trina embodies expertise and understanding. She is bilingual and provides culturally compassionate care. Her kindness is readily apparent.”

Cotter describes Ullius, of Napa County Health and Human Services, as “an outstanding nurse for our community. Trina is quiet and humble so you may not know how significantly she affects the health of our Napa community.”

As supervisor of Napa County’s immunization clinics, Ullius must “know every detail about childhood and adult immunizations,” Cotter said. “She knows the protocols, expirations dates, ordering and maintaining inventory so that vaccines are always available when needed. She works with private doctors’ offices and community clinics and communicates with school nurses and hospitals to assure a safe and efficient immunization process. She also has to correspond with state public health teams on a regular basis. Her depth of knowledge is immense.”

Though much of her energy goes into her work, Ullius has other interests, too.

“I spend time with my children, gardening, home projects, and road trips or traveling when I can,” she said.

But all of the expertise Ullius applies in her working life may in part be due to the fact that she’s living a childhood dream.

“Since I was a kid I imagined being a nurse and my passion was always to help others,” she said. “It’s what brings me gratification and happiness. I always had a calling since I was a young girl to be a nurse. I have a passion for helping, healing, and sharing knowledge.”

Though nursing can be “thankless at times, kind of like parenting, but really most the clients I come in contact with have been very thankful. What I would really say is, that nursing is hard work, both physically and mentally, ” Ullius said, “I enjoy what I do; empowering and educating the clients I serve.”

This – educating and empowering clients – is what Ullius said she finds most rewarding about her job.

“Providing information,” she said. “I normally use an analogy to explain how vaccines work. I enjoy teaching what I have learned throughout the years, and sharing that knowledge.”

Whether or not the public recognizes what Ullius contributes to Napa County’s public health, her colleagues certainly do, especially through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID has been a huge challenge to the Public Health community,” Cotter said. “Trina jumped in and helped to organize multiple vaccine clinics over the last year: initially as drive-through clinics in any weather and progressing to walk-in clinics caring for hundreds of people at a time or home visits for people who cannot leave their home.”

As the “eyes and ears” of vaccine clinic events, Ullius sets up safe and efficient systems, color codes work stations, and “keeps the process simple and logical,” Cotter said. “She also knows how to gently teach any new volunteer.”

Ullius said the pandemic forced her to “think outside the box to provide services. An example would be providing drive-through vaccine clinics, rather than in-person office visits.”

Nursing is always evolving, she said, and “the pandemic has sped up the rate of change as we are continuously gaining new knowledge.”

Cotter said Ullius follows the Golden Rule, treating others as she would like to be treated.

“She is meticulous, kind and capable,” Cotter said. “She gives her job all of her focus and attention. At the same time, Trina has an easy smile. She is an inspiration as a nurse and as a member of our community.  Trina is a wonderful nurse and a strong advocate for the health of our Napa County.”

The admiration appears to be mutual.

“I have worked with and met so many amazing people, volunteers and partners in our community, especially during the pandemic,” Ullius said. “I am grateful for the relationships made, and opportunities I have been given. I can’t complain.”

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