Ella Health mammo tech Jessica Bair watches for the women who come through the door nervous or visibly upset. She knows that some have been worried for days before their appointment. She’s ready to give them a little extra attention to help them relax.
Her bigger concern, though, is the women who don’t come in. These are the mothers, daughters, sisters and friends who put off an exam for weeks, months and sometimes years because they’ve had a bad experience or are so afraid of it.
“For a lot of women, the anticipation is the hardest thing. If I could talk to them, I’d reassure them that it will be much better than they expect,” she said. “I’d say keep an open mind and just check it out. It’s so important to stay on top of what’s happening with our health and that’s why this exam matters.”
Jessica started as an X-ray tech after college but soon moved to mammography.
“I like the individual contact with women,” she explained. “I like helping them feel relaxed. I’m a happy person and I think that comes through.”
She said she enjoys getting to know women and seeing them from year to year.
As a mom of two with another on the way, she appreciates the importance of staying healthy. She makes exercise a part of the time she spends with her children getting out in the yard and playing with them. She also runs or walks nearly every day. In the winter, she plays volley ball, and in the summer, she’s in a softball league.
“I have an active family, and I want to be able to keep up,” Jessica said. “You have to think about your health to make that happen.”
When she’s working with patients, Jessica pays close attention to what they need. Sometimes making a joke helps, and sometimes it’s making sure they feel comfortable asking questions. She always explains what’s happening, and she is gentle and doesn’t rush through the appointment.
“I think that really makes a difference. Women should get the attention that they need to feel comfortable,” she said. “We really want this to be a better experience so that the patient wants to return.”