Optometry Technicians in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) have both clinical and administrative responsibilities. They assist optometrists in the delivery of eye care. They perform functions that include, but are not limited to, pre-testing, ocular imaging and testing, ready exam rooms, and clinic management. They may also assist in the ordering and verification of contact lenses and the training of patients regarding contact lens care. 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 and Education. Experience. One year of experience as a health technician or assistant in the health care field demonstrating the applicant's ability to perform the work or by demonstrating a basic understanding of work in the health care field; OR Education. Successful completion of two academic years above high school with a minimum of 12 semester hours related to health technician/assistant or health technician (optometry)/assistant or associate degree, or completion of an independent study course in an optometry related technician or assistant field; OR Experience/Education Combination. Equivalent combinations of experience and education are qualifying. Examples are listed below: Six months of experience comparable to the next lower level which demonstrates the knowledge of optometry assistant theory and practices and general understanding of the health technician/assistant duties and one year above high school with a minimum of six semester hours of health technician/assistant or health technician (optometry)/assistant related courses. Successful completion of a course for health care technicians or assistants, hospital corpsmen, medical service specialists, or hospital training in a program given by the U.S. Armed Forces, the U.S. Maritime Service, or the U.S. Public Health Service, may be substituted on a month-for-month basis. Licensure/Certification/Registration. None. Foreign Education. To be creditable, education completed outside the U.S. must have been submitted to a private organization 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. Health Technician (Optometry) candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English to be appointed as authorized by 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f). 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 (Optometry), GS-8 Experience. One year of experience comparable to the next lower level which demonstrates the knowledge, skills and abilities related to the duties of the position to be filled. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities. In addition to meeting the experience or educational requirements for this grade level, the candidate must fully demonstrate the following KSAs: Ability to provide patient education and training to manage complex eye and vision conditions. Knowledge of advanced triage of patients depending upon level of urgency or optometry needs. Knowledge of complex, non-standard treatment and/or complex examinations and techniques. Knowledge of ocular pharmacology and systemic medications with ocular side effects. Assignment. For all assignments above the full performance level, the higher level duties must be of significant scope, administrative independence, complexity (difficulty) and range of variety as described in this standard at the specified grade level and be performed by the incumbent at least 25% of the time. At the advanced level, the health technicians (optometry) perform difficult and responsible ophthalmic technology duties with considerable latitude for the exercise of independent judgment. The health technicians (optometry) perform duties such as advanced color vision testing, advanced perimetry including both automated and manual techniques, advanced ophthalmic imaging and diagnostic testing (e.g., anterior segment optical coherence tomography, advanced ultrasonography, confocal microscopy, electro-diagnostic testing, etc.), advanced patient education and training and vision rehabilitation services. References: VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G68 The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-8. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is GS-8. Physical Requirements: See VA Directive and Handbook 5019. ["Work Schedule: Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm Telework: Not Available Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #: 000000 Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Authorized to highly qualified candidates Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required The Health Technician (Optometry) reports to the Chief of Optometry Section of Surgical Service. Compliance with all VAPAHCS policies, rules, regulations, and by-laws are mandatory. The incumbent works collaboratively with the optometry staff and surgical service administration to complete various duties that are clinical, administrative, and quality management in nature. Duties of the position include, but are not limited to: Checks and performs calibration of technical optometric screening instruments. Instills eye medications (drops or ointment). Neutralize eyeglasses. Verify contact lenses. Performs auto-refraction/keratometry. Performs automated visual field testing. Performs external photographs and fundus photography. Performs optical coherence tomography of the anterior segment, retina, and optic nerve. Performs patient screening and triage of potentially urgent ocular conditions. Order eyeglasses and contact lenses. Assists in the education and training of optometry students and residents. Ensures proper cleaning and disinfection, calibration, and maintenance of ophthalmic equipment Assists with management of optometry clinic operations. Maximize clinic function (patient flow, equipment status, etc.). Participate in completing projects to improve care or clinic function as assigned by the Optometry Chief and other optometry staff. Orders supplies and equipment, obtains quotes as needed. Assists with annual inventory. Reports needed repairs to biomedical engineering. Assist in managing contact lens clinic (orders, lens verification, communication with patients, etc.). Communicates with patients via phone and secure messaging. Manages secure messaging. Manage faxes. Prepare and ready clinics for inspections. Complete required VAPAHCS TMS trainings and other required trainings as assigned by the Optometry Chief. Participate as requested in addressing veteran related complaints/issues."]
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.