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Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Health Technician (Ophthalmology) in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Summary

The Health Technician (Ophthalmology) responds to the needs of the staff ophthalmologists, the supervisory technician or other designated administrative supervisor who will maintain daily supervision and guidance. The technician plans and carries out examinations in line with training and accepted practices and independently makes recommendations about clinical situations, procedures or changes to procedures in some situations.

Responsibilities

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. Ensures proper cleaning and disinfection; calibration, maintenance, backup, annual inventory and ordering of instruments, supplies and equipment; obtains quotes; and reports needed repairs to biomedical engineering. Work Schedule: Monday - Friday 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM

Financial Disclosure Report: Not required

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

Qualifications

BASIC REQUIREMENTS a. Citizenship. Citizen of the United States. b. 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. c. 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). (1) 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. GRADE REQUIREMENTS: Grade Determinations. In addition to the basic requirements, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates: (1) Health Technician (Ophthalmology), GS-5 (Entry Level) (a) Experience or Education. None beyond the basic requirements. (b) Assignment. Employees at this grade level serve in a Health Technician (Ophthalmology) entry level position and are trainee in nature. The entry level performs limited routine assignments under daily direct supervision. Deviations from unanticipated problems and unfamiliar situations are referred to the supervisor for a decision or help. Obtains and records vital signs including blood pressure, pulse, and glucose levels. Participates in performance of quality assurance activities such as staff meetings, quality control reports, systems redesign, and team and morale improvement. (2) Health Technician (Ophthalmology), GS-6 (Developmental Level 1) (a) Experience. One year of experience equivalent to the GS-5 grade level. (b) Assignment. The Health Technician (Ophthalmology) at this level operates and monitors commonly used equipment performing basic screening procedures. Assists ophthalmology staff by obtaining an accurate medical and ophthalmic history, measuring and recording visual acuity, administering anesthetic eye drops, performing basic tonometry, estimating the anterior chamber depth and recording a simple spectacle reading through automated lensometry. Deviations from regular procedures, unanticipated problems, complex patients and unfamiliar situations are referred to the supervisor for a decision or assistance. (3) Health Technician (Ophthalmology), GS-7 (Developmental Level 2) (a) Experience. One year of experience equivalent to the GS-6 grade level. (b) Assignment. 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). Performs basic imaging testing such as corneal topography; 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. The employee 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. (4) Health Technician (Ophthalmology), GS-8 (Full Performance Level) (a) Experience. One year of experience equivalent to the GS-7 grade level. (b) Assignment. This is considered to be the full performance level for this assignment. 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 nonprescription 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. References: VA HANDBOOK 5005/98, PART II, APPENDIX G52 dated February 7, 2018. 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-05 to GS-08.

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

To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 09/25/2020. 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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