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Veterinary Technician

Buffalo Zoo
Buffalo, United States Posted: March 09, 2024

Under the supervision of the Staff Veterinarian, the Veterinary Technician is responsible for assisting with the medical care of the Zoo’s animal collection, by the performance of work requiring advanced knowledge in the field of medicine, and consistent exercise of discretion and judgment.  Candidate must possess or be eligible to obtain a valid Veterinary Technician license with the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

Essential Duties and Responsibilities
  • Primary accountability for specific functions and results.  The list of essential functions is not exhaustive and may be supplemented or changed as necessary.
  • Medical Care – assists in all medical procedures as needed; gives medications; assists with or performs treatments, diagnostics and monitoring; places IV catheters, venipuncture, intubates, takes samples and runs lab tests, and administers IV fluids; etc.
  • Anesthesia – anesthetic induction, maintenance, monitoring, and recovery of patients, cleans/maintains anesthesia equipment.
  • Surgery – surgical prep, doctor assistance, cleans, sterilizes, and maintains all surgical instruments and equipment.
  • Dentistry – provides patient dental care, cleaning and polishing; assists doctor with dental surgery, and takes dental radiographs.
  • Radiology (including dental imaging) – positioning patients, taking radiographs, uploading/maintaining digital images.
  • Laboratory duties – collects, prepares, and conducts in-house lab work including fecal analysis, urinalysis, hematology and cytology and/or submits samples to outside vendors for requested tests; reads and records results when indicated (fecal, urine, cytology, etc.).
  • Necropsy - assist veterinarian in necropsy of collection animals.
  • General – prepares, restocks, cleans exam rooms, lab, necropsy, etc.
  • Assists in training and mentoring students and interns.
  • Assists with inventory control, ordering, unpacking, restocking drug and medical supplies. Ensures compliance with AZA and other entities by removing expired drugs and supplies from stock and disposing in accordance with all federal, state and local regulations.
  • Prepares, dispenses, administers, and tracks medications under general supervision of the veterinarian. 
  • In conjunction with the veterinarian, maintains and operates the veterinary building (a.k.a. veterinary hospital) in compliance with all federal, state and local regulations.
  • Assists in maintaining all medical records.
  • Schedules outside vendors to ensure equipment and machines are operational at all times.
  • Assists with disposal of regulated medical waste and related documentation.
  • In the absence of the administrative assistant, helps with shipping and receiving.
  • Performs basic restraint, crating/uncrating and transport of animals as required.
  • Must be willing and able to learn how to use capture dart guns/rifles as well as other equipment required to assist in the animal escape and recovery plan.
  • Performs other duties as assigned by the Staff Veterinarian.
Qualifications, Education
  • To perform at a proficient level and be fully qualified, a person would be expected to have:
Education (Minimum Needed):
  • Must have completed an eighteen month (two academic years) diploma or degree from a college program in veterinary technology or equivalent.
  • Possession of or eligibility to obtain a valid Veterinary Technician license with the New York State Education Department (NYSED).
  • Out of State applicants must pass NYSED examination requirements and/or be endorsed to keep current “out-of-state” license by NYSED (required, must be in place by start date if hired).
Special Skills/Other:
  • Must be available to be on-call 24 hours per day to assist with emergencies as needed.  May be required to work evenings, weekends and/or holidays.
  • Regular attendance and punctuality are essential functions of the position.
  • The employee must be able to operate vehicles such as pick-up trucks, vans, and/or motorized carts.
  • Must be willing to comply with department’s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) policies and procedures.
  • Motivation, willingness to learn, and a team-oriented spirit.
  • Requires strong verbal and written communication and organizational skills. 
  • Must have the ability to follow oral and written instructions.
  • Proficient computer skills including knowing or willing to learn ZIMS, Microsoft Outlook email, and Microsoft Office programs.  Also – must be able to operate a two-way radio, telephone system with training.
  • Must be able to work both as part of a team and independently.
  • Must support Buffalo Zoo’s Vision, Mission, Core Values and DEAI Values.
  • Actively participate in trainings and activities aimed at improving job knowledge and safety.
  • Must deliver exceptional customer service by engaging with guests on a regular basis to create a friendly, memorable and positive experience. Ability to respond to common inquiries, requests, or complaints from guests and/or staff in a kind and courteous manner.
  • Able to interact positively with a variety of individuals from varied socioeconomical backgrounds frequently.
  • Must possess or be able to possess in 30 days a valid NYS Driver’s License (non-CDLC or CDL class) and have an average or better driving record based on the evaluation process of our insurance company.  Retention of position is contingent upon maintaining required license.
  • Position is part of the Zoo’s emergency weather team and may be expected to report when the Zoo is closed due to weather (as requested).
Health and Safety:
  • Proof of negative TB test required upon hire (within the last 12 months).  TB test conducted annually.
  • Must maintain a current Tetanus vaccination (5 years – proof of Tetanus required upon hire).
  • Proof of Rabies, Hepatitis B, vaccinations required upon hire.
  • May be required to obtain vaccinations as needed for position.
Physical Demands
  • Must have the physical strength and dexterity necessary to manually restrain animals.
  • Is exposed to the environment around animal exhibits and animal holding areas.  Will be working around animal excrement, smells, and other debris.  Ability to follow animal safety protocols, and treat the animals with care, respect, and dignity.
  • The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.
  • Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand; walk; use hands; reach with hands and arms; stoop, kneel, crouch, climb, or crawl and talk or hear.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus. 
  • A fitness for duty test will be required in order for the successful candidate to be given further consideration for the position.
  • The Buffalo Zoo is an At Will employer and all Buffalo Zoo employees are subject to employment eligibility and background security checks as well as testing for illegal substance use as allowed by law.
Equal Opportunity Employer
Experience Required
  • Experience (Minimum Desired):
  • Three-years’ veterinary technician experience is required.
  • Experience in both large and small animal practices is preferred.
  • Experience with zoo and/or other exotic animals is highly desired.
  • This is a full-time, exempt position.
  • Some of the benefits available include health plan, HRA/HSA, FSA, life insurance, long term disability insurance, dental, vision, 403B retirement plan, annual leave, holiday, and sick time benefits.
  • Benefits are available after the successful completion of a probationary period review at 60 days of work (sick time available upon hire).
  • Pay Range: $58,500 - $58,880 annually per year.

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