Medical Home Radiology Tech: It’s what’s on the Inside that Counts

July 16th, 2019


His office location and the equipment he uses on a daily basis have changed over the course of his 24 years at JPS Health Network.

Still, radiology technologist Jon Lawson’s love for his patients, his colleagues and the work he does has always remained the same.

JPS Medical Home Northeast Tarrant

JPS Medical Home Northeast Tarrant

“I’m a people person and I’m sort of a self-appointed ambassador for JPS,” said Lawson who, when he doesn’t have any patients waiting for X-rays or a bone scan, likes to spend time in the lobby of the Medical Home Northeast Tarrant, greeting patients and helping them get to where they need to be. “I had a patient say to me once ‘son, you’re in the wrong business because you ought to be in customer service.’ I told him I am -- because at JPS we’re all in customer service.”

Bill Henderson, Director of Community Health – Primary Care Services, said Lawson is a great example of a team member who “lives JPS.”

“Jon exudes JPS,” Henderson said. “His friendly presence and caring nature is evident by all whom cross his path. Patients and staff alike are always happy to see him and offer a handshake or hug.”

It’s not always easy to think of the right thing to say or do when times are tough, Henderson said. But Lawson seems to always know how to lighten the load for patients and team members alike.”

“We often see our patients during a trying time and his smile has a calming effect in the midst of an uncomfortable situation,” Henderson said of Lawson’s work. “Not only is Jon great with his patients, he is great at his job. I have seen him under the pressure of a Joint Commission survey and had the privilege of hearing him explain processes and procedures to a surveyor. Something in the way he spoke and the passion he had around the entire patient experience made the surveyor comment that we had a gem. We are truly blessed to have a person like Jon on our team.”

Lawson’s journey with JPS started in 1995 when he was a student in the health network’s X-Ray School. Before he even graduated, the promising pupil was asked if he was interested in a full-time job when he completed his education. As soon as he started at JPS, Lawson started developing special bonds with patients who viewed him as a person who was both accessible and trustworthy.

Jon Lawson in the Radiology control room

Jon Lawson in the Radiology control room.

In those early days, X-Rays were shot on film and then had to be sent off for processing. Sometimes it could take a week or more from the time a patient showed up for an imaging appointment until the X-Rays were developed then read by a doctor so the nervous patient was able to find out what was going on, according to Lawson.

Lawson recalled the time he X-rayed a patient who had a large tumor on one of his lungs. The man was so upset by his health concerns that when he left JPS he absent mindedly put the film images Lawson produced for him on the roof of his car and forgot to remove them before he drove away. The patient was in a panic when he realized what he’d done, afraid he was going to be delayed in getting the care he needed because the images would have to be reproduced.

“He called me and asked me what he should do,” Lawson said. “I traced his steps and I was able to find his films under a tree just a couple of blocks from the parking lot, so I took them back to him. That was a huge relief for both of us.”

Although he’s seen a lot of different faces come to JPS over the years and his office has changed from time to time, Lawson said it’s the mission of bringing care to anyone who needs it that makes it easy to come to work every day. Nearly two and a half decades into his career at JPS, Lawson is back working in the same neighborhood as where he started, at the JPS Medical Home Northeast. He said he loves seeing people again that he worked with 10 or even 20 years ago.

“It’s always great to see a patient I worked with back when I started,” Lawson said. “People seem surprised sometimes when I remember their names. But I figure I better remember them because we’re probably going to be working together for a long time. I don’t like goodbyes.”


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