Through research done in preparation for this rotation, I had a general idea of what to expect, which included a lot of blood work and microscope work. Originally, I wanted to become a pathologist but was discouraged since everyone always told me it was gross or would make me feel faint.
Actually, observing was so much better than I thought it would be. The staff in the lab is super nice and eager to show off what they do. They were also very encouraging of the profession, which was nice to hear.
It’s such a cool place to be in, not only because of what they do in the labs, but because of the positive environment. They all worked as a team, and it was nice seeing that.
One downside to this though was the rare patient contact. You mostly come in contact with things that came out of the patient rather than them physically. The only people that had direct contact were the phlebotomists. I love the idea of always working in a lab and dissecting things, but I would also like to have direct patient contact as well.
As I was there, I got to see some of the tests they perform on the blood to check for different things that the doctors order. I also got to see the blood bank and how they cross-match different patients’ blood types.
What I personally thought was amazing was the pathology part of it. They showed me an actual placenta, a colon, and part of a breast tissue that had a tumor. It was such a cool experience actually seeing these things in person and learning about the procedures hands-on rather than just reading a textbook and seeing diagrams. Having such a good experience in this rotation only increases my excitement for the next rotations!