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Animal Care Technician - Full Time / À Temps Plein

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Queen's University

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Industry Sector: Social Services/Education / Services sociaux/ Éducation

Organization Description:

Queen’s University is the Canadian research intensive university with a transformative student learning experience.  Here the employment experience is as diverse as it is interesting.  We have opportunities in multiple areas of globally recognized research, faculty administration, engineering & construction, athletics & recreation, power generation, corporate shared services, and many more. 

We are committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcome applications from individuals from equity seeking groups such as women, racialized/visible minorities, Indigenous/Aboriginal peoples, persons with a disability, persons who identify in the LGBTQ+ community and others who reflect the diversity of Canadian society.

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Job Listing #9359

Animal Care Technician • Full Time / À Temps Plein

Date Posted: 14 Jan 2022

Application Deadline: 30 Jan 2022

Location: Kingston and Surrounding Area

Category: Other / Autre

Hours Per Week: 35

Pay Rate: Salary / Salaire 45,001 TO 55,000

Language Requirements: English / Anglais

Job Description:

  1. Give a short summary of the duties and responsibilities of your job.

Reporting to the Associate Director, Animal Care Services, the incumbent will work five days a week in the Animal Care quarters (noting the possibility of working some holidays and weekends). The incumbent will also report to Veterinary Services any animal health problems. The incumbent will have the following responsibilities:

Day to Day Responsibilities:

  • Adequately clean all sections of the animal facilities spotless to veterinary hospital standards, including microbiology testing, sanitization and sterilization using disinfectants, detergents, and operation of cage washer.
  • Allocate specific species to suitable cages or pens, and without fault cross match it with facility records. Select and combine the correct components to completely prepare a unit of housing suitable for a specific species of animal (singly or as a group).
  • When necessary, prepare and dispense the correct diet for specific species according to the animal’s biological needs, using micro to macro scales, volumetric devices and including sterilization procedure.
  • Provide bedding requirements for specific species with consideration for each species anatomy and physiology as well as normal and abnormal behavioral characteristics. Process includes sterilization, storage and transportation of bedding materials.
  • Accurately identify, handle and restrain any animal used in the facilities using collars, identification discs, tags, clips, ear punches, tattoo forceps, indelible pens, cage cards, animal record cards and appropriate restraint devices.
  • Effective and safe disposal of potentially or actual biohazardous material, with particular reference to disease control and specific guidelines through the use of protective equipment, holding and treatment of fluid effluent's, cold storage, disposal of carcasses, and other equipment.
  • Recognize deviations from normal health and behavior and differentiate abnormalities resulting from experimental work. Report any abnormalities to Veterinary Services. The incumbent must be aware of the basic principles of quarantining, conditioning and epidemiological control. Quality research is obtained by the usage of quality biomedical models.
  • Use appropriate methodology of acquiring medical samples.
  • Administer prescribed (by Veterinary Services) treatments, including performance of humane anesthesia in accordance with University Animal Care Committee (UACC) policies and standard operating procedures (SOPs).
  • Participation in stock inventory control and receiving of animals from commercial sources. This would also include intake examinations and reporting any animal health concerns to Veterinary Services.
  • Assist other researchers with their breeding colonies and wean animals as required, which could include but is not limited to, identification, pairing animals, weaning.
  • Organize the transportation of and/or transport an animal locally.
  • Lifting heavy animals and equipment (e.g. bags of food, paper, cleaning fluids, caging, and food containers).
  • Check and replace ventilation filters in all areas, recording humidity levels and temperatures.
  • Check fire and safety equipment on a monthly basis.
  • Minor maintenance of equipment for daily use (e.g. painting, shelving, mounting hardware).
  • Provide adequate space, facilities and/or work to maintain good physiological and behavioral health, which balances the experimental requirements, and the animal's needs, with the ethical and moral consideration of each specific animal usage. Criteria for exercise programs are based on considerations of anatomy and physiology, normal and abnormal behavior, and facility and equipment design.
  • Recognize deviations from prescribed animal facility and report any deviations from the prescribed overall and individual animal unit environment, which requires the use of thermometers, thermographs, hygrometers, and hygrographs, as well as reasonable sensitivity and analytical skills.
  • Act as a resource person for users of the lab animal care facility by fielding questions and providing solutions to the animal technical problems of research technicians, principal investigators, students and others.
  • Handling and providing for the needs of special husbandry cases.
    • Biohazards
    • Sterile environment

These skills are applied to the housing, maintenance and use of the following species: mouse, gerbil, guinea pig, birds (various), rats, primates, rabbits, cats, opossums, hamsters, pigs, frogs and other vertebrates and invertebrates.

  1. To fulfil your duties what knowledge, skills and specialized techniques are required? How would each be normally acquired? How long would it take to become proficient in each of the areas of your work?

Ideally, an incumbent should be a graduate of a full-time community college with a three-year program in Veterinary Technology. The minimum job requirement is a two-year community college program in Animal Health Care or Science Technology with additional training on the job of one year. However, many years of on-the-job experience in the field has ensured the competency necessary for the position.

The duties, skills and specialized techniques required include the following:

  • Adapt basic knowledge and skills to those required on the job.
  • Understand experimental procedures for which animals are used.
  • Proper handling of large and small animals.
  • Keep knowledge and skills up to date through reading technical magazines, papers and journals, and seminars.
  • Effectively communicate with academic and research staff, and their assistants.
  • Communicate and give appropriate advice, ideas, and follow up to faculty, other staff, and other technicians, with respect to maintaining adequate and humane animal health.

As assigned by Veterinary Services and the Associate Director, Animal Care Services weekly scheduling, all animals are checked regularly, and any progression of disease is reported to the Veterinarians.

  1. Is it necessary in this position to oversee the work, or to instruct other staff? If so, what does this involve?
  • On certain schedules, the incumbent is involved with the delegation of responsibilities to other Animal Care Technicians.
  • Training of new internal staff and familiarizing them with departmental procedures

  1. What other people must you deal with in this job and why? (i.e. is there direct contact with students, teaching staff, other departments, and people outside the university community).

The incumbent deals with approximately two hundred principal investigators, academic staff, research assistants, students, and support staff, who are external to our department in the following capacities:

  • Providing them with guidance, information, and assistance pertaining to animal handling, breeding, and facility procedures.
  • Preparing and delivering animals between animal facility rooms and buildings for research and educational purposes.
  • Assist Physical Plant Services (Fix-it) staff with on-site problems concerning facility maintenance.
  • Discuss matters concerning boarding, transportation of animals, caging, cage and room maintenance, and records with the Associate Director, Animal Care Services.

People dealt with from outside of the university include the following:

  • Delivery personnel re: delivery of food, supplies, equipment and Physical Plant Services.
  1. How is your work assigned to you and how closely is your work checked by someone else?

Schedules are posted and provide a daily outline of work to be performed. For general daily work, the technician is responsible for meeting departmental standards and procedures. This work depends on self-initiative and is not closely supervised.

The Associate Director, Animal Care Services may check to see if the work has been completed.

  1. a) Are the sorts of problems encountered in this job usually covered by established procedures or do you frequently have to develop or invent solutions to problems yourself?

Some problems are solved by established standard procedures, but the technician is frequently making decisions on priorities and exceptions to daily routine in consultation with the Associate Director, Animal Care Services or Veterinary Services. If major or unusual problems rise with the health status of animals, Veterinary Services and the principal investigators are contacted. Problems arising from mechanical failures, facility management or caging are reported to the Associate Director, Animal Care Services.

  1. b) Are you involved in establishing standard procedures? (Give examples)

The entire Animal Care staff has input in the development of standard operating procedures. All Animal Care Technicians have input into daily meetings, which play a role in the development of standard procedures.

  1. a) What is the size of your department (i.e. #of classes for which you are involved with labs., # of students, # of staff you might come in contact with, # of technicians in department).

1 University Veterinarian

1 Clinical Veterinarian

1 Associate Director, Animal Care Services

1 Administrative Assistants

8 Animal Care Technicians

5 Animal Care Helpers

6 Casual Animal Care Technicians

Over 200 students, technicians, faculty and principal investigators

  1. b) What kind of equipment or material are you responsible for? Are you solely responsible for it and what is its approximate value?

The technician has first line responsibility to report any faults, deficiencies or breakdowns in supplies to the Assistant Director, Animal Care Services, with total estimated value of $2,000,000. The equipment used ranges from specialized animal caging to intricate cage washers, biosafety hoods, floor scrubbers, maintenance tools and various drugs used in the treatment of animal diseases.

  1. Give details of any unusual factors affecting this job? i.e. hazards, unusual working conditions, requirement for a high degree of manual dexterity etc.

All laboratory animal technicians may come in contact with:

  • recombinant DNA material
  • toxic compounds
  • infectious microbiological agents
  • electromagnetic radiations
  • various drugs used in the treatment of animals
  • dust and a multitude of other allergens

They must also be particularly astute in the practical application of epidemiological control of animal diseases in a laboratory animal facility. One must also have sufficient sensitivity of sight, hearing, touch and smell to recognize signs of diseases.

There is a requirement to handle bad tempered animals, which may result in scratches, bites, diseases, dangerous infectious zoonotic agents, either inherent to the animal, or present as a result of research protocol.

The incumbent must lift heavy objects and animals (e.g. 30 kilo bags of feed), manipulate these and other heavy objects (e.g. caging, using the loading dock tailgate - often in inclement weather and occasionally for two (2) hour periods).

The incumbent must use potentially hazardous cleaning solutions.

The incumbent must provide fully adequate management of an animal whilst effectively containing the biohazard without risk to the operator or other co-users of an animal, equipment or area

The incumbent handles radioactive animals and their effluent.

  1. Do you have any general comments about this position which may not be covered by the preceding questions?

The technician must have a patient, humane and caring attitude towards all animals, combined with the strength and knowledge to handle them successfully. Because of the ever-increasing scrutiny which animal use in research is receiving, it is essential that the technician have a balanced ethical attitude to the humane use of animals in research, teaching and testing. The technician must be cognizant of the function of the Canadian Council of Animal Care, the Canadian Association for Laboratory Animal Science, the Animals for Research Act, and the University Animal Care Committee.

  1. Does the information provided on this questionnaire accurately describe the duties and responsibilities of your position?

Yes _______ No ________

APPLICANTS PLEASE FOLOW THE LINK BELOW:

https://clients.njoyn.com/CL4/xweb/xweb.asp?clid=74827&page=jobdetails&jobid=J1221-0906&BRID=EX242995&SBDID=1&LANG=1

Qualifications:

Ideally, an incumbent should be a graduate of a full-time community college with a three-year program in Veterinary Technology. The minimum job requirement is a two-year community college program in Animal Health Care or Science Technology with additional training on the job of one year. However, many years of on-the-job experience in the field has ensured the competency necessary for the position.

The duties, skills and specialized techniques required include the following:

  • Adapt basic knowledge and skills to those required on the job.
  • Understand experimental procedures for which animals are used.
  • Proper handling of large and small animals.
  • Keep knowledge and skills up to date through reading technical magazines, papers and journals, and seminars.
  • Effectively communicate with academic and research staff, and their assistants.
  • Communicate and give appropriate advice, ideas, and follow up to faculty, other staff, and other technicians, with respect to maintaining adequate and humane animal health.

As assigned by Veterinary Services and the Associate Director, Animal Care Services weekly scheduling, all animals are checked regularly, and any progression of disease is reported to the Veterinarians.

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