Laboratory Technician

The purpose of this position is to serve as a Laboratory Technician at Kulshan Veterinary Hospital, to perform analysis and record keeping of all laboratory tests, and to provide miscellaneous support to the veterinary practice manager and staff. This position requires a practical knowledge of hospital organization and services, data entry, word processing, mail service, and a practical knowledge of the standard procedures, veterinary records and terminology used in the hospital laboratory.

Primary Job Responsibilities
• Management reserves the right to assign varied job tasks to any employee.
• Chemistry:
o Analyze samples using the Heska DriChem 7000 analyzer
o Perform preventative maintenance on analyzer
– Monthly – clean air filters
– Quarterly – perform periodic maintenance
o Run Heska Quality Control weekly
o Compare DriChem results with Phoenix Lab results on one sample monthly
o Trouble shooting – call Tech support if there is a problem with the analyzer

• Coggins:
o Type Coggins forms
o When coggins are complete, separate forms – keep white & green copies in lab, yellow copy to client, pink copy gets            mailed to USDA.
o Scan original description of horses & put in folder in lab file in computer.
• Health Certificates:
o Talk to clients to get information for health certs and/or coggins
o Make sure the doctor has appropriate information before they go on the call
o Type interstate & international health certs
o As needed, call for permit #’s on interstate HC’s
o FedEx international HC’s to USDA-Olympia for endorsement.
o Scan HC and insert document in client medical record
o Interstate HC’s – blue copy to client, top two copies sent to WSDA.
• Analysis using Idexx SNAP Test Kit:
o Parvo
o Feline PLI
• Analysis using Zoetis or Abaxis test kit:
o Heartworm
• Semen Evaluation – either:
o Semen motility check – check for motility and approximate # of sperm.
o Semen evaluation – evaluate motility & morphology, and do a sperm count for # of sperm/ml and # of sperm /                     ejaculate.
• Hematology:
o Analyze samples using the Hematrue Hematology analyzer
o Run Quality Control daily
o Compare HemaTrue results with Phoenix Lab results on one sample monthly
o Change fluid packs as necessary
o Trouble shooting – call Tech support if there is a problem with the analyzer
o Read WBC differential slides, involving counting % of each WBC type and nucleated RBC’s, analyzing WBC, RBC &                    platelet morphology.
o Read TP using the Refractometer
o Calculate Fibrinogen level
o Perform reticulocyte counts
o Analyze fluids (eg. Joint fluid, belly tap) by getting a count from the Hematrue, reading a TP & differential count (if                enough WBC’s)
• Cytology:
o Read cytology slides from needle aspirates or masses, evaluating smear for types of cells, bacteria, or other                          organisms.
• Urinalysis:
o Read Dipstick for PH/protein/blood/ketones/bilirubin & glucose
o Read specific gravity using refractometer
o Examine urine sediment for RBC’s, WBC’s epithelial cells, crystals, casts, sperm & bacteria
• Parasitology:
o Acid fast stain – stain slide (usually fecal) and check for acid-fast organisms.
o Baerman sedimentation for lungworms – set up and read after 24 hours.
o Fecal floatation – check for parasite eggs, coccidia or giardia & quantitate #/g for LA and #/lpf for SA.
o Fecal sand check – set up and read at 24 hours.
o Fecal occult blood test.
o Skin scraping – check slide microscopically for mites or demodex.
o Stained smears – often ear swabs or skin tape preps or impression smears; check slide microscopically for yeast                   and/or bacteria.
• Bacteriology
o Set cultures – includes milk, fecal, eye, ear, skin, uterine, abscess/wound, urine, nasal, tracheal wash, fluid
o Read cultures, identifying all bacteria, and set/read sensitivities if needed.
– ID based on various of the following:
• Colony morphology
• Gram stain
• Catalase test
• Oxidase test
• Coagulase test
• Spot Indole Test
• Tube ID media: TSI/LIA/SIM/Urea/Citrate
o Subculture quality control plate weekly (with staph aureus, oxidase positive, Mannitol positive & negative organisms )
o Quality Control: compare our results (ID & sensitivity) with Phoenix Lab results on one sample per quarter
o Keep a log of incubator temperature, making sure it’s in the correct range.
o KOH preps – Microscopic examination for fungal elements in hair shafts
o Examination for Dermatophilus – set up slide, stain and read
o Read DTM cultures – if growth on RSM or DTM media, do wet mount & examine microscopically to verify presence or           absence of Dermatophytes.

• Send out samples to Reference Laboratories
o Prepare laboratory samples and corresponding paperwork and send to a variety of reference laboratories within the             U.S.

• Things we make
o Coggins media
o Phenol plates
o Penicillin gel solution
o 10% buffered formalin
The Laboratory Technician works under the direct supervision of the Laboratory Manager, who will indicate and oversee general assignments, limitations and priorities. Recurring assignments are performed independently. Deviations or unfamiliar situations are referred to the laboratory manager and/or practice manager. Completed work is reviewed for technical accuracy and compliance with established procedures.
Skills and Knowledge: Knowledge of laboratory procedures and laboratory analyzer operating instructions, recording test results, relaying information regarding test results, and compiling and entering test data on patients into their records in Cornerstone.
Knowledge of the spelling and meaning of commonly used terminology of veterinary medicine to accurately record results of tests.
Personal contact with animal clients is affected by a variety of problems, visitors and other staff members. Considerable tact and diplomacy is required.