Community Heroes: TCAT Elizabethton instructor teaching future medical professionals, making seniors smile during the holidays

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ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) — Medical instructors have the important role of reminding their students about the important task that lies ahead after graduation.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a grueling reminder.

One instructor not only teaches her class to be great students of life but to be kind people from all walks of life.

This week’s community heroes is Loretta Eades.

She is known for her fun and caring personality, but this tough instructor means business.

“She’s courageous and she makes sure that we’re in line and that we do our jobs correctly when we get out of here,” TCAT Elizabethton certified technician, Sadie Housewright said.

Tennessee College of Applied Technology, phlebotomy instructor Loretta Eades works to ensure her students understand their vital roles in the health care team.

“Always giving me the confidence. I struggled really hard. My hands shake really bad and she made me just go ahead and stick. You know how to do this,” Davis said.

Her course has a placement and pass rate of about 95%, and she normally has students placed before graduating.

Eades said: “We play a huge role in helping our providers to be able to diagnose and treat properly, help our nurses to be able to do so as well. We take a load off the nursing staff to be able to do blood draws in the hospital and the doctor’s office.”

Eades has been a phlebotomist for the last 17 years. She has been teaching the next generation of phlebotomist for the last three years, at TCAT.

This year, Eades continued her tradition of having buying gifts for seniors who live in nursing homes.

“It’s just a blessing to see to be able to be a part to give the gifts to the little residents that they don’t know that they’re going to get anything. What they wish for has exceeded the limit of what we got them,” TCAT Elizabethton phlebotomy graduating student Katlyn Boggs said.

Certified phlebotomy technician Kayla Breland said: “With that little bit of excitement of getting a Christmas gift showing them that someone really cares about them for Christmas, I think that cheers up them for the holidays and I’m glad that I can be a part of that.”

Last year, she and the TCAT Elizabethton community bought more than 600 gifts. This year, they were able to buy more than 500.

“There was a couple angels left on the angel tree so I brought them and got the students of that particular class if they would like to make a difference and they said yes and it happened then we did it again this year,” Eades said.

It is a simple gesture that makes all the world for seniors who hardly get to see their own family, especially this year.

“It just has become something that I feel like I would like to do every year. It’s a blessing to them and a blessing to us,” Eades said.

And that is why she’s our community hero.

If you know someone who makes our community a better place to live, we want to hear from you! Nominate them to be an ABC Tri-Cities Community Hero! Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to nominate them.

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