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Trina Houle, RN

With the onset of COVID-19, a Supportive Care Unit was created on NP12 . Since its inception, Trina Houle, RN, has supported the patients on special unit for end-of-life care in their final hours or days. As a nurse, she finds it to be an especially gratifying opportunity.

“I began my career as an oncology nurse, and was pulled towards working with end-of-life patients,” said Trina. “It’s such a rewarding position to be in as a nurse, and I am so happy that we can now offer these patients a quaint and quiet place away from the noises of machines and hustle and bustle of other floors.”

Trina started as a nurse in surgical oncology and when the opportunity arose, she transferred to the Supportive Care Unit where she has worked since March. She also works with VITAS, an in-patient hospice company. The now six-bed unit is open to all patients and is run by Smilow’s Palliative Care team.

“The Palliative Care team, social workers, chaplain, pharmacist – they all do such a phenomenal job and I have heard nothing but positive feedback from families. End-of-life is different for every patient and every family; the patients have awful diagnoses, but maintain such a positive attitude. When I get to go home every day, I don’t take anything for granted and appreciate every single day.”

In addition to her clinical work, Trina has also been working towards her family Nurse Practitioner degree to become an APRN. Director of the Supportive Care Unit and Adult Inpatient Palliative Care, Dr. Elizabeth Prsic shares, “Trina consistently goes above and beyond in caring for patients and supporting their families and loved ones in the most challenging of times. She finds meaning in her work in the Supportive Care Unit and in providing palliative and end-of-life care along with an interdisciplinary team which includes physicians, nurse practitioners, social workers, chaplains, pharmacist, care management, and bereavement counselors. She is a true health care hero and an exemplary nurse serving patients in Smilow Cancer Hospital.”

Assistant Patient Services Manager, Brianna Lutz echoes Dr. Prsic’s sentiments saying, “Trina consistently goes above and beyond for her patients on the Supportive Care Unit to ensure they receive holistic care. She creates special moments for them, including coming in on her day off to coordinate birthday celebrations for patients in their final days. She is an exemplary nurse and has truly been the backbone of the Supportive Care Unit.”