Guadalupe “Lupe” Robles has a unique perspective on her role as a family nurse practitioner.

“I think of every patient as a puzzle,” she said. “We look for the right pieces to solve what is wrong with the puzzle.”

Robles recently joined the staff at the San Andreas Family Medical Center after working two years at the Valley Springs Family Medical Center. She earned her nursing degree at California State University, Bakersfield, specializing in primary care and concentrating on health care needs in small, rural towns.

“Rural communities have always appealed to me,” she said. “That’s why I am so happy to be working here in Calaveras County.

“As a little girl, all that I ever dreamed of was becoming a nurse,” she added. “And when that happened, I knew I was meant to help families – to treat patients of all ages. Primary care is my dream come true.”

Nurse practitioners are noted for putting patients at ease, spending time to get to know the people in order to better understand their health care needs. Robles takes that a step further because she is bilingual and can interact with patients who speak Spanish.

“It makes a big difference,” she said, because interpreters are not likely to convey the nuances of “How do you feel?” or “Where does it hurt?”

As an example, she mentioned a recent Spanish-speaking visitor to a clinic that came in for treatment of what was incorrectly interpreted as a sore throat.

“There were no indications of a problem with her throat,” Robles said. “Once I was able to talk with her in Spanish, it was clear her issue was something totally different – severe dry mouth. We were able to prescribe medication to clear it up.”

When she is not working, Robles likes the outdoors, especially fishing.

“I am a fisherwoman,” she smiles. “My husband loves to fish and I love it, too.”

The couple plans an Alaskan fishing adventure soon. They have a grown daughter and three grandsons.

For more information, call 754-4564.

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