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Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Health Technician (Ophthalmology) in Las Vegas, Nevada

Summary

Ophthalmology Technicians in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) support Ophthalmologists in diagnosis, treatment, prevention, follow-up care and patient counseling. The Full Performance Health Technician (Ophthalmology) performs a range of standard, but complex, diagnostic procedures, assists during clinic-based surgical procedures, educates patients and legal representatives, assists with the education of medical students and residents.

Responsibilities

Primary duties and responsibilities include but are not limited to: Checks and performs calibration of technical ophthalmology screening instruments. Obtains patient physical history, to include chief complaint; reason for visit; pertinent signs and symptoms; current medication allergies; past ocular and general medical history both ocular and general; family history both ocular and general; social history; and review of medications and allergies, including current ocular prescription and non-prescription medications. Accurately tests visual acuity at distance and near, with and without correction or with and without a pinhole. Measures eyeglass prescription using manual or automated lensometer, recording sphere, cylinder, axis, and prism in both plus and minus cylinder. Performs pupil evaluation recording pupil size, shape, symmetry, reaction to light and accommodation. Performs swinging flashlight test to detect a relative afferent pupillary defect. Performs basic refractometry utilizing an auto refraction or habitual glass prescription in the phoropter. Instills eye medications (drops or ointments, including anesthetic, dye, dilating drops, cycloplegic drops or antibiotics). Properly schedules patient appointments, testing, procedures, and consults. Completes appropriate paperwork and computer entries in a timely manner Ensures availability of medications, supplies, and equipment in a clinic area. Ensures proper cleaning and disinfection; calibration, maintenance, backup, annual inventory and ordering of instruments, supplies and equipment; obtains quotes as needed; and reports needed repairs to biomedical engineering. Greets, checks-in patients, fields telephone calls and messages in a pleasant and efficient manner and then communicates the information in an appropriate fashion to the appropriate personnel. Ensures smooth patient flow in the clinic. Work Schedule: Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Financial Disclosure Report: Not required.

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

Qualifications

Applicants pending the completion of educational or certification/licensure requirements may be referred and tentatively selected but may not be hired until all requirements are met. Basic Requirements: United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy. Must be proficient in written and spoken English. Education and Experience One year of experience in a health care field such as but not limited to nursing, medical assistant, or health technician. OR Two years above high school with a minimum of six semester hours directly related to a health care field or associate's degree in a health care related degree. OR Experience/Education Combination: Equivalent combination of experience and education are qualifying for entry level for which both education and experience are acceptable. Examples are listed below: Six months of experience in the health care field; and one year above high school; or Six months of experience in the health care field and successful completion of a course for health care technicians, hospital corpsmen, medical service specialists, or ophthalmology technicians given by the U.S. Armed Forces; or Six months of experience in the health care field and completion of an independent study course in Ophthalmic Medical Assisting. Certification. All applicants must be certified as a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) with the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO). The COA certification is JCAHPO's entry-level certification examination for a Health Technician (Ophthalmology). Exception. Non-certified applicants who otherwise meet the minimum qualification requirements may be appointed as a graduate Health Technician (Ophthalmology) under the authority of 38 U.S.C. 7405(c)(2)(B). The appointing official may waive the requirement of certification for a period not to exceed two years for a Health Technician (Ophthalmology) that provides care under the supervision of an Ophthalmologist. The exception only applies below the full performance level. For grade levels at or above the full performance level the candidate must be certified. Failure to obtain COA certification during that period is justification for termination of the temporary appointment and may result in termination of employment. Failure to Obtain Certification. In all cases, the Health Technician (Ophthalmology) must actively pursue meeting certification requirements starting from the date of appointment. At the time of appointment, the supervisor will provide the uncertified Health Technician (Ophthalmology) with the written requirement to obtain certification, the date by which the certification must be acquired, and the consequences for not becoming certified by the deadline. Failure to become certified within two years from date of appointment will result in removal from the Health Technician (Ophthalmology), GS-0640 series and may result in termination of employment. Loss of Credentials. A Health Technician (Ophthalmlogy) who fails to maintain the required certification must be removed from the occupation, which may also result in termination of employment. In addition to the basic requirements, applicants must demonstrate at least 1 year of experience equivalent to at least the GS-7 Health Technician (Opthamology) grade level. Examples of this experience would typically include but are not limited to: Triages patient phone calls or requests. Ensures exam rooms are stocked with adequate supplies. Instructs patients on administration of eye drops and post-operative instructions. Accurately measures, compares, and evaluates pupillary responses. Administers eye drops to dilate pupils. Performs basic color vision screening. Performs visual field testing (using Amsler grid or automated equipment). Performs basic imaging testing such as corneal topography, and external photography. Performs basic ocular testing such as pachymetry, tear production with test strips, glare testing, stereo acuity, contrast sensitivity, potential acuity meter, measuring spectacles using both automated and manual lensometry and transposing cylinders. Assists the ophthalmologist during minor ophthalmic surgical procedures and is adept at applying sterile technique and infection control procedures. Performs autorefractor to determine spectacle prescription. Grade Determinations: GS-8

The Health Technician (Ophthalmology)at this level performs a range of standard, but complex, diagnostic procedures with responsibility for checking calibration of instruments prior to the procedure. Responsible for obtaining patient physical history, to include chief complaint; reason for visit; pertinent signs/symptoms; past history both ocular and general; family history both ocular and general; social history; and review of medications and allergies, including current ocular prescription and non-prescription medications. Accurately tests visual acuity at distance and near, with and without correction or with and without a pinhole. Measures eyeglass prescription using manual or automated lensometer, recording sphere, cylinder, axis, and prism in both plus and minus cylinder. Performs pupil evaluation recording pupil size, shape, symmetry, reaction to light and accommodation, and any abnormalities, including relative afferent pupillary defect. Performs basic refractometry utilizing an auto refraction or habitual glass prescription in the phoropter. Instills eye medications (i.e., drops or ointments, including anesthetic, dye, dilation, cycloplegic, or antibiotics. Responsible for measuring intraocular pressure of the eye utilizing techniques, including Goldmann applanation tonometry. Performs pachymetry to determine corneal thickness and manual keratometry or automated topography to determine corneal curvature. Performs intra-ocular lens calculations using the IOL Master. Performs automated visual field testing using various perimetry machines. Performance of external photographs and fundus photography. Performs optical coherence tomography (OCT) of the anterior segment, retina and optic nerve. Performs patient screening and triage emergencies identifying ocular emergencies. Performs patient screening and telephone triage for immediate care. Assists during clinic-based ophthalmic surgery, including revision of wounds, biopsies of the eyelid lesions, cultures of conjunctiva, or cornea; reformation of anterior chamber, evacuation of hyphema, repositioning of corneal endothelial grafts, intra-vitreous injections and laser surgical procedures.

In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs (must be reflected in your resume):

  1. Ability to perform advanced tonometry and pupil evaluation;

  2. Ability to perform calculations for selection of intraocular lens;

  3. Knowledge of clinic based ophthalmic surgical assisting;

  4. Knowledge of eye anatomy and physiology;

  5. Knowledge of medication effects and proper instillation in the eye;

  6. Knowledge of optics;

  7. Knowledge of proper cleaning and maintenance of clinic equipment. References: VA Handbook 5005/98, Part II, Appendix G52. Health Technician (Opthamology) Qualification Standard, GS-0640. http://vaww.va.gov/OHRM/Directives-Handbooks/Documents/5005.pdf The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-08. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is GS-08. Physical Requirements: The work requires some physical exertion such as prolonged periods of standing, bending, reaching, crouching, stooping, stretching, and lifting moderately heavy items such as manuals, record boxes, equipment or assisting patients. The work requires above average agility and dexterity. The incumbent may be required to travel between VA and/or Non-VA clinical care sites and possession of a valid driver's license may be required.

Education

IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education. Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/. If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html.

Additional Information

Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employee's credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed. This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies. It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment. This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status. VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply. The health-related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority. Veterans and Transitioning Service Members: Please visit the VA for Vets site for career-search tools for Veterans seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members. If you are unable to apply online, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application.

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