Edmonds phlebotomist brings positivity & love to patients

Fulfilling her dream of helping others

In her native Ukraine, Kate Kalynychenko dreamed of helping people as a nurse. But nursing education was expensive – so she wasn’t sure her dream would come true.

Kate, her husband and two daughters emigrated to the United States five years ago. She enrolled in English as a Second Language courses at Edmonds College. She learned about phlebotomy from a friend and asked her advisor if she could take phlebotomy classes.

The rest is history.

Kate served a phlebotomy externship at Swedish Edmonds and was hired when her education was complete. She’s worked as a phlebotomist in the Edmonds Medical Plaza satellite lab for two years.

There’s no question what she likes most about her job. “Helping people,” she said. “I love this dream.”

The big picture

Clinicians often rely on bloodwork to diagnose and plan treatment. Kate recognizes the blood draw she performs might be a patient’s first step in a long health care journey. “Our job isn’t a small job,” she said. “We sometimes start the process of helping people.”  

She said the biggest challenge she’s faced as a phlebotomist was a patient with dementia, who didn’t understand what was happening and fought the blood draw. His wife ultimately convinced him to cooperate. “It was the hardest day,” Kate said.

But Kate and colleagues on the phlebotomy team don’t give up. “Our team is wonderful,” she said. “Everyone works so hard to help and be positive.”

“We have to give care with love in our heart,” she continued. “We need to do our best – be nice, polite, have patience. Whatever we can do to help our patients.”

About Kate

Kate grew up in a small town in Ukraine. Since she emigrated to the United States, the

Russian military has seized the area, and her mother and extended family moved to a different town. Kate knows her mom is proud of her. That brings her great joy.

Kate and her husband have two daughters: Nikol, 15, and Mishel, 8. The family shares their life with a super smart German Shepherd named Alaska. They spend time traveling (the mountains are a favorite destination), hiking, at church and with friends. “We never stay home,” Kate said.

Thank you to Kate and all dedicated and skilled phlebotomists for their important work in support of patients and caregivers alike.

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