Jessica LaCons | Behind the Mask Employee Spotlight
Behind the Mask with Jessica LaCons
Registered Respiratory Therapist
For today’s #BehindtheMask, we’re spotlighting Jessica LaCons, a Registered Respiratory Therapist who has been with Newberry Hospital for 15 years.
Jessica spends her days giving patients breathing treatments, managing ventilators and bipaps, and teaching patients breathing techniques. Learn more about Jessica and the important role she plays below!
What is your role at Newberry Hospital?
My job is to keep everyone breathing, but as a team player, I have many different jobs beyond being a respiratory therapist. Some days I may need to help a patient to the bathroom or get them something to drink, draw some blood for a lab test, or even empty their trash. Other days I am a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, or even someone to pray with.
What is your favorite thing about your role?
My favorite thing about my job is helping others feel better and bringing a smile to their face. I am fortunate that I am able to get to know my patients and their families. I try to make sure that they feel like they matter and that they are not just another person. We are not only here for the patient but also the family.
The staff here is like my second family. We work together as a team to give our patients the best care we can. I enjoy working here because I get to see a lot of different things. We may be a small hospital but we are all family.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my kids and family. I enjoy being outdoors, whether it’s watching my kids, nephews, or friends’ kids play baseball, camping, fishing, or hunting.
A fun fact that many people may not know is that I love to ride motorcycles. It clears my mind of all my everyday thoughts and makes me feel free.
How has your role changed since the pandemic began?
My job has changed tremendously since COVID started. Being on the front line and being called on the most since COVID affects your breathing, my job has definitely become more stressful, challenging, and physically and emotionally draining.
There have been many days of crying, scratching our heads trying to figure out what else we can do, and feelings of defeat. However, we never give up. We just keep pushing and praying.
What moment stands out the most from working on the front lines this past year?
The moments that stand out are the numerous times we’ve heard “thank you for all y’all did for me. Without you I may not be here. I am forever grateful to y’all” and the smiles from the patient to their families.
Seeing that prayers are heard and miracles happen every day makes all the stress, emotions, exhaustion, and long hours worth every bit of it. I’m not sure if our patients know how much they touched our lives while we cared for them.