Getting a Wide Range of Experience – Melinda Phommalinh

This week Melinda writes about the diversity of her experience so far at Bristol Hospital, where she has not only been able to get an overview of all the different departments, but has even been able to move outside of the world of medical technologist and into the clinical side of things.

So far, I have had an overview orientation of all of the different departments within the lab. Overall, I’m more than satisfied with how everything has been going so far. I expected to just be in the lab and follow several different cases and look at slides for the most part of the day, but I have been given the opportunity to do many other things. I have branched out into other departments, other than the lab to get the overall picture of how specimens are collected. For example, I shadowed a phlebotomist and a cytologist and saw a fine needle aspiration biopsy of a thyroid. I never would have thought that I could have gotten this chance from initially discussing the internship with my supervisor.

Bristol_logo_NEWAt this point in the internship, I am getting small projects to complete. For example, I am now doing research on HPV, which can cause warts and cervical cancer. I’m following an entire case starting from the gross room examination to reviewing and understanding how to identify HPV under a microscope slide. I’m also in the process of working on another project that has to do with lung cancer. Within the upcoming weeks, I’ll see a FNA biopsy of a lung and then write a paper of the causes of lung tumors and preventatives that can be taken to prevent these tumors.

Though I have gotten the chance to actually see the clinical side of obtaining a specimen, I do realize that it is not exactly what the reality of the job entails. As a medical technologist, they do not have the chance to branch out into the clinical side. They spend their entire day within the laboratory setting. Though I did have this expectation before starting the internship, one thing that I didn’t realize is that these techs are trained in all aspects of the laboratory. They rotate from microbiology to hematology to chemistry and so forth. I always expected each tech to be trained in only one field. Overall, my expectations of the job weren’t too far off from what the job actually entails.

Be sure to check back next Thursday morning to read more about Melinda’s internship experience!



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  1. Sounds like you’re learning a lot & having a great experience. I look forward to reading more.