“I always felt comfortable asking my instructors for help in understanding the class materials better. They were ready to answer my questions and provide guidance.”
Performs Full Range of Histotechnology Work for Mayo Clinic Health System-Mankato
Emily Brickles is a histotechnician for the Mayo Clinic Health System-Mankato. She’s responsible for accessioning, assisting at grossing, embedding, cutting, case assembly, special stains and immunos. “I like being able to do the full range of histotechnology work,” she said.
Brickles mentioned that she started college right out of high school—and explained that the transition required her to be self-directed. “In high school, you have more oversight than you do as a college student,” she said. “You can’t get distracted. It was hard living away from home and not having my parents around for help. But it was good to have a career goal, knowing that I was on the road to something specific and not just taking general classes.”
She added that in college, she was responsible to get good grades—and to get her work done. “You need to use your teachers to the fullest,” Brickles stated. “They are there to help and support you if you need them. You should also see your fellow classmates as resources and support. They can review questions with you, go over notes and provide a study group.”
Brickles earned an Associate of Applied Science in Histotechnology from Argosy University, Twin Cities in 2005. Throughout her career, Brickles has been careful stay on top of certification requirements and maintain her certification.
She explained that her career path was an “adventure,” beginning in a two-person lab in Freeport, Illinois. “That is where I learned basically how to run a histology lab,” she said. “My coworker left a few months after I started and I was on my own, with some help. I stayed there a little under two years before I found a job in Duluth, Minnesota, my hometown.” There, she worked in a hospital performing cutting, embedding, special stains and immunos. Brickles also worked part-time for a research program at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. When her husband was transferred to Columbus, Ohio, she began a night shift position with Ohio Health.
“When I was working at Ohio Health in Columbus, I was asked to be a super user for the new bar coding system that the hospital had purchased and was implementing,” she stated. “As a super user, I helped people when they were having trouble using this new system. If I was not able to help them, I would assist them in submitting a ticket to the help desk. I was pleased to be asked to take on this role for the lab, and happy to help my co-workers.”
Brickles stated that working the night shift was a difficult adjustment—and she was happy when her family decided to move back to Minnesota where she again worked day shift. “I’ve been in my current job here in Mankato, Minnesota, with the Mayo System, for just about a year,” she said.
She added that Argosy University, Twin Cities prepared her well for a career in histotechnology. Brickles mentioned that the school’s constructive learning environment encouraged her to ask for help and support when needed—and that the knowledge she gained provided the basis for her career. “It prepared me for work I was to do,” she said. “The program also prepared me well for my certification exam. Having my certification made my career possible. I can say without hesitation that I would recommend this program to anyone interested in a histology career.”
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