Health Care Hero: ‘We have to be prepared for any emergency, at any time’

The Dayton Daily News is profiling the people who work hard every day to save lives and take care of us. Nominate a Health Care Hero by emailing

Name: Jessica Thornton

Hometown: Enon

Job Title: I have been an emergency nurse for seven years.


Where do you Work: Mercy Health-Dayton Springfield Emergency Center, the new freestanding emergency room in Enon.

Describe what your day is like/what you do: Working in the Emergency Room, we have to be prepared for any emergency, at any time, and be able to juggle multiple critical situations at a time. It can be quite challenging, but I can't imagine doing anything else.

What inspired you to get into health care? My grandmother was a nurse. I remember her going on medical mission trips to Haiti, and looking at pictures of surgeries they performed when she got back. This fascinated me and I've had an interest in medicine ever since. I love learning how the human body works and new ways to help people.

Health Care Hero: ‘I became a nurse to make a difference’

What's a memorable experience you've had in health care? Working in emergency medicine, I have quite a few memorable experiences. They aren't all good, but it's a really good feeling to be able to help someone through a really bad situation and know you've made a difference in their life. There are a few situations that come to mind where people have been very critical, I cared for them in their time of need, and then I see them months later living life to their fullest. It's an amazing feeling to know you were part of that.

Working during the COVID-19 pandemic has been an interesting experience. It has brought about many changes in health care and in life in general. I feel like this has made us slow down and not take life or our loved ones for granted.

What do you want readers to know about your job right now? I want people to know that although this is a scary situation, we are all truly finding our way through this together and we will continue to do our very best to care for you and your loved ones.

Health Care Hero: ‘I really love my job’