the caretaker

How a mother, wife, and nurse learns how to adjust to life as a student

STUDY, SLEEP, FAMILY, REPEAT. 

 

Tracie Kremer spends her days caring for others while working as a nurse at the Greenwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Bowling Green, KY. When she’s not working, Kremer takes courses at the local community college in hope to obtain an Associate’s degree. Kremer hopes to become a medical receptionist after getting her degree and hopes that it will provide a change of pace for her work schedule and workload.

“I think I just got burnt out you know? When you’re constantly going back and forth on your feet all day and you’re caring for these patients who may or may not make it, it can just suck all the energy right out. That’s when I knew I needed a change,” Kremer said.

Growing up with a large family, Kremer always wanted to have a family of her own when she grew up. When her father passed away when she was thirteen years old, Kremer became the next leader of the household and helped raise her siblings alongside her mother.

“I think even when I was little I’ve always just loved helping people and making sure everyone is taken care of. And I guess some of it probably has to do with my dad passing away when I was younger but I just feel like I’ve always been this way,” Kremer said.

After moving to Bowling Green from Dayton, OH in 2001 with her husband, Rick, and three children, Kremer began working as a nurse at the rehabilitation center. Although two of her children have moved away, Kremer’s youngest son, Tanner, lives with them at home while taking courses at the same community college. Kremer is currently in her first semester of classes and is still learning to adjust to her class schedule and balancing her classes, full-time job, and family at the same time.

Not only is Kremer always on-call at work, but she is also always on-call for both of her children that have moved away to different states. Although Kremer’s daughter lives five hours away in Ohio with her two children, she is always willing to travel and help her daughter when she is in need.

“I’m always gonna be her momma. And even though she’s now a momma, I’m always going to be there. This girl lives five hours away and yeah, we wish she lived closer, but she always knows she always has us to fall back on to. It doesn’t matter if it’s 2am or snowing outside, if she needs any help she knows I’ll be showing up at her door in five hours,” Kremer said.

Kremer is on track to earn her degree in May 2021 and plans to be in the same graduating class as her son. After earning her degree, Kremer wants to continue working in the medical field as a medical receptionist.

“I think I just really let so much hold me back before that I always just made excuses like ‘I just don’t have the time’ or ‘Rick and Tanner need me’ but now it’s like I’m still getting used to this routine but I know that everything will continue on without me even if I’m not focused on it all the time. This time, I can focus on me and what I want to do and what I want to do about my career,” Kremer said.

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