Michelle Jo Pribble is a retired veteran with 20 years of service in the U.S. Navy who graduated as a hospital corpsman from the Naval School of Health Sciences in 1991. Her role as a hospital corpsman allowed her to work in a wide range of fields, including emergency medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, patient relations and other fields. She was assigned to the Naval Medical Center, San Diego (NMCSD) and has been on station since 1996. Ms. Pribble graduated from the Naval School of Health Sciences nuclear medicine program in 2004. She has since continued her career as a certified nuclear medicine technologist with NMCSD and also joined forces with Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego in 2006, providing care in pediatric nuclear medicine procedures.
Today, her compassionate care continues through aiding and serving the patients in the many procedures she assists with. Ms. Pribble serves as both a nuclear medicine technologist and the patient safety and customer service representative. She attributes much of her success to her time in the military.
One of Ms. Pribble’s ongoing projects is her advocacy regarding implementing changes to a patient’s record in the electronic medical records system. She is currently working with software developers to create a symbol that indicates safety alerts for changes in the medical record. These alerts would also require acknowledgment in the warning of staff to ensure their accountability.
An example of this is when a patient has undergone a treatment that exposes staff to radioactivity. An alert symbol would appear and prompt staff to read and acknowledge the warning before proceeding in the record. Notifications will alert staff to vital patient information such as radioactivity exposure and necessary precautions to take, allergy precautions to be acknowledged, and all other risk factors. These may include allergies, gender assigned at birth, patient limitations, and isolation precautions, to name a few.
As a part of the safety for medical staff, there are precautions to be taken, such as pregnant staff members that need to limit their exposure to radioactive materials as per occupational health standards. This adaptation also includes other alerts to be noticed and acknowledged while viewing the electronic medical record. These notices will require an alert screen to be acknowledged on listing important issues that need to be recognized by medical staff in order to adequately maintain the safety and continuity of patient care.
Looking toward the future, Ms. Pribble hopes to branch out within the nuclear medicine field to do work in brain studies, specifically focusing on post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries and Alzheimer’s disease.
Her professional goals are to create a friendly and educational environment where nuclear medicine seems less intimidating for patients. Ms. Pribble feels that exams can be made less stressful for patients by helping people feel more comfortable during the process. By explaining the procedure and the environment to her patients, Ms. Pribble takes the extra minute to quell their fears by showing the camera equipment and explaining the terminology in a more ethical approach that aids in basic understanding.
With a great love of what she does and a keen eye, 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 with acknowledgments and awards for the “Great Catch” by the Patient Safety Office, Command Patient Relations and the department of radiology.
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-Webber Foundation.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, she donated her time to her local community by fostering and finding homes for 14 dogs through Animal Rescue (ARE).
Ms. Pribble is grateful to her mentors, family and friends who have helped her advance and support her career both in the military and now as a civilian. Her two greatest accomplishments are her children Cody and Darian.