Shanna Crow (‘22) first stumbled upon BYU’s medical laboratory scientist program while wrestling with the emotional and physical stress of her firstborn’s health problems. After spending a sufficient amount of time in hospitals, Crow grew to be more grateful for healthcare workers and thought she’d even like to experience working in the medical world.
“I researched different healthcare jobs and liked how working in a hospital lab would give me the opportunity to help patients, but do it without the emotional stress that comes with having a front seat to a patient’s suffering,” Crow says.
Crow left BYU–Idaho as a psychology major and transferred to BYU Provo as a medical laboratory scientist major. Through the generous help of travel grants donated through BYU’s philanthropy programs, Crow had the opportunity to travel to Grand Junction, Colorado, on a study abroad. There Crow studied lab work at St. Mary’s Hospital and cultivated a stronger passion for medical lab work.
“The best part of my internship was learning from the lab techs, as most of them have worked there for many years,” Crow says. “They provided me with a fountain of knowledge that was obtained through years of their hard work and experience.”
Though the work was rigorous and required a lot of time away from her family, Crow still made each day a day to look forward to because she knew she’d be learning how to take better care of patients. Every day, Crow ran labs for the same patients. Seeing how their health would trend towards improvement or decline gave her an appreciation for the way the body works. “I know our mortal bodies weren’t created to defy death,” Crow says. "And working at the hospital was a daily reminder that through all of mortality’s ups and downs, Christ is constant.”
Crow felt blessed to have not gone on this journey alone. Because of the travel grant funds, Crow was able to bring her husband and two little girls with her to Colorado. “It was a wonderful experience to be able to sight-see with them, as Grand Junction is home to a national monument, many nature hikes, and a giant dinosaur museum, which quickly became my little girls’ favorite part of our Colorado adventure,” Crow says.
Crow graduated from BYU in April 2022 and now works at Timpanogos Regional Hospital as a lab tech. Backed by the support of her husband and kids, Crow navigated the challenges of continuing college while also raising a family.
“Going to college a little later in life, while also having a young family, can make you feel like you’ve missed your window,” Crow explains. “However, the gospel is built to bring families together, and BYU made it possible for me to receive all these amazing opportunities, while also prioritizing my family.”