“I’ve always just wanted to work in the hospital,” Robin said. “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.”
As a medical laboratory scientist, there are a variety of labs available to work in. For Robin, the hospital lab is the most exciting because of the range of duties: matching blood donors, looking at the red and white cell counts, and measuring and documenting basic sodium and potassium levels—to name a few.
Brehm started an internship with St. Luke’s Hospital in July 2012, along with one month of a phlebotomy rotation. She said she likes being behind the scenes because of the important work done in the lab.
“Doctors base most of their diagnosis on what we tell them,” she explained. “Though it’s nice to get out of the lab, even for five minutes to draw patients, to put a face to the name.”
For Robin, finding her career was a bit like solving a jigsaw puzzle; she combined her passions for science and the hospital atmosphere. Lucky for her, she was offered medical laboratory scientist positions at both Mercy Medical Center in Dubuque and St. Luke’s in Cedar Rapids.
This student profile was written by Taylor Grangaard, staff writer, and was originally published in the Mount Mercy Times — May 6, 2013.