The new Susan B. Allen Immediate Care Clinic soon to open in Augusta will be led primarily by nurse practioners and physician assistants.
Debra Klecker, APRN, the director of the new clinic, will be handling both administrative duties along with providing medical care for patients.
Klecker has more than 10 years experience working in immediate care and primary care settings, as well as intensive care, dialysis, nursery and neonatal intensive care as a nurse.
Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with a graduate degree in advanced practice nursing. They can perform physical exams; order lab tests and procedures; and provide diagnostic services and treatments for acute and chronic illnesses. They can also write prescriptions and coordinate referrals to specialists.
"We want to remind people that the clinic is not an emergency room, but we will be providing primary care to the public," Klecker explained, "Primary care includes the treatment of cuts, lacerations, the flu, colds, basic x-rays, some labs - for instance, we'll offer pregnancy tests, we can check for strep, mono and RSV in babies, but severe cases, such as suspected heart attacks and strokes, still need to go to hospital emergency rooms."