Serving as a family nurse practitioner is a far cry from Kim Pruemer’s early career goals when she was a park ranger. She was stationed in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in southern Arizona and living in a camper for eight months in the middle of the desert with her husband, one-year-old daughter, and a basset hound.
“I grew up hiking and camping in national parks with my family and loved it. As a ranger, I took people hiking, showed them the beauty of the landscape and even started a junior ranger program. Living there really opened my eyes to how lucky we are,” she explained.
While the adventure was fulfilling, she and her family eventually returned home to Teutopolis where she worked in her dad’s busy primary care clinic. With no medical background, she did clerical work, and that experience piqued her interest. “My dad would get calls in the middle of the night for emergencies or to deliver babies. I saw how it all worked together and I thought I might like this type of work. I started with phlebotomy – drawing blood, and then thought, maybe I’ll go into nursing and see how it pans out.” It panned out.
While Pruemer previously worked at Sarah Bush Lincoln in close observation, telemetry and has experience in obstetrics, she is glad to return in a new role – as a family nurse practitioner in the Medical Clinic at the Center for Healthy Living.
Pruemer is working with Internal Medicine Physician Jim Hildebrandt, DO, and Andrew McDevitt, APRN, in the clinic. She sees people age 16 and older and is expanding her expertise into allergy treatment. “I know how hard it can be to live with allergies, whether it’s the sniffles or something as serious as wheezing. It can be scary when you can’t catch your breath. I want to help people get to a point where they can manage their allergies a little better,” she explained.
She previously worked with patients from birth to 99 years old at Family Care Associates in Effingham. “That was some of the best experience I ever had. I learned that no two patients are the same, and how to really listen to them because they know their bodies the best, and order tests accordingly. I also learned a great deal from the other nurse practitioners and physicians. We worked as a team and learned when to send our patients on to specialists. There’s a point when we do all we can and then we need additional expertise to help them.
Pruemer treats her patients more holistically, taking into consideration their lifestyle, their beliefs, and social-economic situations and works in tandem with them to develop a plan of care. “I have found that when they are engaged in their health decisions, they are more likely to be compliant and follow through to achieve their goals.”
She added, “It’s rewarding to work on a plan of care with my patients, see them get better and to know I made a difference in their lives.”
To make an appointment with Kim Pruemer, call the Medical Clinic at the Center for Healthy Living at 217 238-4961.