With enthusiasm, patience and the right questions, nurse practitioner Julie Tse gladly took on the task of serving the health needs of UC Merced students, including the concerns unique to young adults of college age.
“It all depends on approach,” she said. “I don’t think it matters if you are a doctor or a nurse with the right approach anybody will feel comfortable talking to you.”
Tse chose to work at UC Merced because she specifically wanted to treat the college age group.
“I really liked the student population; I thought it was a good way to provide care to students and teach them about prevention,” she said.
It didn’t hurt that UC Merced was two hours away from her hometown of San Francisco, either.
A native northern Californian, Tse earned her undergraduate degree at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland and her master’s studies at University of California, Los Angeles. Though she initially pursued a teaching career, she decided to follow her first dream of becoming a nurse after watching loved ones cope with illnesses.
“It was something I wanted to be a long time ago when I was 17,” she said.
She was living in Los Angeles when while she came across a job posting on the UC Merced Web site. She thought it would be a good opportunity and was thrilled with the chance to live closer to her family.
Tse and the health services staff have strived to give the best care to students and faculty in their temporary home within the Terrace Center while they waiting for the Joseph Edward Gallo Wellness and Recreation to be completed. Considering their tight quarters, Tse said it ran smoothly.
“We saw a lot of students - maybe about 500 encounters,” she said of the scraped knees, colds and allergies she treated. “It shows that the students really did like the resources that we had.”
But she is looking forward to moving into the permanent facility in fall 2006.
“Space-wise, it’s going to be better,” she said. “The new health center is out in the open so students don’t have to look for us.”