Ophthalmology Technicians in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) support Ophthalmologists in diagnosis, treatment, prevention, follow-up care and patient counseling. The Health Technician (Ophthalmology) position at the Developmental Level operates and monitors commonly used equipment performing basic screening procedures. 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. 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 .Certification via International Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology to include Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COA), Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COT), and Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technologist ( COMT) preferred. 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. Experience and Education: (1) Experience. One year of experience in a health care field, such as but not limited to nursing, medical assistant, or health technician. OR (2) Education: 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 (3) Experience/Education Combination: Equivalent combinations of experience and education are qualifying. Examples are listed below: (a) Six months of experience in the health care field; and one year above high school; or (b) 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 (c) 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. Foreign Education. To be creditable, education completed outside the U.S. must have been submitted to a private organization that specializes in the interpretation of foreign educational credentials and such education must have been deemed at least equivalent to that gained in conventional U.S. programs. Physical Requirements. See VA Directive and Handbook 5019. English Language Proficiency. Health Technicians (Ophthalmology) must be proficient in spoken and written English as required by 38 U.S.C. 7402(d) and 38 U.S.C. 7407(d). May qualify based on being covered by the Grandfathering Provision as described in the VA Qualification Standard for this occupation (only applicable to current VHA employees who are in this occupation and meet the criteria) Preferred Experience: Certification preferred but not required. Grade Determinations: In addition to the basic requirements for employment in section A, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates. Health Technician (Ophthalmology), GS-5 (Entry Level) Experience or Education. None beyond the basic requirements. Health Technician (Ophthalmology), GS-6 (Developmental Level 1) Experience. One year of experience equivalent to the GS-5 grade level. Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs). In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: 1. Knowledge of general outpatient clinical policies and procedures in a healthcare environment; 2. Ability to obtain, document and record demographic and medical information from patients in order to develop an accurate medical record; 3. Ability to use basic ophthalmic equipment; and 4. Knowledge of basic disinfection of non-critical reusable medical equipment. Health Technician (Ophthalmology), GS-7 (Developmental Level 2) Experience. One year of experience equivalent to the GS-6 grade level. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: 1. Knowledge of anatomy and function of the eye and basic ocular pharmacology; 2. Knowledge of outpatient eye care policies and procedures in a health care environment; 3. Ability to use basic ophthalmic diagnostic equipment to perform preliminary ocular testing; 4. Ability to perform minor extraocular surgical assisting; and 5. Ability to provide eye care patient education. Health Technician (Ophthalmology), GS-8 (Full Performance Level) Experience. One year of experience equivalent to the GS-7 grade level. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: 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; and 7. Knowledge of proper cleaning and maintenance of clinic equipment. References: VA Handbook 5005 Part II Appendix G52, Dated 2/7/2018. The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-8. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-5 to GS-8. ["*** This is an OPEN CONTINUOUS ANNOUNCEMENT and will remain open until December 13, 2023. The initial cutoff date for referral of eligible applications will be December 18, 2023. Eligible applications received after that date will be referred at regular intervals or as additional vacancies occur on an as needed basis until positions are filled. *** The Health Technician - Ophthalmology delivers support and care to the Veterans in diagnosis, treatment, prevention, follow-up care and patient counseling. The Health Technician - Ophthalmology performs a range of standard, but complex, diagnostic procedures, educates patients and legal representatives, assists with the education of medical students and residents. The Health Technician- Ophthalmology may perform many \"direct patient care services\" under the supervision of Ophthalmologists. Duties include but 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). Measures intraocular pressure with standard 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 an IOL Master or equivalent device. Performs automated visual field testing using various perimetry machines. Performs external photographs and fundus photography. Performs optical coherence tomography (OCT) of the anterior segment, retina and optic nerve. Performs patient screening and triage of potentially urgent ocular conditions. 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. Educates patients and legal authorized representatives in eye care, including preoperative and postoperative instructions. Assists in the education and training of medical students, residents and fellows in those facilities with medical school affiliations. 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. Work Schedule: Monday-Friday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm Telework: Not Available Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #: 51479-A, 51478-A, and 51480-A. Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,298 health care facilities, including 171 medical centers and 1,113 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year.