Diana Petros: ‘It’s very important that we develop a good relationship with patients’
Family nurse practitioner Diana Petros knows firsthand the importance of community clinics – the health care foundation for many patients.
“I’ve always wanted to serve in a community clinic,” says Petros, who received care at clinics like Western Sierra while growing up in Los Angeles.
So, when there was an opening at Western Sierra Medical Clinic, Petros jumped at the opportunity to pursue her dream – and be close to her sister’s family that lives in the area.
“It’s always so beautiful,” says Petros, who joined Western Sierra in November 2020. “The nature, the fresh air. I like the small-town feel, the sense of community.”
It’s a big change for Petros, who graduated from the Advanced Practice Nurse-Family Nurse Practitioner program at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in June 2020.
“I’ve always dreamed of working in healthcare,” says Petros, who has more than five years of experience as a registered nurse, most recently with Kaiser Permanente in Southern California. She earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from California State University, Bakersfield in 2016.
Petros decided to return school to become a family nurse practitioner after working with one a few years ago. She balanced a busy school and work schedule for two years to reach her goal.
“I like what we can do for patients,” Petros says of being a family nurse practitioner. “I also like that you see a variety of different things.”
Annual exams, minor injuries and stubborn colds or coughs are just part of her workday.
“We also have a lot of patients with chronic conditions like asthma or diabetes,” she says.
“So, communication and making a connection with patients is important to determine the cause of a health issue rather than merely addressing the symptom. For example, maybe a patient is battling depression or stress that is creating a determinate for health.”
“It’s very important that we develop a good relationship with patients,” says Petros, who can diagnose problems and find appropriate treatment plans” “We work similarly as physicians. And if a case becomes too complicated, I can always consult with a physician. It’s very beneficial for patients, because it is team-based care.”
Western Sierra also helps patients – and providers – with a lengthy list of services on site.
“I love that a patient can see their primary-care provider, a dentist, a chiropractor here,” says Petros, who also works in Urgent Care, a no-appointment needed service. “I’ve always wanted to work in urgent care. I like the pace of it.”
Whether it’s a longtime patient or a newcomer, Petros is committed to providing quality care.
“I care and I really want to do what’s best for my patients,” she says. “I want to build a relationship and have them trust me.”