The Cytotechnologist serves in the anatomic pathology/ cytology section of the pathology laboratory. The incumbent serves as the gatekeeper for all cytology specimens that are processed in cytology and is responsible for day-to-day oversight of specimen preparation, quality control, quality assurance and proficiency testing programs within the cytology section. 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. Education. 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. Certification: Must currently possess the Cytotechnologist (CT) (ASCP) or Specialist in Cytotechnology (SCT) (ASCP) certification given by the ASCP Board of Certification. Loss of Certification. An employee who fails to maintain the required certification must be removed from the occupation, which may also result in termination of employment. Foreign Education: To be creditable, education completed outside the U.S. must have been submitted to a private organization approved by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) 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. English Language Proficiency. Histopathology Technologists must be proficient in spoken and written English as required by 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f). Physical Requirements: See VA Directive and Handbook 5019. Employee Occupational Health Service. 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: GS-7 experience: None beyond the basic requirements. Assignment: At the entry level, cytotechnologists serve in a career development position practicing under close supervision of a supervisor, lab manager, or qualified individual who reviews and ensures the employee meets competency requirements. GS-9 experience: Must have one year of creditable experience equivalent to the GS-7 grade level, which is directly related to the position to be filled. Assignment: At the journey level, the cytotechnologist independently reviews clinical data of patients and evaluates all cytology preparations by light microscopy for the presence or absence of cellular patterns, presence of micro-organisms, inflammatory reactions, endocrinopathies, benign changes, pre-malignant changes, neoplasia, and cellular responses to therapeutic agents. The cytotechnologist issues and verifies the final diagnosis for negative gynecologic specimens. The cytotechnologist prioritizes, prepares, and processes all specimens for cytodiagnostic and immunohistochemical testing in compliance with the guidelines of regulatory agencies. The cytotechnologist instructs others on the proper collection methods and transportation of specimens and determines acceptability of patient samples for processing. The cytotechnologist performs routine maintenance of equipment using standard operating procedures. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience or education above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: Ability to review clinical data of patients, relate data to microscopic findings, and evaluate all cytology preparations by light microscopy for the presence or absence of cellular patterns, presence of micro-organisms, inflammatory reactions, endocrinopathies, benign changes, pre-malignant changes, neoplasia, and cellular responses to therapeutic agents. Knowledge of processes and procedures to prepare all specimens for cytodiagnostic and immunochemistry testing, as well as filtration methods, preparation, fixation, and staining of slides. Ability to instruct others on the proper collection methods and transportation of specimens, and to determine acceptability of patient samples for processing. Knowledge of the standards of regulatory agencies, such as those of Joint Commission (JC), College of American Pathologists (CAP), Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CUA), and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), to ensure compliance with requirements and guidelines. Ability to perform routine maintenance of laboratory equipment according to standard operating procedures. Skill in prioritizing workflow/specimen triage. References: VA Handbook 5005/126 PART II APPENDIX G61 The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-9. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-7 to GS-9. ["The duties and responsibilities of the Cytotechnologist include, but are not limited to, the following: Evaluates and interprets cytologic specimens for disease processes as manifested in cytopathology preparations. Communicates diagnose to the medical staff and advises on necessary further testing. Aids in collection and specimen slide preparation. Prepares reagents, verifies correct instrument operation; standardizes and personally performs a variety of complex tests. Conducts orientation, classroom and bench instruction of new personnel or on new instruments and test procedures. Assists in developing, maintaining and modifying various computer reporting applications. All other tasks as assigned Work Schedule: Mon-Fri 0800-1630 Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #: 50275/6-F Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
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