Advanced clinical dental hygienists provide direct patient care under the general supervision of the dentist or periodontist, and perform other clinical and clerical functions independently. These employees plan, coordinate, and conduct preventive oral health programs for various patient groups, caregivers and healthcare providers; develop and modify instructional methods; and develop methods for evaluating the effectiveness of the preventive dentistry program. 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. Education. Applicants must possess an Associate degree or higher from an accredited dental hygiene program. The degree must have been obtained from an institution whose accreditation was in place for the year in which the course of study was completed. Approved programs are: (1) Dental hygiene programs accredited by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). (2) [Education completed outside of the United States must be considered at least equivalent to that gained in CODA accredited United States programs and would enable the candidate to sit for the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, which is administered by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations.] Licensure/Certification (1) Licensure. Applicants must be currently licensed to practice as a dental hygienist with a full, current and unrestricted license in a State, Territory or Commonwealth of the United States, or the District of Columbia. (2) Certification. P.L. 97-35, Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act Of 1981, requires persons who administer radiologic procedures meet the credentialing standards in 42 C.F.R. Part 75, Standards for the Accreditation of Educational Programs for and the Credentialing of Radiologic Personnel. To meet this requirement, they must have successfully completed an educational program that meets or exceeds the standards described in that regulation and is accredited by an organization recognized by the Department of Education and be certified as radiographers in their field. Accredited dental hygiene programs contain curriculum addressing radiologic procedures meets the requirement for certification as dental radiographers. (4) Loss of Credential. Management officials will remove dental hygienists from their positions who fail to maintain the required licensure/certification, which may also result in termination of employment. Foreign Education. To be creditable, education completed outside the U.S. must be deemed at least equivalent to that gained in a conventional U.S. program by a private organization specializing in the interpretation of foreign educational credentials. Physical Requirements. See VA Directive and Handbook 5019, Employee Occupational Health Service for requirements. English Language Proficiency. Dental hygienist candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f). Grade Determinations: GS-10 Experience At least one year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade level that is directly related to the position being filled fully meets the KSAs at that level. In addition to meeting the KSAs for the GS-09 level, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: (1) Knowledge of medical assessment techniques including interviewing and evaluating clinical findings (e.g. normal and critical lab values) to adapt treatment based on medical and psychological issues. (2) Advanced knowledge of oral and dental anatomy including root anatomy, common pathologies and anomalies, and indications for advanced radiographic imaging and proper technique to detect potential abnormalities. (3) Knowledge of medical treatment adjuncts and indications and the ability to safely administer medicaments (e.g. intrasulcular medicaments, local anesthesia, sulcular lavage, applying and removing periodontal surgical dressing). (4) Knowledge of advanced adjunctive diagnostic and therapeutic equipment, indication for use and ability to utilize safely (e.g. sonic, magnetostrictive ultrasonic, and piezo ultrasonic scalers). (5) Skill in providing safe and thorough prophylaxis, root planing and soft-tissue curettage for complex periodontal and/or restorative cases and skill in providing safe care for patients with complex medical/psychiatric issues. (6) Ability to apply adult education techniques/methods, organize curriculum, judge cognitive ability, and provide healthcare education regarding relationships between medical and dental pathologies to groups, interdisciplinary staff, and other outside contacts. Assignments For all assignments above the full performance level, the higher-level duties must consist of significant scope, complexity, and range of variety, and be performed by the incumbent at least 25% of the time. At this level, dental hygienists are advanced-level practitioners in assigned areas. Employee assignments may include but are not limited to advanced patient assessments/clinical evaluations (blood glucose levels, medication reconciliation, oral cancer screening, dietary analysis for caries risk, pulse oximeter, comprehensive periodontal charting), prophylaxis in complex restorative cases (e.g. multiple dental implants, orthognathic, post-surgical trauma, etc.), advanced scaling and root planing (ability to use advanced modalities) with or without soft-tissue curettage, advanced radiographic studies (cone beam computed tomography (CT), cephalometric), local anesthesia administration, advanced adjunctive treatment (xerostomia treatment recommendations, sulcular lavage, placement of intrasulcular medicaments, applying and removing periodontal surgical dressings, orthodontic care, sealant placement, occlusion adjustment, placement of desensitizing agents, professional whitening procedures), individual and group oral hygiene instructions for special-needs populations, elevated educational instruction, development of training materials/presentations), management of medically and/or behaviorally compromised patients, and collaboration with other disciplines. References: VA Handbook 5005/146, PART II, APPENDIX G37. DENTAL HYGIENIST QUALIFICATION STANDARD, GS-0682, Veterans Health Administration dated July 23, 2021. The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-10. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is GS-10. Physical Requirements: Moderate Lifting (15-44b lbs.); Light Lifting (under 15 lbs.); Moderate carrying (15-44lbs); Light Carrying (under 15 lbs.); Reaching above shoulder; Use of fingers; Both hands required; Standing (up to 3 hours); Both Legs Required; Near vision correctable at 13" to 16";Hearing (aid permitted). ["Patient Care Sets up operatory for planned dental procedure and cleans dental unit for timely turnover. Properly prepares and maintains instruments, setups, and operatory for hygiene procedures. Handles instruments safely, accurately, and efficiently. Interviews patient and assesses patient's medical & dental histories, any anxiety/phobias, and existing medications and comorbidities. Assesses clinical findings, including lab values, and adapts care based on findings, to properly manage medically or behaviorally compromised patients. Provides safe and effective care for patients with complex medical/psychiatric issues. Assesses the impact of patient's medical and dental condition on maintaining oral health. Recognizes age-related changes in individual patients, adapts patient environment, and maximizes patient's physical comfort. Provides safe and effective oral prophylaxis, gross debridement, soft tissue curettage, and deep or advanced scaling and root planing procedures to patients with complex periodontal conditions, and complex restorative conditions (eg. multiple implants, post surgical trauma, etc.). Safely and effectively utilizes advanced adjunctive diagnostic and therapeutic equipment, including magnetostrictive ultrasonic and piezo ultrasonic scalers. Cleans dental prostheses, fixed and removable. Manages dental recall system, referring patients to the doctor for additional care when needed. Evaluates patient's caries risk and selects and applies appropriate fluoride solutions. Makes impressions for fluoride carrier trays. Administers topical anesthetic agents. Applies desensitizing and sealant materials. Administers local anesthetic (per CA State license). Safely and effectively administers intrasulcular anti-infective agents and other medicaments, and sulcular lavage per direction of dentist.. Provides to xerostomia patients treatment recommendations to help them manage the condition. Provides occlusal adjustments. Applies and removes periodontal dressings. Accomplishes all procedures within standard infection control protocols. Patient/ Healthcare Provider Education Provides patient education appropriate to the Veteran's needs and oral condition. Explains hygiene procedures, indications, complications and expected outcomes to individual patient and caregiver. Prepares and provides education on periodontal disease, wellness, health maintenance, oral hygiene practices, parafunctional habits, and effect of illness, addictions, medications and tobacco on the oral cavity. Applies adult education techniques/methods, organizes curriculum, judges cognitive ability, and provides healthcare education regarding relationships between medical and dental pathologies to groups, interdisciplinary staff, and other outside contacts (eg. CLC staff, resident groups). Dental Imaging Images are characterized by diagnostic quality, accurately oriented and exposed. Dental imaging safety techniques are utilized, and retakes are minimized. Recognizes common pathologies and anomalies, and utilizes advanced radiographic technique and equipment to detect abnormalities. Infection Control and Equipment Sterilization Demonstrates proper infection control procedures in setting up and cleaning up operatory. Instruments are properly prepared for sterilization by SPS standards. Instruments are prepared in a manner that does not delay clinical care. Demonstrates proper infection control procedures in exposing images. Clerical Functions Assists patients in scheduling appointments. Assists in filling gaps in the schedule due to late cancellations and failed appointments. Charts findings, treatment plans, and treatment provided in patient records. Patient Safety Modifies care as appropriate for patient's age and abilities (patient transfer and position). Modifies care based patient's medical, dental, anxiety/phobias, medications and comorbidities. Provides accurate and understandable instructions to patients. Participates in patient identification and time out per TIC requirements. Monitors patient condition during treatment, being alert for signs of physical distress. Employee Education Prepares and presents quarterly safety and EOC presentations to the Dental Service staff Prepares and presents quarterly oral health/hygiene presentations to Dental Service staff. Work Schedule: Monday to Friday, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm\nTelework: Not Available\nVirtual: This is not a virtual position.\nFunctional Statement #: 2398\nRelocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized\nPermanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized\nFinancial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
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.