Going into healthcare: PCT enters field amid pandemic

By Megan Wehring

BUDA – Hundreds and thousands of healthcare workers left their jobs amid the pandemic – citing that burnout and high-stress work environments are some of the main reasons. 

Erin Desmarais

For Erin Desmarais, she felt that it was the right time for her to join Baylor Scott & White in Buda as a Patient Care Technician. 

“I stuck my foot in the door and jumped right into it,” Desmarais said. 

Why did she make that decision? Desmarais credits her mother, a nurse of over 20 years, for convincing her to relieve the staffing shortage. 

“Originally, when I was younger, I did have an interest in healthcare,” Desmarais said. “[Since my mom was a nurse], I got to see a little bit of the realistic standards of nursing and the responsibilities that came with it. So, honestly, I was a little bit tentative to get into healthcare [at first]but my mom [has been]a nurse for 20 years and she works for Baylor Scott & White. She told me, ‘We are short on people and I know you are looking for another job, so give it a try and then you’ll see if you want to be in healthcare.’”

From firsthand experience, Desmarais has never known healthcare outside of the pandemic. But she said that there was a learning curve to pick up on the standards and responsibilities that come with treating COVID-19 patients. 

As Desmarais is still studying at Texas State University, while also working as a PCT, she encourages her peers and anybody else interested in healthcare to pursue their goals.

“If it’s something you are passionate about and considering, just go for it,” Desmarais said. “Give it a try. … If you find out that nursing isn’t for you, there are so many other options. There are other skills that you learn besides just medicine. You learn people skills and you can get involved in your community. It can be a big responsibility, to be honest but it is definitely [rewarding] when you see people in your community getting better, because of actions that you and your coworkers have done for them.”

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About Author

Megan Navarro (Wehring) graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. In June 2020, she started a summer internship at the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch through the Dow Jones News Fund and Texas Press Association. She then earned her way to a reporter position later that summer and now, she serves as the editor of the newspaper. Working for a small publication, Navarro wears multiple hats. She has various responsibilities including managing a team of reporters, making editorial decisions, overseeing social media posts, fact checking, writing her own articles and more. Navarro has a heart for storytelling and she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are important to the community.

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