Serving with the United States Navy for roughly 20 years, Michelle Jo Pribble was certified as a hospital corpsman by the Naval School of Health Sciences in 1991 and began her career with the Naval Medical Center San Diego in 1996. Her role as a hospital corpsman allowed her to work in a wide range of fields, including emergency medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, patient relations, and more. In 2004, Ms. Pribble graduated from the Naval School of Health Sciences and obtained certification in nuclear medicine, becoming a nuclear medicine technologist with the Naval Medical Center.
Ms. Pribble attributes much of her success to her time in the military and remains active with the Naval Medical Center to this day, serving as both a nuclear medicine technologist and a patient safety/customer service representative. In addition, she has served as a nuclear medicine technologist at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego since 2006 as well.
One of Ms. Pribble’s ongoing projects is her requests for implementing changes to their electronic medical record system that indicates safety alerts for changes in the medical record. Examples of this are when a patient has undergone a treatment that exposes staff to radioactivity. This is important for medical staff as there are precautions that need to be taken, and certain people, such as pregnant staff members, who need to limit their exposure to radioactive materials. This project also includes other alerts to be noticed and acknowledged while viewing the record, which would allow an alert screen to be clicked on that will list certain issues that need to be recognized.
For example, the record would give a notification of the gender assigned at birth for patients who are in the process of transitioning so that medical staff would know if a pregnancy test might be needed for a patient who identifies as male; if there is radioactivity on board and what precautions to take; isolation precautions that might be needed; and specific allergies that should be known for exams, namely contrast allergies. Looking toward the future, she hopes to branch out within the nuclear medicine field to do work in brain studies, specifically focusing on PTSD and Alzheimer’s, as well as to help create an environment where nuclear medicine seems less frightening to patients. Ms. Pribble feels that there are ways they can make the exams less intimidating to help people feel more comfortable during the process.
In order to keep abreast of developments in her field, Ms. Pribble maintains professional affiliation with the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, the Klippel-Trenaunay Foundation and the Sturge-Weber Foundation. She has also donated her time to her community as a foster mother and volunteer with the ARE Animal Rescue, through which she has helped to place 14 dogs. With a great love of what she does, Ms. Pribble has been recognized for her excellence with a Commendation Medal and a Meritorious Unit Medal from the U.S. Navy, as well as numerous letters of appreciation.