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Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium of Metro Parks Tacoma

Clinical Veterinary Technician – Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

SALARY: $24.32 - $33.68 Hourly
OPENING DATE: 08/03/22
CLOSING DATE: 09/28/22 11:59 PM

Metro Parks Tacoma (MPT) is a CAPRA-accredited and AZA-accredited, independent park district that leads efforts to build a healthy, sustainable community.  Metro Parks Tacoma is located in Tacoma, Washington. The system is comprised of many different park facilities that offer residents a variety of recreational opportunities. From waterfront access to local neighborhood parks to large regional facilities and attractions, the MPT system is both a local community asset and regional destination.
 These eight core values will guide future decisions, business and operations, and the manner in which MPT treats staff, customers and the community:
 •Innovation    •Excellence     •Equity    •Inclusiveness    •Sustainability   •Accountability  •Safety  •Fun

Under the direction of the Head and Associate Veterinarians, the veterinary technician/nurse performs a variety of specialized duties involved in the medical management of the animal collection and maintenance of the hospital facilities, equipment, records, and daily clinical operations.

General functions of the position include: provide advanced clinical support to the veterinarian in the delivery of health care to a wide variety of zoo and aquatic species; oversee proper care and function of the hospital facilities and equipment; ; provide care and maintenance of hospitalized and quarantined animals; provide emergency first-aid patient care; coordinate preventive fecal parasite screening schedules with animal care staff.  Dispense and fill prescribed medications and ordering of supplies as needed.
In the performance of their respective tasks and duties all employees are expected to conform to the following:

  • Perform quality work within deadlines with or without direct supervision.
  • Interact professionally with other employees, customers and suppliers.
  • Work effectively as a team contributor on all assignments.
  • Work independently while understanding the necessity for communicating and coordinating work efforts with other employees and organizations.
  • Observe applicable safety requirements, use safety equipment provided, implement appropriate safety practices at all times and report immediately any unsafe working conditions or hazards.

Assist veterinarians in all aspects of zoo medical procedures, including, anesthesia, radiology, treatment, dentistry, necropsy, preventive medicine, and surgery.
Provide nursing care, administer treatments, therapies, and bandage changes to hospitalized patients and other active clinical cases within the collection.
Perform and interpret advanced pharmacological calculations to ensure proper and accurate drug dosing.
Have thorough knowledge of anatomy and physiology of a wide variety of zoo animals.
Perform proper restraint and handling of animals from diverse taxonomic groups.
Demonstrate advanced understanding of radiology equipment, technique, and positioning for a wide variety of species in order to obtain quality diagnostic images, and the ability to troubleshoot problems with equipment.
Collect and process lab specimens from a wide variety of zoo animals; perform specialized analyses of samples; distribute samples to appropriate clinical pathology laboratories; communicate technically with lab specialists based on veterinarian's needs.
Assist veterinarian with necropsy and pathology procedures; perform some necropsies and diagnostic sampling independently.
Record detailed, accurate, and professional notations during veterinary procedures; have thorough and advanced knowledge of medical terminology and good  scientific writing skills.
Write reports and graph information as requested by veterinarian.
Perform routine clinical pathology, anesthesia, parasitology, and anesthesia data entry in ZIMS Medical Records System.
Work closely with keepers on training animals to present voluntary behaviors for medical procedures; advanced knowledge of operant conditioning techniques.
Participate in approved independent research and support institutional scientific research and conservation; have understanding of scientific research methods.
Must have excellent organizational skills and acute attention to detail.
Coordinate and perform the operation, care, servicing, and cleaning of all hospital/medical equipment and facilities.
Oversee the ordering of all pharmaceuticals and other medical supplies needed for veterinary department operations.
Coordinate and maintain the bio hazardous waste program.
Coordinate and maintain quarantine facilities and operations.
Assist in creation and coordination of hand-rearing protocols with keepers and veterinarians.
Communicate professionally and technically within the institution and with other zoo organizations.
Coordinate and schedule preventive fecal parasitology schedules with veterinarian and animal care staff.
Participate in staff training presentations, both independently, and by assisting the veterinarian.
Coordinate CPR training for staff.
Serve as a member of the emergency response team for animal escapes.
Understand applicable City, State, Federal, AVMA, and AZA regulations.
Assure the safety of animals, employees and the visiting public from injury or mishap.
Participate in staff development training as required or approved.
Demonstrate consistent positive attitude and willingness to contribute to the staff team.
Perform other related duties as assigned.

Experience Required

EDUCATION: Graduate of an American Veterinary Medical Association Accredited Veterinary Technology/Nursing Program with an Associate's Degree in Veterinary Technology/Nursing. Successful passing of the National Veterinary Technology/Nursing Medical Board Exam. A Bachelor's Degree is strongly preferred. EXPERIENCE: Minimum 3 years paid experience as a licensed, clinical Veterinary Technician; experience as a zoo or exotics veterinary technician required.


$24.32 - $33.68 Hourly

How to Apply

Apply at

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium of Metro Parks Tacoma
Tacoma, WA

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