This position is eligible for the Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP), a student loan payment reimbursement program. You must meet specific individual eligibility requirements in accordance with VHA policy and submit your EDRP application within four months of appointment. Approval, award amount (up to $200,000) and eligibility period (one to five years) are determined by the VHA Education Loan Repayment Services program office after complete review of the EDRP application. Learn more 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: Individuals must have successfully completed a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college/university and successfully completed a Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs accredited cytotechnology program. English Language Proficiency: Must be proficient in spoken and written English per U.S.C. 7403(f) Certification: Candidates must currently possess the Cytotechnologist (CT) (ASCP) or Specialist in Cytotechnology (SCT) (ASCP) certification given by the ASCP Board of Certification. Grade Determinations: Cytotechnologist, GS-11 (a)Experience. The candidate must have one year of creditable experience equivalent to the journey level (GS-9) that is directly related to the position to be filled. (b)Assignments. For all assignments above the journey level, the higher-level duties must consist of significant scope, complexity (difficulty), range of variety, and be performed by the incumbent at least 25% of the time. At the advanced level, the cytotechnologist independently performs and monitors processes such as smear preparation, slide fixation, cell block preparation, monolayer filtration processing, and staining. If a discrepancy is identified with these processes, the cytotechnologist will troubleshoot and take corrective action. The cytotechnologist may act as a technical resource in writing and establishing new processes or procedures. The cytotechnologist performs a full range of specialized tasks, including collecting, compiling, and analyzing data according to the laboratory quality management program. The cytotechnologist uses these laboratory data to implement any needed quality improvement initiatives. The incumbent will research, test, validate, and implement new procedures and equipment. (c)Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience or education above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the the KSAs i. - iv. and the advanced KSA as identified by the corresponding asterisk(s): i. Ability to independently determine specimen adequacy using complex specialized testing methods or techniques during Endoscopic Ultrasound, Endobronchial Ultrasound, and other Fine Needle Aspiration procedures. ii. Knowledge of pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical processes to establish and monitor the overall laboratory quality management and quality control program, and initiate corrective action as needed. iii. Skill in collecting, compiling, and analyzing data for quality assurance, statistics, trends and reports, and implementing quality improvement initiatives. iv. Skill in researching, testing, validating, and implementing new procedures and equipment. v.**Ability to perform ultrathin microtomy and operate an electron microscope. Knowledge of microanatomy sufficient to note ultrastructural and microchemical findings. vi.***Ability to convey knowledge of safety regulations and guidelines such as CAP,JC, and OSHA, and to ensure staff compliance with safety requirements, including continuing education and employee orientation. vii.****Knowledge and skill to plan and administer an ongoing continuing education program for the laboratory to meet accreditation standards. NOTE: Advanced assignments may also include one or more of the tasks identified below. When these duties are required, the Advanced Cytotechnologist must also demonstrate the corresponding advanced KSAs as identified by the corresponding asterisk(s) below in KSA (c) v. - (c) viii. These KSAs are: **Electron Microscopy (KSA (c) v.): Ability to utilize electron microscope, performance of ultrathin cryomicrotomy, and staining of ultrastructural components.***Safety Coordination (KSA (c) vi.): Ability to oversee safe handling of specimens, chemicals, and equipment by all staff and ensures adherence to safety regulations. ****Laboratory Education (KSA (c) vii.): Ability to plan and administer an ongoing continuing education program for laboratory staff to meet accreditation requirements. *****Automated Data Processing Applications Coordinator (KSA (c) viii.): Ability to carry out day-to-day operations related to laboratory information systems/computer use and system maintenance. Grandfathering Provision: 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). Performing the duties as described in the qualification standard on the effective date of this qualification standard, are considered to have met all the qualification requirements for the grade held, including positive education and certification that are part of the basic requirements of the occupation. For employees who do not meet all the basic requirements of this standard, but met the qualifications applicable to the position at the time they were appointed to the position, the following provisions apply: (1) Cytotechnologists that do not meet the basic requirements for education and certification may be reassigned, promoted up to and including the full performance level, or demoted within the occupation, but may not be promoted beyond the full performance level or placed in supervisory or managerial positions. (2) Cytotechnologists appointed on a temporary basis prior to the effective date of the qualification standard may not have their temporary appointment extended, or be reappointed on a temporary or permanent basis, until they fully meet the basic requirements of the standard. (3) Cytotechnologists initially grandfathered into this occupation, who subsequently obtain education and/or certification that meets all the basic requirements of this qualification standard, must maintain the required credentials as a condition of employment in the occupation. (4) Cytotechnologists who were retained in this occupation, under this provision, and subsequently leave the occupation, lose protected status and must meet the full VA qualification standard requirements in effect at the time of reentry to the occupation. The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-11. The grade at which an applicant may be selected for is GS-11. References: VA Handbook 5005/126, Part II, Appendix G61 Physical Requirements: Moderate lifting (15-44 pounds); Light carrying (under 15 pounds); Reaching above shoulder; Use of fingers; Walking, Standing; Bending; Ability for rapid mental and muscular coordination simultaneously, Both eyes required; Depth perception; Ability to distinguish basic colors, Ability to distinguish shades of colors; Hearing (aid may be permitted). Environment Factors: Excessive heat; Excessive cold; Excessive noise, intermittent; Constant noise; Fumes, smoke, or gases; Working around machinery with moving parts; Working closely with others;Working alone; Protracted or irregular hours of of work. ["The Cytotechnologist position is in the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Service of the Salisbury VA Medical Center. The incumbent performs highly complex laboratory diagnostic testing for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease in the laboratory specialty of cytopathology. The incumbent will provide cytology support to Surgical Pathology, Cytopathology, Autopsy and Histopathology. The Cytotechnologist duties include but are not limited to: Advanced knowledge of specialized and complex subject matter extending beyond the duties of test performance. For assignments above the full performance level, the higher-level duties must consist of significant scope, complexity (difficulty), range of variety, and be performed by the incumbent at least 25% of the time. At the advanced level, the cytotechnologist independently performs and monitors processes such as smear preparation, slide fixation, cell block preparation, monolayer filtration processing, and staining. If a discrepancy is identified with these processes, the cytotechnologist will troubleshoot and take corrective action. The Incumbent may act as a technical resource in writing and establishing new processes or procedures. The incumbent performs a full range of specialized tasks, including collecting, compiling, and analyzing data according to the laboratory quality management program. The incumbent uses these laboratory data to implement any needed quality improvement initiatives; will research, test, validate, and implement new procedures and equipment. The Cytotechnologist is responsible for performance of a broad range of testing on patient specimens including surgical specimens, autopsy, gynecological, aspiration biopsy material, blood, urine, sputum, body fluids, CSF, scrapings, and washings. Participates in the fine needle aspiration biopsy service daily, including rapid on-site assessments to evaluate for specimen adequacy. Independently perform ROSE (rapid on-site evaluation). The Cytotechnologist has wide latitude for exercising independent judgement. Develops and implements the use of protocols for performance of tests and evaluation of results and monitors conformity to protocols. Regularly retrieves and evaluates patient data to assess relevant cytopathology parameters (e.g. cytology- histology correlations, ASCUS/SIL ratios, lookback data). Participates in proficiency testing programs for Anatomic Pathology and Surgical Pathology (e.g. Pap PT, ASCP Check Sample Program, CAP surveys). Develops, maintains, and updates procedure manuals. Designs forms as necessary to comply with regulatory agency and laboratory needs. Provides assistance with record keeping system including statistical analysis for Anatomic Pathology and monitors workload recording system. Coordinates and maintains documentation for staff pathologists on all external proficiency testing relating to cytopathology and surgical pathology. Ensures patient materials are provided in a timely fashion for internal and external customers (e.g., pathology case conferences, external facility requests, samples to be tested at reference labs). The position is under technical directorship of the Chief of P&LMS or assigned pathologist and supervision of the Laboratory Manager. The Laboratory Manager provides administrative guidance and general supervision in terms of the broadly defined missions or functions of P&LMS. The position is responsible for independently planning, organizing and coordinating work, resolving problems and ensuring conformity to policy and requirements. Customer Service: Meet the needs of customers while supporting VA missions; consistently communicates and treats customers (veterans, their representatives, visitors and all VA staff) in a courteous, tactful, and respectful manner; provides customers with consistent information according to established policies and procedures; and handles conflict & problems in dealing with the customers constructively and appropriately. Health Safety: The work environment includes risks of exposure, discomfort, and/or irritation associated with regular and recurrent use of hazards such as infectious materials, hazardous, toxic, and carcinogenic reagents (e.g. formaldehyde) and sharp objects (e.g. scalpel blades and microtome knives). The incumbent must use appropriate PPEs, (protective clothing, gloves, face masks, safety goggles, mechanical pipetting devices and biologic safety hoods) as indicated by established safety procedures. The incumbent is required to read and follow guidelines stated in P&LMS and medical center safety manuals. Work Schedule: Full-Time - Monday through Friday, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm Recruitment/Relocation Incentives: May be Authorized to qualified candidates EDRP Authorized: Contact James Grimm, at james.grimmIII@va.gov, the EDRP Coordinator for questions/assistance Financial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
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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.