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National Aviary

National Aviary

Veterinary Technician

The Veterinary Technician provides medical care to the patients, assists with emergencies and preventative medicine plans, maintains hospital sanitation, maintains inventory system, and assists in training veterinary interns.
• Supports the National Aviary’s mission to inspire a respect for nature through an appreciation of birds and its goals of providing high quality visitor experiences, educational programs, and conservation messaging.
• Adheres to all National Aviary protocols and procedures
• Interacts with visitors utilizing the Aviary Visitor Engagement protocol. Initiates visitor engagement opportunities. Participates in visitor experiences and hospital tours.
• Maintains a strong understanding of the principles that underlie animal welfare in the zoological field and supports the National Aviary’s Animal Welfare Program
• Maintains understanding of the welfare indicators for the species and individual animals under their care.
• Completes formal welfare assessments regularly.
• Responsible for proficiently getting birds out of their habitats and holding the birds in a safe and effective manner for examinations, tests, and treatments. Must be able to handle a variety of bird species from the 150+ different species at the National Aviary.
• Continually learns and increases proficiency in medical skills such as patient assessments, diagnostics, and therapeutics. Actively participates in training sessions conducted by veterinarians and veterinary supervisors.
• Follows hospital protocols regarding patient care, drug administration, medical procedures, medical records, and communications.
• Responsible for performing daily husbandry and providing optimal nutrition to patients in wards following standard operating procedures. Provides approved enrichments to patients following National Aviary protocols.
• Assesses hospitalized patient recoveries and report medical improvements or concerns following hospital protocol.
• Assesses patient target weight, body condition, and weight changes.
• Medicates patients daily including oral, injectable, inhaled, and topical therapies. Assists with maintaining pharmacy inventory. Dispenses prescriptions efficiently and according to regulations.
• Sets up, assists, or performs diagnostic testing, included but not limited to, blood work, fecal tests, cytology, and x-rays following protocols.
• Triages critical emergencies quickly and efficiently following protocols. Maintains ICU and assess
patients daily.
• Assists with or performs wound management and bandage changes.
• Assists with necropsies: gross, collect histology samples, and special tests. Maintains necropsy
• Implements Preventative Medicine Protocol including administering vaccinations, parasite
treatments, and disease screening. Perform basic grooming of beak, nail, and wing trims.
• Checks the status of exhibit bird health through rounds, reports, and trainer meetings.
Communicates updates to supervisors.
• Performs husbandry for Isolation and Quarantine patients. Follows biosecurity protocols,
including foot baths, net dips, disinfecting medical equipment, medical clothing, & glove
• Assists with bird shipment testing and medical evaluations for health certificates.
• Maintains the hospital wards and buildings in a clean and orderly manner; including but not
limited to laundry, floors, cages, and equipment sanitation.
• Maintains the hospital equipment, included but not limited to oxygen, autoclave, hepafilters,
humidifiers, and heaters.
• Stocks and organizes all hospital rooms. Analyzes and suggests new methods to improve
efficiency. Assists with purchases, unpacking, stocking, and rotating inventory.
• Maintains medical records system and ZIMS database.
• Assists with the National Aviary Teaching Hospital educational programs by training preveterinary,
veterinary, and veterinary technician students in basic animal care skills and
standard zoo protocols.
• Participates in hospital scheduling meetings to implement medical plans and projects. Works
closely with other Vet Tech I’s in the team to give project progress reports to supervisors.
• Maintains a high level of professional work behavior and conduct. Promotes team-work and
positive communication. Regularly communicates with supervisory staff reporting patient
assessments and discussing any concerns or questions.
Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities,
duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for their job. Duties, responsibilities, and
activities may change at any time with or without notice.
• The Veterinary Technician has no supervisory responsibilities.
• Knowledgeable and experienced in hospital departments: Hospital Wards, ICU, Isolation,
Laboratory, Pharmacy, Necropsy, Radiology, Surgery & Anesthesia, Quarantine, Shipments,
Central Supply, Medical Records, Hospital Maintenance, Intern Programs, and Visitor Programs.
• Competency in the following avian medicine skills, including but not limited to, physical
examinations, diagnostic testing, radiographs, and pharmacy.
• Knowledgeable and experienced with handling a variety of avian species, their natural biology,
behavior, husbandry, nutrition, and enrichment requirements.
• Strong organizational skills.
• Strong oral and written communication skills.
• Computer and medical records skills.
• Familiarity with ZIMS database preferred.
• Strong presentation skills, as well as the ability to interact and communicate with a variety of
audiences in a professional and engaging manner
• Familiarity with standard zoo practices including quarantine, preventative medicine, health
certificates, breeding programs, and operant training.
• Minimum requirement of 1 year of zoo, wildlife rehabilitation, or hospital experience is
• Veterinary Technician Associate Degree or Zoo Animal Technology Associate Degree preferred.
• Satisfactory Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check and Child Abuse History
• Satisfactory FBI Criminal Record Check
While performing the duties of this job, the employee must possess the manual dexterity required to
perform the job duties. They regularly operates surgical equipment and x-ray machines. The employee
may be required to stand for long periods of time. The employee constantly positions self in habitats,
including under, over, and around obstacles. The employee occasionally ascends and descends ladders.
The employee regularly transports crates and supplies up to 50 pounds. The employee regularly uses
utensils and tools including sharps, knives, scissors, and hoses. The employee occasionally operates
hand and power equipment.
Work environments will include chilled or humid environments, public areas where the noise level may
be loud, outdoors where work may need to be done in inclement weather conditions, including
extremes of temperature and precipitation, and climate-controlled office spaces. The employee is
regularly exposed to various disinfecting agents and common allergens such as latex, nuts, and seafood.
The employee is regularly exposed to biohazards such as radiation, oxygen tanks, carcinogens, toxins,
chemicals, and infectious agents.
This position is full time including both Saturday and Sunday

Experience Required

1 year of zoo, wildlife, rehab, or hospital experience is preferred

Further Comments

This full time position includes both Saturdays and Sundays

How to Apply

Interested candidates can find infomation, including application, on our join our team page of our web site:  and send their resume, cover letter, and application to

National Aviary
700 Arch St
Pittsburgh, PA 15212-5201
Phone: 4122589437
Fax: National Aviary

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@National Aviary

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