Rachel Tambunan

My name is Rachel Tambunan and I just graduated from Andrews University with a Bachelors of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS). Living almost all my life in Berrien Springs, Michigan, it was obvious which university to choose. However, picking a major was a different story.

From the start I knew that I wanted to be involved with helping humanity through medicine, but I wasn’t sure which path to take.

After doing a little research, hearing testimonials from other CLS majors, and listening to family advice, I chose CLS. My classes were taught by exceptionally good educators. To top that off, we had labs that went hand in hand with the lectures, making what we learn in textbook a reality in our hands.

The ultimate lab experience occurred during our 4th year when we do our 20-week clinical rotation. My rotation site was at South Bend Medical Foundation in Indiana. My eyes were opened to what went on behind the scenes in the hospital. Clinical Lab Scientists must perform tests with skill and accuracy. It involves detective work, mental reasoning and good judgment.

Although this profession does not have a lot of direct contact with patients, it still plays a major role in diagnosing. I was also able to do research in the field of Microbiology. I swabbed the buccal cavity of 70 couples, plated each sample, and performed presumptive identification after the microbes colonized. I wanted to see if there was a direct relationship between the years of cohabitation and the similarity of normal oral flora between couples. This was definitely an experience of a lifetime.

My clinical rotation emphasized the importance of teamwork and cooperation. Teamwork is a beautiful thing: watching the physicians, phlebotomists and clinical laboratory scientists, coming together with the same goal in mind: to solve a case, potentially saving a life.

These experiences have helped me grow and shape the person I am today. Looking back, I wouldn’t have traded it for the world. Clinical Laboratory Sciences is truly a fulfilling and satisfying profession, together we can save humanity, one test at a time.


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