While veterinarians are the only veterinary professionals who can legally diagnose a pet’s condition, prescribe medications, perform surgery, and give a prognosis, all team members are essential in the “veterinary village” when your pet’s care is involved. Here at Urgent Pet Care Omaha, we greatly value our assistants, who lend a helping hand to our veterinarians and technicians wherever needed. Some veterinary assistants typically help the veterinarian in the exam room with patients and pet owners, and handle the discharge process. Other assistants tend to work more in the back of the hospital, helping our veterinary technicians with a variety of tasks, including obtaining vitals on hospitalized patients, and feeding, walking, cleaning, and providing patients with comforting nursing care.

To help you get to know the assistants who provide your pet with exceptional care, comfort, and attention in our hospital, we share the answers to some “get to know you” questions. Enjoy!

Question: How and when did you decide you wanted to work in veterinary medicine?

Answer: Madison Titus says, “I was working at Premier Dental, trying to discover what I was passionate about. Working at a dental office just felt wrong, because I knew I wasn’t doing what I’ve always wanted to do. In November 2021, I decided to apply to Urgent Pet Care Omaha, and they took a chance on me, despite my inexperience.

Talya Vaira stated, “I no longer wanted to pursue my PhD in chemical biology, so I did some job shadowing at a mixed-animal veterinary practice and fell in love with it! I became a veterinary assistant to gain more experience before deciding if I wanted to become a veterinarian.”

Anastasia Postowski shares, “After separating from the Air Force, I decided to become a veterinary assistant to gain experience for veterinary school.”

Q: What’s your favorite part about being an assistant?

A: Kristina Wilton answers, “When I worked previously as a vet assistant, I had not been able to interact with and educate clients as much as I am now, which is one of my favorite parts of my job. I also really enjoy the team that I work with and the support they provide.”

Emily Cheloha says, “I enjoy working hands-on with the pets and making them feel better. I love the feeling of knowing I had a small part in helping a pet walk out our doors, healed and thriving again.”

Q: Tell us about your pets.

A: Talya says, “I have a 2-year-old Jersey milk cow who acts like a giant puppy. She loves treats, scritch-scratches, and gets the zoomies. Her name is Flower and she is about to calve.”

Kristina states, “Vox is my 3-year-old Small Munsterlander who holds conformation, hunting, fast CAT, and trick titles. Jupiter is my 7-year-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel and was my first sport dog. Po is my 8-year-old Akita who was surrendered to my previous clinic because of his Addison’s disease. My heart dog, Skagit, passed away in April 2022 of prostate cancer at the age of 18. He was also a Small Munsterlander.”

Samantha Au says, “I have one spoiled senior dog who I’ve had for almost 11 years. She was a rescue from Nebraska Humane Society.”

Chae Miller shares, “I have a 1½-year-old miniature Australian shepherd named Ember. She loves to be outside, play tug-of-war, and chew on bones. Her favorite trick is shake.”

Q: What’s your biggest fear?

A: Griselda Aragon is most afraid of bugs and birds, and is especially fearful of birds landing on her head—which came true when she worked at the Nebraska Wildlife Rehab.

Kelsey Flock claims she is paranoid, and terrified of many things, including being abducted, drowning, burning, or starving to death—as well as anything that flies.

Samantha says she used to be afraid of penguins, but she has worked on overcoming that fear.

Anastasia’s biggest fear is spiders, particularly that they will crawl into her ears.

Q: What might people be surprised to learn about you?

A: Chae already holds two bachelor’s degrees—in equine general studies and equine administration—and is working on a third degree.

Q: What’s your favorite food?

A: Emily loves Mexican food, crab rangoons, sushi, and chicken fried rice, while Kristina enjoys a potato in any form.

Q: What’s your favorite kind of music?

A: Madison enjoys ’80s and ’90s rock. Griselda listens to everything, but EDM and Latin music are her favorites.

Q: What’s your favorite type of movie?

A: Kelsey likes to relax with a comedy or any movie that makes her laugh, while Talya would rather watch a movie with a bit of romance.

Q: What is something you’d like to accomplish in the next five years?

A: Our veterinary assistants’ goals range from career aspirations, to travel, to something in between:

  • Madison and Chae want to become veterinary technicians
  • Emily and Griselda want to go skydiving
  • Kristina has big goals for the new puppy she will get in 2023 
  • Kelsey would love to go to England to meet her mom’s side of the family
  • Samantha would like to travel to Japan and Ireland
  • Talya and Anastasia want to become veterinarians

We couldn’t help nearly as many pets without our assistants, who are an integral part of our veterinary team. The next time you schedule an appointment at Urgent Pet Care Omaha, you can chat to Kristina about her show dogs, discuss Samantha’s fear of penguins, or trade favorite movie titles with Kelsey.