Colonial Williamsburg Company - Williamsburg VA

Apothecary Assistant

Job description

The primary function of the Apothecary Assistant interpreter is to rediscover, learn, and preserve the varied skills and knowledge of the 18th-century apothecary-surgeon and interpret those skills and knowledge to the public, both orally and in written form. The interpreter must become proficient in these skills and knowledge. The interpreter is expected to learn and demonstrate mastery of subject matter through a structured curriculum.

Job Details:

  • Must be able to commit to the Apothecary-Surgeon interpreter curriculum; must be able to demonstrate competency in each skill and knowledge area of the curriculum. Information gained will expand the interpretation and programming efforts of the apothecary shop.
  • Learns 18th c. medical practices through reading primary and secondary sources. Reading and understanding the social history of medicine including the lives of practitioners. Gather historical data from various sources, including archives, books, and artifacts.
  • Researches and studies primary and secondary sources on the practice of medicine, pharmacy, surgical techniques, tools, diagnosing and treating disease, and other areas related to the 18th c. practice of medicine.
  • Develops proficiency in compounding, measuring, and other skills related to the practice of apothecaries and surgeons of the 18th c. through practice and demonstration for repeatable results. The progression of the interpreter is based on the successful completion of compounding period medicines and other related pharmacological skills and knowledge as defined in the interpreter curriculum.
  • Provides a variety of interpretation styles and techniques of this 18th c. trade to a wide range of audiences focusing on its history, its products and services in the community, region, and in the world; the technology, processes, skills, organization and working environment of the trade; the lives and times of those who pursued the trade; the evolution of the trade; relationships between trades, etc.
  • Develops proficiency in skills and knowledge under the direction of the Supervisor of Medical History Programs and Apothecary Specialist; sustaining continuous incremental growth and progressive skill advancement that completes all interpreter skill levels at the established pace.
  • Works with and/or assists members of the department and representatives of other departments (for example: research) in developing recommendations on new and/or varied interpretive contributions. Gives presentations on research as appropriate. Write reports, articles, and books on findings and theories
Other Duties:
  • Professional conduct and ethics consistent with the Principles of Excellence as stated in the employee handbook.
  • Must be able to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Assists with in-depth seminars, workshops, programs, and/or forums dealing with the trade that may be held at the museum or at other locations.
  • Assists other interpreters, volunteers, and Apothecary Specialist with requests from the media that may include but is not limited to interviews and scripted or live filming.
  • Interpreter will be required to attend NAI training and other interpretive training as required by the Foundation.
  • Maintains the educational integrity of the museum exhibit space recreating an 18th-c. Williamsburg apothecary shop, maintaining an accurate personal appearance (clothing and accessories), strictly using approved historical tools, techniques, and materials.
  • Follows safety and security procedures established for the site, tools, materials and equipment. Ensures that the safety and security procedures are followed in the absence of the supervisor and interpreter.
  • Maintains a high level of hospitality, courtesy, and professionalism while dealing with all guests, fellow employees, and volunteers. Insures that the program provides exceptional guest customer service.
  • Performs other related duties as required.
  • Goal of gaining the Apothecary Assistant levels 1 through 5 by the way of a comprehensive curriculum with benchmarking accomplishments. Demonstrates excellence in interpretation according to the NAI standards, customer service, interpersonal skills, teamwork and integrity.
  • Demonstrated skill in conveying historical information and practices; High level of knowledge of the history of eighteenth-century Williamsburg, Colonial Virginia, the American colonies, West Africa, and the British Empire, and ability to synthesize this information for guests; usually gained through 4 years progressive experience.
  • Research background/contributions to advancing the knowledge or expertise in 18th c history and ability to conduct research into the trade which includes the ability to read cursive handwriting; present results in an effective manner both oral and written- generally gained through a high school degree/ GED plus 5 to 7 years progressive work experience in the field or similar work.
  • Must be able to lift 25 lbs. on occasion; work with various organic and inorganic materials for compounding, must be able to work in all types of weather; be able to work outside as needed with exposure to dust, pollen, and insects; must be able to climb stairs unencumbered.
  • Must be able to work a flexible schedule, to include weekends and all holidays.
  • Ability to use Foundation computers and other Colonial Williamsburg approved media devices and programs.
  • Demonstrates leadership skills, including the ability to give and receive feedback, flexibility, and embodies Colonial Williamsburg Core Values and Standards of Excellence.
Preferred Qualifications:
  • Four year degree in American history or in a subject relating to the trade
  • 3 -4 years experience in historic presentation in a living history environment

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