Veterinary Technician(59)
The Living Desert - Palm Desert, CA

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Organization: The Living Desert (AZA Member)
Location: Palm Desert, CA, United States
Job or Internship: Job
The Veterinary Technician is a formally trained technical specialist responsible for assisting the Veterinarian in medical procedures, performing laboratory tests and maintaining medical records. This is a nonexempt position reporting to The Living Desert’s veterinarian. This position will supervise volunteers and interns.

Duties and Responsibilities include:
• Clips, shaves, and performs other necessary medical preparation activities for animals undergoing surgery; provides intravenous catheters for surgery; monitors the temperature, pulse and respiration during anesthesia of animals in need of special care in the clinic.
• Recognizes normal physiological behavior of animal species in the park; provides treatment, medication and vaccinations to animals per veterinarian.
• Evaluates the health status of an animal and contact veterinarian if needed. Treats animals in shock or cardiac arrest until veterinarian arrives.
• Performs routine sterilization techniques utilizing gas and steam methods for surgical instruments.
• Performs basic restraint of smaller animals for examination by the Veterinarian; prepares bandages, casts and splints for all species; positions animals for x-rays; for diagnostics purposes; records, logs, develops and cleans animal x-rays.
• Performs laboratory work such as fecal examinations, blood counts, blood chemistries, urinalysis, fungal cultures, cytology, microscopic examination, and staining slides.
• Ensures neonates are receiving the proper amount of fluid/formula per pound of body weight.
• Establishes parasitology exam schedules to ensure that each animal is examined on a regular basis.
• Establishes regular dental prophylaxis for carnivores.
• Establishes regular beak trimming for raptors and other species of birds.
• Collects blood from animals; prepares blood, urine, saliva, tissues, etc. for shipment to outside laboratories, sends blood serum to the local lab on a routine or emergency basis to establish the physiological normals for the species at TLD.
• Orders and stocks all pharmaceuticals (per veterinarian) to maintain adequate inventory, disposes of expired drugs.
• Ensures the crash kit is stocked appropriately and tranquilizing darts are prepared.
• Documents, files and recalls accurate medical records on each individual animals at TLD including x-rays, hormone implants; maintains and updates the computer records, including Med Arks.
• Documents and files appropriate MSDS sheets for medical equipment and supplies.
• Records and monitors individual anesthetic records.
• Evaluates medical condition of rehab animals performing necessary triage.
• In emergency call veterinarian for instructions, stabilizes animal, tranquilize, begin IV fluids, move to clinic, and prepare animal for veterinarian.
• Clean and feed animals in clinic.
• Assist with necropsy procedures.
• Gives informal “animal encounter talks” to visitors and other public speaking events when needed.
• Maintain a safe and productive workplace for animals, visitors and staff.
• Able to deal courteously and effectively with the public at all times, and to represent the institution at the highest standard of professionalism.
• Able to establish and maintain effective and professional working relations with co-workers and other department personnel, and to do so in accordance with The Living Desert Employee Handbook.
• Provides assistance to other departments as needed.
• Other related responsibilities as necessary to accomplish department objectives.
This class specification should not be interpreted as all-inclusive. It is intended to identify the major responsibilities and requirements of this job. The incumbents may be requested to perform job-related responsibilities and tasks other than those stated in this specification.
Equipment Used: PC computer, general office equipment, telephone, radio, electric and gas cart, vehicles, X-ray machine, X-ray processor, autoclave, anesthesia machine, pulse oximeter, ECG machine, I-STAT, dental unit, miscellaneous other medical equipment, pepper spray (Counter Assault Bear Deterrent), rake, shovel, wheel barrow, catch pole, capture net, baffle board, snake hook, weight scale, garden hose, small hand held and power tools such as hammer, screwdriver, drill, wire cutters.
Specific Skills:
• General knowledge of zoo animal husbandry and observational skills.
• Ability to work with potentially dangerous animals.
• Must be capable of emergency response handling to avoid injury to self, others and animal.
• Ability to enter accurately medical daily reports using MedARKS/ZIMS and animal daily reports using in house computer program.
• Good observation skills.
• Ability to give and comprehend written and oral instructions, and to accurately carry out those instructions.
• Ability to communicate clearly and concisely both orally and in writing.
• Have strong organizational skills.
• Ability to work with the public in a courteous manner
• Must be a motivated self-starter who needs minimal supervision.
• Must have proven supervisory, interpersonal, communication and leadership skills
• Ability to work with others in a team setting
Conditions of Work:
• PHYSICAL EFFORT: Occasional standing, walking, bending, twisting, climbing, crawling, kneeling, reaching motions and frequent sitting. Some lifting up to 50 lbs.
• DISCOMFORT/RISK: Occasional exposure to extreme heat, chemicals, radiation, and dust/airborne materials. Works with potentially dangerous animals (i.e. large ungulates, carnivores, venomous animals). Works with potentially lethal drugs, and x-ray equipment.
• HOLIDAY WORK: Holiday and weekend work may be required.
• TRAVEL: Occasional conference and workshop attendance available. If funding available some or all expenses paid.
Qualifications: Prefer AA or AS or higher degree. Either currently registered with the State of California as a Veterinary Technician or certifiable as a Veterinary Technician by the state of California or one year experience as a veterinarian technician in a zoological setting is required. Prefer exotic or zoo animal experience but will substitute experience with domestic animal practice that provides the required knowledge, skill, and abilities. The applicant must have or be able to obtain a valid California driver’s license, and must be insurable on The Living Desert's automobile policy. Must be energetic with good communication skills.
To apply, send a resume and references by email to: Dr. Kevin Leiske DVM, The Living Desert, Palm Desert, CA at . Closing date is 5 January 2014.