Job Title: Veterinary Technician Assistant
The veterinary technician assistant provides support for the veterinary staff including the veterinarians and the veterinary technicians. There are many tasks in the wildlife rehabilitation hospital that are not part of everyday tasks in dog and cat hospitals. For example, when animals are admitted in a clutch or a litter, they need to be identified so that they can be followed throughout their stay within the hospital and rehabilitation facility. There are different identification methods that are employed with wild animals depending on the species admitted that require specialized training. Further, all of this information must go into the database succinctly and accurately. Other tasks include restraint of animals while specific procedures are carried out, certain medications are being administered, when gavage-feeding a patient or even when cleaning out the enclosure. It is imperative that handling time for all patients, and especially critically ill patients, be minimized as much as possible to decrease morbidity and mortality of these patients. These supporting tasks are time consuming but do not require a medical degree. The efficiency of the veterinary team is expanded when having support personnel whose responsibility is to complete these types of tasks.
The Veterinary Technician Assistant will perform daily tasks to assist other Veterinary Staff in the care and treatment of our wildlife patients.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
- Provide care to patients in the critical care, including:
- Cleaning cages
- Perform food preparation tasks for the large variety of diet items necessary.
- Wash and sterilize food bowls and feeding equipment including feeding tubes and syringes.
- Insect husbandry
- Enclosure set-up
- Place patients with the Wildlife Rehabilitation Department or home-based rehabilitators as directed.
- Consistently and accurately complete the patient’s record, transcribing and documenting examination results, care administered, and custody information using the WRMD online wildlife medical database and record keeping software.
- Responsible for vet room/critical care room maintenance including general cleaning and replenishing supplies.
- Must maintain an appropriate Hospital environment and enforce protocols with others (quiet, low stress for patients).
- Other duties as assigned by Wildlife Veterinary Technician, Wildlife Veterinarian and Wildlife Hospital Administrator.
- Effectively communicate with staff members and volunteers.
- Maintain a safe and professional working environment.
- Observe animal appearance and activity for general physical condition, obvious signs of illness, disease and discontent.
- Report signs of illness, disease, injury or unusual activity to veterinarian or veterinary technicians.
- Restrain patients as required.
- Under the supervision of veterinarians or technicians, assist with the administration of medications, postoperative care or preparation of samples for laboratory examination, collect specimens, clean instruments, and fill prescriptions as authorized.
- Ensure that cages and animals are properly numbered and identified.
- Clean, disinfect, maintain cages, aviaries, stalls, kennels and enrichment items as often as needed.
- Perform general cleaning of other areas in the hospital to control the spread of disease.
Controls Over Work:
The veterinary assistant will work under the direct supervision of the veterinary technicians and the veterinarians, who will indicate general assignments, limitations and priorities. Practitioners and technicians provide specific instructions in giving medications, feeding specific diets, or following special cage setup procedures or quarantine procedures. Recurring assignments are performed independently. Deviations or unfamiliar situations are referred to the veterinary technicians.
Skills and Knowledge:
- Apply knowledge and skills in appropriately restraining/handling individual species and individual patient temperaments.
- Ability to gain confidence becoming comfortable with appropriate restraint for individual species when restraining for treatments or other procedures.
- Knowledge of proper methods of animal restraint for a wide variety of species.
- Ability to use cleaning materials and equipment with skill and efficiency.
- Ability to perform moderately heavy physical labor.
- Understand and carry out oral and written direction.
- Knowledge of WRMD database.
- Knowledge of basic natural history of the most common species we admit into the hospital.
- Must be 18 years or older.
- Possess a high school diploma or equivalent.
- A minimum of 1 year of working experience in service industry, veterinary field or similar. Volunteer hours may count as experience.
- Animal handling experience: 1 year minimum.
- Must have your own reliable transportation.
- Possess strong communication skills and be able to work as part of a TEAM.
- Responsible, trustworthy, and motivated multitasker.
- Ability to take direction and constructive criticism well.
- Ability to be productive, efficient and respectful during high stress periods.
- Calm demeanor with a positive attitude under stressful conditions.
- Ability to face urgent life or death situations almost daily including handling the emotional aspects of euthanasia.
- Must be able to perform basic mathematical computations including fractions and percentages.
- Work will often require: standing, bending, stooping, lifting (must be able to lift 30lbs), climbing ladders, and reading small text.
- Capable of rigorous indoor and outdoor work.
- Leadership and people skills to motivate volunteers to complete tasks.
- Comfortable preparing and working with insects and carcasses.
- Comfortable working with and around needles.
- Veterinary Assistant Experience: 1 year (Preferred).
- Experience working with wildlife.
- Required - Must be available to work 40 hours per week.
- Must be available to work weekends and holidays.
- Must complete all training and attend any scheduled meetings.
- Preferred candidates will also be available to work evenings.
HHS Benefits offered:
- Medical Benefits: Health/ Dental/ Vision (after 90 days)
- Pet care discounts: up to $700 annually
- Employee Discounts
- Paid Time off: after 6 months
- 403(b): matching up to 15% of compensation.
- Holiday Pay
- FSA (Flexible Spending Account)
- Employee Assistance Program
Changing Office Locations:
The HHS Wildlife Center will be changing locations to a new and improved building in 2024. The new location will be 3100 W. Fuqua Street, Houston, TX 77045. All employees must be willing to work at the current location and switch to the new location after the move.
To be considered for this position, please send your resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org