Kathleen (“KD”) Krane is a senior in Michigan State University’s Veterinary Nursing Program. She enjoys spending time with her two cats, Bennett and Salem, and is interested in exotic and marine medicine.
Growing up, I was always told that I was going to be a veterinarian. I would spend hours dressed up in faux fur coats pretending I was different animals. There wasn’t an animal in the world that scared me. I picked up frogs and snakes like they were puppies and kittens and was overjoyed to watch a turtle meander to our pond. So, as I got older, it was no surprise that my adoration for all things animal never wavered.
That was until I began my undergraduate education at Michigan State; I was incredibly uncertain of what I wanted to do. After watching a terrible incident involving a dog and a treadmill at the age of 13, I didn’t think that the veterinary world was for me (I was traumatized). Year after year, I told myself that I could never have helped treat the dog; it would have been too hard to see it hurt like that. I finally realized that after all that time, the only person who kept saying I couldn’t do it was me. I never tried or gave myself a chance to explore the field. I just immediately wrote it off, underestimating what I could and couldn’t handle.
I constantly struggled in each major I pursued — business, finance, fine arts, even undecided. None of them fit me the way I wanted them to. It wasn’t until the spring semester of my freshman year when I was introduced to someone who was studying veterinary nursing, that I finally felt like there was a career path that thrilled me. I immediately made an appointment to meet with one of MSU’s advisers to find out more about what it was like to be a veterinary technician, or veterinary nurse.
Hearing the veterinary medicine adviser describe to me what the program would be like, what I would learn and all the things I could do was exhilarating. I immediately enrolled in all the prerequisite classes and resolved to work on my application to MSU’s Veterinary Nursing Program. And in April of 2018, I opened my email to an acceptance letter to the program.
Flash forward almost three years and here I am — in my final clerkship year of MSU’s Veterinary Nursing Program, and it has been everything I dreamed of and more. It hasn’t been an easy journey by any means.
I was nervous to begin my clinical rotations at the MSU Veterinary Medical Center, especially after the changes and difficulties that come with a worldwide pandemic. However, what all of my classmates have learned this year more than all, is that we are far stronger than we think. Going through a rigorous program while also dealing with the continued punches COVID-19 has thrown at us has proven that.
Some days, it feels like I can do nothing right. From failed blood draws, radiographic views I just can’t get right and patients that won’t sit still to losing supplies, dropping items in the operating room and being quizzed on things I can’t remember. It can be a lot to handle. But then there are days where I feel like I’m on top of the world. When a catheter placement is perfect, I’m able to calm down a scared patient and every question thrown my way I answer with ease — those are the days when I feel like I have made an impact.
I am forever thankful to Michigan State for providing me the opportunity to grow into the career I love and become the veterinary nurse I’ve dreamed of becoming. Not every day is sunshine and rainbows and, in this field, we don’t expect it to be. But the silver lining is all the moments in-between a hard decision and a bad day. The first visit for a puppy or the confirmation an oncology patient is in remission. When an orthopedic patient starts taking steps again on a healing limb or an emergency patient finally gets to go home. These are the things I cling to.