Practical Nursing student earns phlebotomist certification
Deb Preachuk, 51, is a student in the Practical Nursing program at Dakota County Technical College. Deb is on track to graduate from DCTC with her Practical Nursing diploma in December 2021. She recently completed her training in the Phlebotomy Technician certificate program offered by Minnesota Training Connection, a partnership between DCTC and Inver Hills Community College.
Deb is looking forward to passing the NCLEX-PN exam in 2022 and beginning work as a licensed practical nurse (LPN).
“I can see myself working in a hospital setting—in the emergency room or some type of acute care nursing,” she said. “I would also like to figure out a role where I can continue serving as a phlebotomy technician [phlebotomist] as well.”
Deb reported that she recently accepted a position as a laboratory care technician (LCT) at Fairview Southdale and Fairview Ridges. She starts Monday, May 24, 2021, and will float between both hospitals.
With more than three decades of experience, Deb is an accomplished professional in the fitness, corporate wellness and athletic training industries.
A former CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Foundation Training Certified Instructor, she owned and managed PainFree Posture MN, a corrective exercise, lifestyle change and habit-based nutrition studio located in Lakeville, Minnesota, for 18 years, but made the decision to close her business in December 2020 due to the financial impact of COVID-19 restrictions. She continues to teach and serves as a fitness coach at Orangetheory Fitness Apple Valley.
Deb’s history with DCTC dates back to 2009–2010 when she served as an adjunct instructor in the college’s Exercise & Sport Science program. Her focus was teaching courses aimed at American Council on Exercise (ACE) Group Fitness certification.
Deb’s professional certifications and credentials are impressive. She attended the University of Manitoba in the 1990s, earning a Bachelor of Recreation Studies (B.R.S.) and a Bachelor of Physical Education (B.P.E.). She is a Precision Nutrition Level 1 Coach, Mobility|WOD Movement & Mobility Specialist, BioMechanics Method Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist, STOTT Pilates Comprehensive Certified Instructor, National Posture Institute Certified Posture Specialist, Pink Ribbon Program Post-rehabilitative Breast Cancer Exercise Specialist, and Egoscue University Certified Posture Alignment Specialist. She’s also Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga and Red Cross CPR & First Aid certified.
Deb is viewing her Practical Nursing diploma as the capstone of her academic journey, but she isn’t ruling anything out. “I believe this is it, but I’ve never stopped learning in my career,” she said. “I’d like to think this will be the last thing, but who knows? I may want to pursue my RN while working as a phlebotomist and LPN, or further specialize in some form of phlebotomy training or LPN work. Knowing me, I’ll keep that door open and say maybe.”
Why did you enroll in the Phlebotomy Technician program?
“The effects of COVID restrictions financially crushed my business, and I knew I wanted to find something new, that was portable if we decide to move somewhere warmer, and would be a good fit for my strengths and talents.
“I had been mulling over looking into the phlebotomy training, and COVID presented the opportunity to take a leap. There was a waiting list to get into the June 2020 program, and mercifully a spot opened up and I got in.
“COVID presented challenges, but we were able to get the course finished without any positive cases during our time together, and I learned a lot.”
2020 Phlebotomy Technician Graduate
Minnesota Training Connection
Practical Nursing Student
Dakota County Technical College
More about the Phlebotomy Technician program…
The Phlebotomy Technician program prepares you to collect blood specimens from patients for the purpose of laboratory analysis. As a student in the program, you will be provided with the knowledge and skills necessary for careers in outpatient or inpatient healthcare facilities.
40 hours of classroom learning covers:
- Medical terminology
- Anatomy and physiology (as applicable to phlebotomy)
- Safety procedures
- Customer service skills
- Overview of laboratory processing
- Blood collection procedures
Program provides 100 hours of clinical experience at the following healthcare industry partners:
- Apple Valley Medical Center
- Fairview Health Services
- Northfield Hospital & Clinics
- Park Nicollet
- Regina Medical Center
- Allina Hospitals and Clinics
After successful completion of both portions of the program, you will be eligible to take the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Phlebotomy certification exam.
Phlebotomist work environment
To be successful as a phlebotomist, you must enjoy working with people, be attentive to detail, and have excellent manual dexterity. Needles and blood will be a regular component of the position’s responsibilities. Phlebotomists typically work at the following locations:
- Commercial laboratories
- Physician’s offices
- Blood banks
- Pharmaceutical firms
- Home health agencies
- Research institutions
- Public health clinics
Admissions requirements or prerequisites
- Criminal background check
- Must provide documented proof of immunity or vaccination for the following:
- Hepatitis B
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
- Varicella (Chicken Pox)
- Tubercle Bacillus (TB)
- Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Tdap)
- Seasonal flu shot
- Must complete ACCUPLACER test for Reading with a score of 233 or higher before being allowed to register for this class.
Potential job titles
- Lab Care Technician
- Plasma Center Technician
Phlebotomy Technician Instructor: Kathy Miller
More about Deb…
Originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Deb will be celebrating 29 years of marriage with her husband, Bill, this September. Bill works as a data warehouse architect and does computer wizardry for Post Consumer Brands in Lakeville, Minnesota.
Deb and Bill have three children, two sons and a daughter. Will, 25, is a University of Nebraska computer science graduate. He lives in Brussels, Belgium.
Michaela, 24, is a University of South Alabama exercise science graduate and former NCAA D1 track and field athlete. Michaela teaches and coaches at TAGS Gymnastics in Apple Valley, Minnesota.
AJ (Aaron), 18, is about to graduate from Lakeville North High School. He will attend Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri, where he will study criminal justice. He is on scholarship to play DII Lacrosse for the Lindenwood Lions.
The family has three dogs, Mischa, a 15.5-year-old Shih Tzu/poodle, Mimi, a 12.5-year-old Shih Tzu, and Chloe, a 7-year-old blue brindle Staffordshire terrier (aka pit bull).
Deb spends most of her free time outdoors. “I love being outside!” she said. “I like working in the yard, gardening, traveling, and going to my kids sports events, tournaments and competitions.”
Deb and Bill reside in Lakeville.
Deb Preachuk family gallery
Three words that describe you as a healthcare and fitness professional:
Deb: That was a hard one for me to personally answer. How does one describe oneself? So I asked my friends and students to answer it for me on my Facebook page. Here’s the compilation of answers—it was touching to read.
MOTIVATING. INVESTED. PASSIONATE.
COMPASSIONATE. PATIENT. POSITIVE.
HONEST. ENCOURAGING. WISE.
KNOWLEDGEABLE ON BODY MECHANICS (not one word, but…). COMPASSIONATE. DEDICATED.
ENCOURAGING. POSITIVE. MOTIVATING.
CARING. FUN. PRECISE.
EDUCATIONAL. INSPIRING. MOTIVATIONAL.
EDUCATED/KNOWLEDGEABLE. COMPASSIONATE. ENCOURAGING.
DRIVEN. COMPASSIONATE. SMART.
POSITIVE. UPBEAT. KIND.
MOTIVATED. COMPASSIONATE. ENCOURAGING.
KIND. POSITIVE. INSPIRING.
PATIENT. ASTUTE. CARING.
COMMITTED. INSPIRING. UNDERSTANDING.
YOU. DA. ONE.
COMMITTED. PREPARED. TRUSTWORTHY.
HONEST. CARING. KNOWLEDGEABLE.
FIERCE. KNOWLEDGEABLE. ENGAGED.
SUPPORTIVE. KNOWLEDGEABLE. AMBITIOUS.
KNOWLEDGEABLE. HONEST. COMPASSIONATE.
KNOWLEDGEABLE. CARING. ENTHUSIASTIC.
INTUITIVE. KIND. KNOWLEDGEABLE.
ROLE MODEL. INVESTED. SOLUTION-ORIENTED.
MOTIVATING. DEDICATED. KNOWLEDGEABLE.
COMPASSIONATE. TRUTHFUL. HEALER.
INSPIRING. GENUINE. DEDICATED.
KNOWLEDGEABLE. SINCERE. FUN!
ENERGETIC. COMMITTED. KNOWLEDGEABLE.
SIMPLY. THE. BEST!!
COMMITTED. FIERCE. MOTIVATED.
INTUITIVE. HEALER. HONEST.
THOUGHTFUL. INTELLIGENT. HONEST.
AMAZING. KIND. SINCERE.
POSITIVE. DEDICATED. TEACHER.
DEDICATED. PRECISE. INTEGRITY.
EMPATHETIC. WRY. MOTIVATING!
INFECTIOUS. MOTIVATIONAL. KIND.
KNOWLEDGEABLE. DEDICATED. CHEERLEADER.
ENCOURAGING. HELPFUL. COMPASSIONATE.
MOTIVATIONAL. SMART. INTENTIONAL.
DETERMINED. MOTIVATING. ENERGETIC.
KNOWLEDGEABLE. PERSONABLE. INSPIRING.
APPROACHABLE. CARING. TENACIOUS.
EDUCATED. PASSIONATE. ENTHUSIASTIC.
UPBEAT. UNDERSTANDING. KIND.
TENACIOUS. HONEST. HARDCORE.
KNOWLEDGEABLE. DETERMINED. INSPIRING.
SIMPLY. THE. BEST!
LIFE-CHANGER. RESOURCEFUL. DEDICATED.
SMART. ENERGETIC. OPTIMISTIC.
CARING. MOTIVATING. KNOWLEDGEABLE.
MOTIVATING. ENCOURAGING. UPBEAT.
CREATIVE. INTUITIVE. ENCOURAGING.
KNOWLEDGEABLE. DEDICATED. SUPPORTIVE.
UPBEAT. CARING. FUN.
INSPIRING. REAL. KNOWLEDGEABLE.
POSITIVE MINDSET. ENCOURAGING. TECHNICAL.
A. MIRACLE. WORKER.
STRONG. CARING. GIVING.
THOROUGH. FUN. KNOWLEDGEABLE.
CARING. KNOWLEDGEABLE. NO-NONSENSE.
DEDICATED. PASSIONATE. BOLD.
CHEERLEADER. FOCUSED. EMPATHETIC.
ENCOURAGING. DRIVEN. SUPPORTIVE.
UNSTOPPABLE. MOTIVATING. COMPASSIONATE.
A. DEDICATED. HEALER.
INSPIRING. MOTIVATING. FUN.
ENCOURAGING. KNOWLEDGEABLE. PROFESSIONAL.
DEVOTED. CARING. SPIRITUAL.
CUTER. THAN. MOST. lol
INSIGHTFUL. ENCOURAGING. INCREDIBLE.
DRIVEN. HEALING. STRONG-WILLED.
UNIQUE. PERSONAL. PASSIONATE.
STRONG. DETERMINED. THOUGHTFUL.
PASSIONATE. COMPASSIONATE. DETERMINED.
PATIENT. INTUITIVE. INTELLIGENT.
KNOWLEDGEABLE. SMART. MOTIVATING.
EXCEPTIONAL. PRECISE. SUPPORTIVE. I could do so many more.
SPEAK YOUR MIND. HELPFUL. SUPPORTIVE.
ENTHUSIASTIC. KNOWLEDGEABLE. CARING.
PASSIONATE. PATIENT. KNOWLEDGEABLE.
ENCOURAGING. KNOWLEDGEABLE. SUPERCOOLANDFUN. (kind of made my own word there)
All of the above, but also INTUITIVE. DIRECT. EFFECTIVE. Deb you have a sincere heart to help people.
Deb Preachuk • Q & A
What did you like best about the Phlebotomy Technician program?
I liked that it was well organized, and had a specific timeline for learning, directly into clinical, and then an opportunity to go directly into the work field. You could start the program and get a job if you were successful with your studies and clinical within a three-month period, which I think is an outstanding value.
What advice would you give students thinking about earning a Phlebotomy Technician certificate?
Be patient with yourself. It is a technical skill, so the more practice you have the better you will get. Never be afraid to ask for assistance while you are learning, but at the same time, you have to learn to trust your kinesthetic senses.
That vein is there, and your confidence in your skill set will strengthen with patience, practice and perseverance.
Why did you choose healthcare and fitness as your career field?
I’m a person who is always running toward danger. It doesn’t scare me for some reason. I always want to help others be the best version of themselves. I’m a natural cheerleader and motivator, and I love seeing people accomplish things they thought weren’t possible.
What do you find most interesting about the nursing profession?
I love that there are standards and common practices, but to be truly great at nursing, you have to be able to think on your feet, remain calm, and know how to carry out a service under less than ideal circumstances at times.
How did your training and experience as a fitness coach and consultant prepare you for the Practical Nursing program?
Fully and completely. In fitness you have to be able to think on your feet, quickly integrate large amounts of information and come up with the appropriate solution and then communicate it clearly/effectively.
It taught me how to handle the best of people, and the most challenging situations. Fitness science is also rooted in science and evidence-based practice, and focused on health and wellness advocacy. It’s been a perfect segue to practical nursing.
What person has influenced you the most in life and why?
There are so many, but if I had to narrow it down, I’d say my paternal grandmother, Nonna Maria. She spoke her mind and was fierce, determined, smart, frugal as well as an amazing cook and gardener.
Nonna Maria never complained about what she had to do to overcome unimaginable challenges raising her own child and parenting other kids in the middle of World War II, figuring out how she would feed and clothe them, not knowing if her husband was alive, dead, or would ever come home.
Then, when he did come come, she went another two years without him, raising even more kids while he worked to save up so they could immigrate to a new country and learn how to survive all over again. She was exceptional.
My grandparents immigrated from Amato, Calabria, Italy. A side note: my grandfather, Gregorio, survived as a POW, and managed to make his way back to Amato. He left to serve before my oldest aunt was born and came home to meet her for the first time after four years away and surviving many atrocities too horrible to mention.
Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Semi or fully retired, living somewhere warm and near the beach.
One word that best describes your experience with the Minnesota Training Connection:
Deb Preachuk • 12 Answers
- Favorite sport or physical activity: A solid total body workout that includes cardio (CrossFit, Orangetheory, or at-home interval training)
- Place you would most like to visit: Canada, Manitoba to be specific. I haven’t been able to see my mom and family since December 2019. After that, Hawaii or St. Lucia
- The most exciting thing you’ve ever done: Left my family for two weeks to go work in Hawaii and take over running a Pilates studio for someone I had never met in person before.
- Four things you would do if you won a $1 billion lottery: 1) Pay off my house 2) Buy a vacation home on a beach 3) Buy and pay off homes for my family 4) Then figure out what to give away to organizations that make a difference in helping make the world a better place
- Time period you would explore if you could time travel: Late 1800s to early 1940s; to watch the world change so rapidly with the start of the industrial revolution must have been astonishing
- Best movie you’ve seen lately: A Most Beautiful Thing
- One thing you most want to accomplish in life: Buy a vacation home somewhere on or near a beach and have it paid for
- Your national bird if you were your own country: I don’t know, haven’t thought about it, but my spirit animal is a gorilla; they are astonishingly powerful, intelligent, yet gentle creatures
- Dream occupation: Doctor
- Person you would most like to meet: Eleanor Roosevelt
- Skill you would most like to learn and master: Play the piano well
- Most important issue or problem facing humankind: Hunger, poverty, racial injustice, climate change, genocide
Learn more about the Phlebotomy Technician program by contacting:
Health & Human Services Coordinator
Minnesota Training Connection
Learn more about the Practical Nursing program at DCTC by contacting:
Renee LeMieux, MSN, RN, PHN
Director of Nursing/Faculty
Academic and Financial Aid Advisor