Student Profile Robin Brehm

Senior finds passion in her career in medical laboratory science

They say that you should wake up each day looking forward to your job. It should be your passion, whether it’s because of the faces you get to see, or because of something different during every shift. No matter the reason, senior Robin Brehm has a lot to look forward to after graduation.

Brehm, a 2009 graduate from Beckman Catholic High School, is graduating in May with a degree in medical laboratory science.

“I’ve always just wanted to work in the hospital,” said Brehm. “I thought about nursing at first because my mom and three of my sisters are nurses, but I have two aunts that are medical laboratory scientists. I really liked the science part of it and figuring things out; it’s like a puzzle.”

Brehm started an internship with St. Luke’s Hospital in July of 2012, along with one month of a phlebotomy rotation. Brehm said that she likes being behind the scenes.

“Doctors base most of their diagnosis on what we tell them.”

Brehm has been offered medical laboratory scientist positions at both Mercy Medical Center in Dubuque and St. Luke’s in Cedar Rapids.

“St. Luke’s is a bigger hospital with more opportunities for exposure,” said Brehm. “You could say I’m leaning a little bit more toward St. Luke’s.

There are a variety of labs you can work in as a medical laboratory scientist. For Brehm, the hospital lab is the most exciting no matter where she’d work. Some of the duties of a medical laboratory scientist include: matching blood donors; hematology, which is looking at the red and white cell counts; and chemistry, measuring and documenting basic sodium and potassium levels.

“It’s nice to get out of the lab even for five minutes to draw patients so you can put a face to the name,” said Brehm.

For Brehm, finding her career was a bit like solving a jigsaw puzzle; she combined her passions for science and the hospital atmosphere. It’s always nice when the pieces fit together.

This Student Profile was written by Taylor Grangaard, Staff Writer, and was originally published in the Mount Mercy Times in the May 6, 2013, issue.