Brittney Preslar, certified Nurse Practitioner in Family Medicine, has joined the clinical care team of Northern Family Medicine – a department of Northern Regional Hospital.
Preslar, a native of Mount Airy, is pleased to be taking care of patients in her hometown community. “I was born and raised in Mount Airy,” she says proudly, “and it’s always a pleasant ‘reunion’ when my patients know me because we grew up together or because they know my parents. If they’re friends with my parents, they usually tell me stories about myself when I was a little girl,” she laughs.
For the most part, 32-year-old Preslar has always known she wanted to be a nurse; but her commitment to nursing as a professional goal was fine-tuned when she began caring for her grandmother, who suffered from COPD during the last years of her life. “During my senior year of high school, I moved in with my grandmother to help tend to her growing physical needs,” she says. That hands-on experience helped shape her understanding of direct patient care and also gave her a keen appreciation for the importance of the role of at-home caretakers – who, she believes, are unsung heroes of any healthcare team.
As a Family Nurse Practitioner, Preslar is responsible for evaluating, diagnosing and treating patients with a wide variety of common and chronic physical ailments, including hypertension, high cholesterol, kidney stones, urinary tract infections, bronchitis, diabetes, and others. “I try to be holistic with my patients because I want to find the root of the problem and not just prescribe medications,” she says. “I carefully review their records to see where they’ve been clinically, where they are now, and where they want to be.”
Preslar spends time educating her patients about their conditions, as well as recommending lifestyle alternatives to further improve their health. She says she also provides hugs, as needed – especially for those who may be experiencing bouts of anxiety or depression. According to mental health experts, the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to an increased incidence of mental health problems.
As a benefit to Northern Family Medicine patients, Preslar appreciates that a fully staffed laboratory and radiology suite are in the same building. “Such convenient access to these important clinical services enhances our diagnostic efficiency and improves patient compliance,” she says.
After earning an Associate of Science degree in Nursing at Surry Community College in 2011, Preslar continued her education at Appalachian State University, in Boone, NC, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing in 2013. She recently completed a Masters of Science in Nursing degree program, with a Family Nurse Practitioner certification, at South University, in Savannah, Georgia.
Preslar’s career trajectory, as well as her management skills, were strengthened while she worked as the clinical administrator for an outpatient cardiology practice in Winston-Salem. As she rose rapidly through the management ranks at Novant Health Cardiology, she realized that a career as a healthcare administrator was not for her. “I did a lot of paperwork and attended meetings, but had no interaction with patients,” she recalled. “That experience was a turning point for me because, once I realized it was not what I wanted to do for the next 40 years, I decided to go back to school.”
While pursuing her advanced educational programs to become a fully certified Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-C), Preslar worked part-time as a Registered Nurse in a variety of clinical settings at a number of locally based healthcare providers. She honed her clinical and critical-thinking skills while working in the busy Emergency Departments of three hospitals, including Wake Forest Medical Center and Northern Regional Hospital. “You definitely learn to think on your toes while seeing a wide range of clinical conditions in an emergency setting,” she said. Those foundational skills also proved valuable in her role as a preceptor and mentor to nursing students enrolled in Surry Community College.
Preslar is a member of the American Nurses Association; and holds certifications in a number of clinical areas including Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Advanced Stroke Life Support (ASLS), and NIH Stroke Scale (NIHSS) international certification.
These days, Preslar feels pleased and privileged to be giving back to her community. “I’m treating ‘my people’ because this is my community,” she says.
When not helping her patients, Preslar enjoys spending time with her family, which includes her husband, Jason, a furniture salesman; and Finn, their energetic five-year-old son who, she says, “just started kindergarten … and loves it!” Her son also loves the newest additions to their family – cows! “My husband just got some cows,” she laughs, “and Finn enjoys being outside with them and his dad.” When not cow-gazing, father and son go on frequent fishing trips. All three come together, however, to dine out with family and friends – especially when the selected restaurant is 13 Bones, where Preslar spent time waitressing in between school semesters.
Preslar is committed to participating in the American Cancer Society’s annual “Relay for Life” fundraising walk as a way to honor her mother, a cancer survivor, and all other cancer survivors. While this year’s local event may be suspended due to COVID-19, she is hopeful that the fundraising effort will be resumed as soon as safely possible.
To schedule an appointment with Brittney Preslar, FNP-C, call Northern Family Medicine at 336-786-4133. The practice is located at 280 North Pointe Boulevard, Mount Airy, North Carolina 27030, just inside the Northern Wellness and Fitness Center.