SPONSORED BY VANDERBILT HEALTH & WILLIAMSON MEDICAL CENTER PRIMARY CARE CLINIC
Amanda Phelps, RN, PA-C, MHS, cares for generations of families in Nolensville, her hometown.
Medical training took her many places: the Vanderbilt Emergency Department; Belmont University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing; Vanderbilt University Medical Center Cardiovascular ICU; and Nolensville Primary Care.
“That's when I fell in love with the primary care setting,” Phelps said. Later she worked at the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital in Knoxville. She also earned a master's in Health Science of Physician Assistant Studies.
Phelps returned to Nolensville, to what’s now the Vanderbilt Health and Williamson Medical Center Primary Care Clinic, as a physician assistant in 2010.
Primary care means long-term relationships with people of all ages.
“I have several generations of families that I care for, so I see the adult, I see their kids, I see their parents, sometimes I see aunts and uncles,” Phelps said. “I get to care for the patient as a whole,” coordinating with specialists when needed.
Treating families provides context that helps Phelps care better for individuals. For example, knowing several members of one family meant it was easier to diagnose several brothers with hemochromatosis (when the body retains excess iron).
Diabetes, hypertension and obesity are typical illnesses among Phelps’ patients. In recent months, Phelps has also seen an increase in people experiencing anxiety and depression. Primary care can include addressing mental health issues.
“The best first move is getting in with primary care,” she said. “They feel more comfortable coming to primary care, because we have an established relationship, and hopefully they feel like I’m easy to talk to, to say, ‘hey, I've got these feelings that have changed,’ as opposed to talking to a stranger.” Phelps provides mental health screenings and helps patients set treatment goals. “Maybe we recommend counseling, or counseling and medication. Primary care can start medications for anxiety, depression.” She can make referrals to specialized care if necessary.
Phelps enjoys long-term relationships with patients: “I want them to know that I'm here for them, that I'm one of their biggest supporters and cheerleaders.” Through active listening, discussion and collaboration she builds rapport with her patients. She strives to treat each patient individually and deliver personalized care.
The Vanderbilt Health and Williamson Medical Center Primary Care Clinic in Nolensville provides wellness visits; vaccines; routine care for ongoing conditions; and X-rays and treatment of acute problems. Phelps accepts new patients. Call to set up your first appointment at 615-776-8088.