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Agricultural Research Service Animal Caretaker in Ames, Iowa

Summary This position is located within United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Field Organization, Midwest Area (Peoria, IL), National Animal Disease Center, Research Program Support, Animal Resources Unit in Ames, Iowa. The incumbent performs all duties including standard husbandry procedures, observing, feeding, watering, cleaning, sanitation, and promotion of animal well-being related to the care of various laboratory animals following guidelines and instructions. . Responsibilities Collects blood and other body fluids, tissues, or secretions, using techniques as prescribed by animal care and use protocols. Treats injured or ill animals when appropriate by administering medications orally, topically, by inhalation, or parenterally (IM, SQ, or IV) upon instructions from the veterinarian, supervisor, or investigator. Maintains animal records and pertinent history. Incumbent needs to be able to interpret the general animal care guidelines. Operates other equipment such as high pressure cleaners, automatic water systems, 2 ton chain hoist on a rail system, hydraulic necropsy table, commercial band saws, down-draft tables, autoclaves, cage washers, rack washers, forklift, and vehicles. Uses a personal computer to record and maintain experimental data, and for email communication and to complete required on-line courses. May be required to assist with animal euthanasia, including the use of euthanasia chambers and necropsies. Knowledge of abnormal appearance and behavior of animals (i.e., characteristics, external lesions, rate of growth, weight loss, appetite, feces, etc.) to recognize when an animal is ill or injured. Ability to restrain (catching, holding in proper position, transferring, and operating restraint equipment) various species of animals that are often frightened, unpredictable, and ill-natured in accordance with established humane practices. Ability to hold and transfer animals without injuring the animals or causing personal injury. Requirements Conditions of Employment Qualifications Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including time-in-grade restrictions, specialized experience and/or education, as defined below. Time in grade: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience at the next lower grade to be considered for the next higher grade (e.g. one year at the GS-5 grade level for consideration for the GS-6 grade level.). In order to qualify for this position you must meet the following by the closing date of the vacancy announcement: 05/17/2021Qualifications will be determined under the Job Element Rating System X-118C, Qualifications Standard Handbook. While a specific length of time and experience is not required for most Wage Grade positions, you must show through experience and training that you possess the best qualified level of knowledge and skill necessary to perform the duties of this position. Qualification requirements emphasize the quality of experience, not necessarily the length. The responses to the questionnaire and your resume should be in significant detail to provide the person rating your application with a good understanding of your ability to do the job, technical knowledge, work, and training experience, etc. (For example You must have the ability to perform the duties of a Animal Caretaker, without more than normal supervision (Screen Out)). Applicants who do not meet the SCREEN OUT ELEMENT will not be given further consideration. Physical Effort: The incumbent performs activities involved in the care, treatment, and observation of animals, and collection of biological specimens. Moderate to heavy physical exertion is required daily for restraining large animals and moving feed, hay, bedding, and equipment (up to 75 pounds). May be required to move large animal carcasses and/or portions of carcasses in carts weighing up to 300 pounds, with the assistance of handling equipment. May be required to stand on a ladder to complete overhead tasks, i.e. the cleaning and changing of filters. Stooping, bending, reaching, and active walking may also be required. The incumbent may frequently be required to do physical activity while wearing a respirator, which requires extra effort. Working Conditions: Position is located at a biocontainment facility. The work is performed in animal holding facilities where natural and man-made environment extremes (i.e., rain, snow, ice, sunlight, heat, cold, and high humidity) are present. Because this is an exigency position, the incumbent is expected to report for duty when the lab is closed due to hazardous weather, heightened threat levels, or natural disasters. Work may involve discomforts such as having to spend long periods of time on concrete or slippery floors, exposure to bites, scratches, kicks, disagreeable odors, allergens, and animal wastes from diseased or distressed animals. The incumbent will be expected to work with animals infected with zoonotic diseases and therefore be required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks or respirators, eye and ear protection, boots, gloves, and coveralls. Various forms of respiratory protection equipment must be worn when working with certain infectious agents, chemicals, and animal allergens. PPE provides necessary protection against biological and chemical hazards, but may increase the risk of accidents due to decreased vision, hampered communication, limited mobility and dexterity. Physical well-being may be compromised by the prolonged usage of the PPE may lead to labored respiration, heat stress and dehydration. Work may be performed daily in the presence of hazardous chemicals such as formaldehyde, virucidal and bactericidal disinfectants, and detergents. For the health and safety of the incumbent and to prevent the spread of disease, immunization against diseases being studied at NCAH which are transmissible to humans may be required where the vaccine has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for safety and effectiveness under the provisions of the Federal, Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as amended 2 1 USC 32 1-393. Where the FDA for investigation purposes has approved the vaccine, the incumbent will be advised that such immunization is voluntary. The incumbent may be required to receive extra vaccinations to work on specific projects, submit to blood tests, and a tuberculosis skin test. It is highly desirable that the incumbent is certified as a Laboratory Animal Technician by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) or a related specialty certification. The incumbent escorts visitors in the laboratory area and/or works with high consequence pathogens. Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience. Education This position does not have an education qualification requirement. Additional Information Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL), or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): Visit the OPM website for information on how to apply as a CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP eligible. To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP/RPL/ICTAP candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors. CTAP/ICTAP candidates must be rated and determined to be well qualified (or above) based on an evaluation of the competencies listed in the How You Will Be Evaluated section. When assessed through a score-based category rating method, CTAP/ICTAP applicants must receive a rating of at least 85 out of a possible 100. Veterans who are preference eligible or who have been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions after three years or more of continuous active service are eligible for consideration under the Veteran's Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA). Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Employees: Permanent County employees without prior Federal tenure who are selected for a Civil Service position under Public Law 105-277 will be given a career-conditional appointment and must serve a 1-year probationary period. For more information on applying under special hiring authorities such as the Veteran's Recruitment Act (VRA), 30 percent disabled veterans, certain military spouses, Schedule A Disabled, etc., explore the different Hiring Paths on the USAJOBS website. Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act (LMWFA) provides current or former temporary or term employees of federal land management agencies opportunity to compete for permanent competitive service positions. Individuals must have more than 24 months of service without a break between appointments of two or more years. Service must be in the competitive service and have been at a successful level of performance or better. Refer to PUBLIC LAW 114-47-AUG. 7, 2015 for more information. This position is being concurrently announced under Delegated Examining Announcement Number ARS-S21Y-11106066-JL. This announcement is open to all qualified candidates. Applying to both announcements may expand the possibilities of consideration since different referral criteria apply to each type of announcement. See the above announcement for more information. This position is covered by a Bargaining Unit Agreement