The incumbent provide care within the Ophthalmology and Optometry clinics within VA San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS). The incumbent performs technical work, medical in nature, under the guidance of the Section Chiefs of Ophthalmology and Optometry, and attending ophthalmologists and optometrists. There are 3 vacancies based in, that may require traveling to La Jolla CA, Kearny Mesa CA, Oceanside CA, Chula Vista CA. 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. Experience. One year of experience in a health care field, such as but not limited to nursing, medical assistant, or health technician. OR 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. Experience/Education Combination. Equivalent combinations of experience and education are qualifying. 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 (Ophthalmology) who fails to maintain the required certification must be removed from the occupation, which may also result in termination of employment. 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). Grade Determinations: Health Technician (Ophthalmology), GS-7 Experience. One year of experience equivalent to the GS-6 grade level. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA). In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: Knowledge of anatomy and function of the eye and basic ocular pharmacology. Knowledge of outpatient eye care policies and procedures in a health care environment. Ability to use basic ophthalmic diagnostic equipment to perform preliminary ocular testing. Ability to perform minor extraocular surgical assisting; and 5. Ability to provide eye care patient education. Health Technician (Ophthalmology), GS-8 Experience. One year of experience equivalent to the GS-7 grade level. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA). In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: Ability to perform advanced tonometry and pupil evaluation. Ability to perform calculations for selection of intraocular lens. Knowledge of clinic based ophthalmic surgical assisting. Knowledge of eye anatomy and physiology. Knowledge of medication effects and proper instillation in the eye. Knowledge of optics; and Knowledge of proper cleaning and maintenance of clinic equipment. References: See VA Handbook 5005/98, Part 11, Appendix G52: Health Technician (Ophthalmology) Qualification Standard. The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-08. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-07 to GS-08. ["GS-07 Health Technician (Ophthalmology) At this level, the Health Technician (Ophthalmology) performs the following: 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). GS-08 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. 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: Full-Time, Mon - Fri: May vary 0700-1530, 0730-1630, 0800-1630, 0830-1700 Compressed/Flexible: Not Authorized Telework: Not Authorized Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #: Health Technician (Ophthalmology) Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized PCS Appraised Value Offer (AVO): Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not Required"]
About Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
Providing Health Care for Veterans: The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,255 health care facilities, including 170 medical centers and 1,074 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year.