Alumna Spotlight: Christie Wright

Christie Wright
Christie Wright

Patient care technician works at Fresenius Medical Care

Originally from Lafayette, Indiana, Christie Wright, 42, graduated from Harrison High School in her hometown in 1993. Christie was a high school senior when she met her husband, Ryan, then a freshman engineering student at Purdue University. She put off going to college to be a stay-at-home mom.

About 10 years ago, Christie enrolled in the Nursing program at Normandale Community College. As a mother of two, she found the curriculum too fast-paced for her schedule. Test anxiety and fear of failure also contributed to her decision to postpone her college aspirations—but Christie did not give up.

“I needed to prove to myself that I could graduate from college,” she said.

Three words that describe you as a healthcare professional:

When the Patient Care Technician program was introduced at Dakota County Technical College in 2013, Christie saw the chance to transfer the credits she had earned at Normandale, complete her coursework quickly and get right to work.

In May 2016, Christie graduated from DCTC with her Patient Care Technician diploma. She earned three national certifications along the way: Certified EKG Technician (CET), Phlebotomy Certification and Certified Patient Care Technician (CPCT). She is also a certified nursing assistant (CNA).

“Earning my degree is my greatest accomplishment so far—that, and raising my kids,” Christie said. “I knew I had to go back to school before I got too old. My kids were in school and I realized it was time to think of Mom for a while. The instructors at DCTC were hugely supportive. They really helped me get through program. They care about their students.”

Patient Care Technician Salary in 2016

Christie Wright“In the U.S., for 2016, the average median income of a patient care technician is estimated to reach $29,845 per year. The starting point in the earnings of these professionals is estimated at $19,983 per year and up to $40,828 per year, according to the salary data information provided by PayScale. The bonuses that are granted in this job usually reach at $513, while the offered profit sharing tends to be comprised between $6.51 and up to $7,252. This leading in the end to a salary situated at $20,573 and up to $36,519.”

— Salary Voice

Healthcare Industry Job Outlook

Employment of healthcare occupations is projected to grow 19 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.3 million new jobs. Healthcare occupations will add more jobs than any other group of occupations. This growth is expected due to an aging population and because federal health insurance reform should increase the number of individuals who have access to health insurance.

The median annual wage for healthcare practitioners and technical occupations (such as registered nurses, physicians and surgeons, and dental hygienists) was $63,420 in May 2016, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations in the economy of $37,040.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

After graduating from DCTC, Christie landed a job at Fresenius Medical Care, a health care company dedicated to delivering the highest quality care to people with renal and other chronic conditions. She works at a Fresenius Dialysis Center only blocks from her home in Lakeville, Minnesota.

When asked who has influenced her life the most, Christie mentioned her husband, Ryan, who works as a materials science engineer at Seagate. “Ryan is my number one supporter,” she said. “He was excited to see me go back to college.”

Africa tripTanzania

Christie went on a two-week mission trip to Tanzania at the end of July. She traveled with a group from her church, St. John’s Lutheran in Lakeville, Minnesota. She went on two safaris and visited many interesting sights in the African country that is home to the continent’s tallest mountain, Kilimanjaro, largest lake, Victoria, deepest lake, Tanganyika, and largest inactive caldera, Ngorongoro Crater.

More about Christie…

Christie’s hours at Fresenius free up her weekends and two days a week to be with her family. “I work Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 5 a.m. to 3 a.m.,” she said, adding that she really likes the hours and is happiest when she’s helping people. “The dialysis center is within walking distance of my house, but I haven’t walked yet. It’s too dark out that early in the morning.”

Christie and Ryan have two children, Sydnee, 16, a Lakeville North High School junior who plays piccolo and flute in marching band, and Brandon, 13, who goes to Century Middle School and plays soccer.

In her free time, Christie loves to scrapbook. She is involved with the youth group at her church, St. John’s Lutheran in Lakeville. She is also a big fan of snorkeling and scuba diving.

Christie and family

Five certifications offered by PCT program

As a successful student in the DCTC Patient Care Technician program, you will obtain three certifications and have opportunities to test for a fourth and fifth:

  • Registered Nursing Assistant (NA-R)
  • Training Medication Aide (TMA)
  • Certified EKG Technician (CET)
  • Phlebotomy Certification (optional)
  • Certified Patient Care Technician (CPCT)
You can also earn a Patient Care Technician A.A.S. degree that provides two bachelor’s degree pathways:

Metropolitan State University: Bachelor of Science (B.S.N.) in Nursing
As a graduate of the PCT program, you can continue coursework along a number of paths that may include working toward your R.N.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota: Bachelor of Science in Allied Healthcare Management
As a PCT program graduate, you can transfer seamlessly into this managerial program and complete your baccalaureate degree.

Christie Wright | 21 Answers

Christie Wright

Christie Wright

  1. Morgan FreemanFavorite season: Fall
  2. Favorite natural feature (e.g., waterfalls, oceans, mountains, etc.): Coral reefs near the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean Sea
  3. Favorite sport or physical activity: NFL football; Ryan is a Denver Bronco’s fan
  4. Your national bird if you could have one: Parrot
  5. Place you would most like to visit: Australia
  6. Favorite holiday: Christmas
  7. Your national mammal if you could have one: Monkey
  8. Favorite actor or actress: Morgan Freeman
  9. Martina McBrideFavorite band or performing artist: Martina McBride
  10. Your personal motto if you had to have one: “Just keep swimming.”
  11. Coolest thing in the world: Scuba diving 100 feet deep in the ocean; it’s a whole new world
  12. Scariest thing in the world: Roller coasters
  13. Favorite all-time TV show: M.A.S.H.
  14. Favorite all-time movie: Outbreak
  15. One thing you most want to accomplish in life: Best mom and wife I can be
  16. Most precious material possession: Scrapbook
  17. South Sound Cayman IslandsFirst thing you would buy if you won the $1.5 billion Powerball: House on the ocean with a private beach
  18. Dream occupation: Patient care technician; I always wanted to work with patients
  19. Person you would most like to meet: Morgan Freeman
  20. Skill you would most like to learn and master: Glass blowing
  21. Humankind’s greatest challenge: Getting along
To learn more about the Patient Care Technician program at DCTC, contact:

Jim Ingham
Patient Care Technician Faculty

Kathleen Tettam
Patient Care Technician Faculty