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 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, dentistry, patient relations, and more. In 2004, Ms. Pribble returned to the Naval School of Health Sciences and obtained certification in nuclear medicine, becoming a nuclear medicine technologist with the Naval Medical Center that same year.
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 representative. In addition, she has served as a nuclear medicine technologist for the Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego since 2006 as well. Recently, she was able to push through an update for their medical record system that indicates when a patient has had a treatment that exposes them 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 stay away from radioactive materials.
One of Ms. Pribble’s ongoing projects is medical record management for transgender patients, including pre-surgery requirements for gender-affirming surgeries and cases when patients still need care associated with their gender assigned at birth, such as a trans man needing a pregnancy test or a trans woman needing a prostate exam. 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 nuclear medicine seem 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.