HomeNewsFeaturesDisplay

Life of a medical lab tech

Senior Airman Philip Fisketjon, 341st Medical Group medical laboratory technician, poses for a picture August 13, 2019, at the laboratory on Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.

Senior Airman Philip Fisketjon, 341st Medical Group medical laboratory technician, poses for a picture August 13, 2019, at the laboratory on Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. As a medical laboratory technician, Fisketjon has an integral role in providing patients with a proper diagnosis and treatment by conducting essential tests on body substances. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob M. Thompson)

Senior Airman Philip Fisketjon, 341st Medical Group medical laboratory technician, examines a complete blood count August 13, 2019, at the laboratory on Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.

Senior Airman Philip Fisketjon, 341st Medical Group medical laboratory technician, examines a complete blood count August 13, 2019, at the laboratory on Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. Medical laboratory technicians play an integral role in providing patients with a proper diagnosis and treatment by conducting essential tests on body substances. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob M. Thompson)

Senior Airman Philip Fisketjon, 341st Medical Group medical laboratory technician, examines a Staphylococcus aureus bacteria August 13, 2019, at the laboratory on Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.

Senior Airman Philip Fisketjon, 341st Medical Group medical laboratory technician, examines a Staphylococcus aureus bacteria August 13, 2019, at the laboratory on Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. Medical laboratory technicians examine bacteria to help detect, diagnose and treat diseases. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob M. Thompson)

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- Joining the military provides people the opportunity to travel the world and see new places. Whether it’s to a new state or a new country, most Airmen will have the opportunity to travel and live somewhere they’ve never been before.

For Senior Airman Philip Fisketjon, 341st Medical Group medical laboratory technician, living in the United States is his second taste of living somewhere new.

Born in the Philippines, Fisketjon and his family moved to Guam when he was just two years old.

“I’m a first generation immigrant,” said Fisketjon. “My father is from Norway and my mother is from the Philippines.

“My parents moved us to Guam when I was two years old and I lived there up until I joined the Air Force.”

Although he enjoyed life in Guam, Fisketjon sought new challenges.

“I loved living in the tropics, but at a certain point, island fever kicked in,” he said. “That’s when I looked into joining the Air Force and the benefits it would offer.

“I wanted to travel and go to school debt free, and the Air Force offers me both,” he continued. “I was also drawn to how they can take me as an 18 year old, at the time, and turn me into a technical expert very quickly.”

Coming into the Air Force on an open-general contract, Fisketjon was chosen to become a medical laboratory technician.

Air Force medical laboratory technicians play an integral role in providing patients with proper diagnosis and treatment by conducting essential tests.

“My job entails collecting body substance samples from patients,” Fisketjon said. “We then perform tests on the samples and provide our patients with an effective and quick result.”

To ensure the most precise results, laboratory technicians, like Fisketjon, have to ensure all equipment is operating at the highest capacity possible.

“I assure all of our machines are up and running to their highest standard and make certain quality controls are in place,” he said. “These quality controls allow us to give our patients the most accurate and timely results.”

One of Fisketjon’s favorite parts about being a laboratory technician is the opportunity to learn new things.

“I learn something new from this job every day,” he said. “Whether it’s looking at a blood slide under a microscope or by examining bacteria, there’s always something new to learn.”

In addition, Fisketjon is also using tuition assistance to learn beyond work.

“I’m currently using my TA to work toward my bachelor’s degree, as well as my [Community College of the Air Force] degree,” he said. “Taking college courses for free was a big reason for me wanting to join the military.”

While unsure of what he wants to get his degree in, Fisketjon knows he’d like to follow in his father’s footsteps of becoming a pilot.

“The goal is to commission [as an officer] and become a pilot,” said Fisketjon. “I always dreamed of flying as a kid. Seeing my father serve as a commercial airline pilot for about 30 years was a big reason for wanting to become a pilot.

“My dad was also a big reason why I wanted to join the Air Force,” said Fisketjon. “When he was in Norway, he came to the U.S. with basically nothing. He went from being an immigrant and speaking barely any English to becoming a major airline pilot. I was always inspired by him fulfilling the American dream and I want to do the same thing.”
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.