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The Health Technician - Audiology (HTA) positions are designed to provide assistance to the audiologists in meeting the clinical needs of the patient population served in the clinic. Each health technician functions as a member of the Audiology staff to provide health care support. In the process of doing so the health technicians are required to interact directly with veteran patients and their families in a variety of ways and settings. To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements within 30 days of the closing date of this announcement. Basic Requirements: Citizenship. Be a citizen of the United States (U.S.). Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with 38 U.S.C. § 7407(a). English Language Proficiency. HTA, HTSLP or HTASLP candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English to be appointed as authorized by 38 U.S.C. § 7403 (f). Experience and Education. (1) Experience. Six months 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. OR (2) Education. Successful completion of two academic years above high school leading to an associate degree or a bachelor's degree with at least 12 semester hours in courses related to the position. OR (3) Experience/Education Combination. Equivalent combinations of experience and education are qualifying. An example of a combination of experience/education is three months 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 and one year above high school with a minimum of 6 semester hours related to the health care industry. Grade Determinations: In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates. GS-04 (1) Experience. None beyond the basic requirements. (2) Assignment. This is an entry level developmental position. The HTA at this level works independently under the direction of a licensed audiologist. The assignment of this position includes but is not limited to assisting the audiologist with patient assessment and treatment. The health technician must adhere to the audiology clinic policy and standard operating procedures for infection control and cleaning, sterilization and disposition of reusable medical equipment (RME). The health technician maintains a comprehensive supply and equipment tracking system to include monitoring stock of RME and consumable items; ensuring proper inventory levels to complete the daily tasks; prioritizing the acquisition of all supplies and equipment with regard to date of expiration; maintaining proper levels of mailing/shipping supplies; preparing mailing and shipping requests for items including but not limited to hearing aid and hearing assistive technology repairs, ear mold orders and return for credit items; and maintaining loaner hearing aid inventory. GS-05 (1) 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. OR (2) Education. Successful completion of four academic years above high school leading to a bachelor's degree with at least 24 semester hours in courses related to the position or a bachelor's degree in a major field of study appropriate to the functions of the occupation. (3) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, Abilities. In addition to meeting the experience or educational requirements for this grade level, the candidate must fully demonstrate the following KSAs: (a) Knowledge of anatomy of the head and neck. (b) Ability to communicate clearly orally and in writing. (c) Knowledge of basic hearing assistive technologies. (d) Knowledge of basic infection control procedures and guidelines. (e) Ability to maintain stock and supply level inventories. (f) Skill in using basic computer software such as email, spreadsheet and word processing. (4) Assignment. This is a developmental position. The HTA at this level works independently under the direction of a licensed audiologist. Assignments associated with this position include but are not limited to answering and screening calls from patients regarding audiology needs; assisting the audiologist with patient assessment and treatment; assisting with walk-in appointments; processing incoming devices from patients with concerns related to their hearing aids or hearing assistive technology; and preparing and charging (if required) hearing aids and assistive devices for delivery. The health technician must adhere to the audiology clinic policy and standard operating procedures for infection control and cleaning, sterilization and disposition of RME. The health technician maintains a comprehensive supply and equipment tracking system to include: monitoring stock of RME and consumable items; ensuring proper inventory levels to complete the daily tasks; prioritizing the acquisition of all supplies and equipment with regard to date of expiration; maintaining proper levels of mailing/shipping supplies; preparing mailing and shipping requests for items including but not limited to: hearing aid and hearing assistive technology repairs, ear mold orders and return for credit items; and maintaining loaner hearing aid inventory GS-06 (1) Experience. Completion of one year of progressive experience and/or experience equivalent to the next lower grade level directly related to the position being filled. (2) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: (a) Knowledge of normal and abnormal ear anatomy. (b) Knowledge of hearing physiology and function to educate patients and families. (c) Knowledge of hearing aids, hearing assistive technology, hearing aid manufacturers and manufacturer software. (d) Ability to solve problems or make decisions regarding hearing aid, hearing assistive technology and patient care, consistent with the documented and co-signed plan of care under the supervision of an audiologist. (e) Ability to prepare patients for testing procedures. (f) Ability to document and code patient procedures. (3) Assignment. Employees at this grade level serve as a full performance level HTA. The HTA at this level works independently under the direction of a licensed audiologist. Assignments associated with this position include but are not limited to completing visual and auditory checks of hearing aids and hearing assistive technology; repairing or returning hearing aids to the factory; restoring hearing aid or hearing assistive technology settings after repair or replacement; and ordering, registering, certifying, issuing and tracking prosthetic devices. The health technician assists in setting up and delivering face to face and telehealth visits by preparing the equipment for patient evaluation and other audiology procedures. The health technician provides clinical procedures consistent with the documented and co-signed plan of care which may include non-diagnostic otoscopy, cerumen management, foreign body removal and ear mold impressions and without interpretation, immittance screening and hearing screening. The health technician educates patients, family and staff on topics including but not limited to hearing aid and hearing assistive technology care, maintenance, use and operation, hearing conservation and realistic expectations for hearing aid use. The health technician completes documentation for each episode of care and codes procedures as appropriate in the patient record in preparation for co-signature by the audiologist. References: VA Handbook 5005/143 May 13, 2021 PART II APPENDIX G70 The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-6. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-4 to GS-6. Physical Requirements: Light Lifting (under 15 pounds); Light Carrying (under 15 pounds); Reaching above shoulder; Walking (1 hour); Standing (1 hour); Near vision correctable at 13" to 16" to Jaeger 1 to 4; Ability to distinguish basic colors; Hearing (aid permitted) ["FUNCTIONS OF ASSIGNED DUTIES: Scheduling: Schedules all patient appointments according to VHA directives and within scope of Audiology Specialty Clinic guidelines. Employee must not overbook without proper authority. Schedules follow-up appointments before patients leave the clinic or interprets and transcribes clinical orders upon receipt. Offers Veterans the opportunity to use CHOICE if unable to schedule within 30 days of CID; places Veteran on VCL, and documents in accordance to established policy. Places patients on Recall Reminder per written orders and at their request. Ensures that clinic cancellations and clinic rescheduling are accurate and in compliance with Medical Center regulations and policies. Hearing Aids/Patient Care: Responsible for routine repairs of hearing aids delivered or mailed to the Audiology Clinic. During clinic hours, s/he solves hearing aid problems for veterans who phone into the clinic. When it is necessary for a hearing aid to be returned to the manufacturer for repair, the health technician prepares all necessary paperwork and records and packages and ships the instrument. Makes appropriate entries in the clinic's record tracking system in order to ensure that the hearing aid is properly tracked during the repair process. Determines the patient's need for loaner hearing aids based on the patient's degree and nature of hearing loss, audiological profile, and hearing aid fitting rationale data. Determines patient need for assistive devices, orders devices such as Pocket Talkers and TV devices from the Denver Acquisitions and Logistics Center and instructs patients in proper use and care, following the approval of an Audiologist. Troubleshoots assistive devices to determine if a replacement is needed. Liaison between manufacturers and Audiologists. Communicates with Audiologists regarding order inaccuracies and initiates adjustment as needed from manufacturers. Oversees the day-to-day interactions with outside use of private Audiologists via Care in the Community and VETERANS CHOICE (or other new VA service programs as they arise) when demand for local services outweighs supply. Communicates with the NVCC Department via consults to initiate services, communicates with private audiology clinics for the submission of audiological data, order of hearing aids, issue of repair requests, etc. The Chief of Audiology Services oversees the entire program globally; however, the HTA manages the daily tasks. Inventory & Equipment Management ROES Entries: Responsible for entering ROES orders for hearing aid repairs, batteries and clinic supplies as necessary. Tracks and certifies hearing aid orders as they are received, as well as taking necessary steps for correcting errors or changes as they occur. Supply Management: Maintains an adequate supply of materials and other supplies to meet the clinic needs. Maintains stock of supplies, forms, batteries, and impression boxes in all clinic rooms. Works with Staff from Material Management to ensure that supplies are ordered and re-stocked. Maintains clinic records in accordance with service line, medical center, and VA requirements. Stock Hearing Aids and ALD Management: Maintains stock of loaner hearing aids and pocket-talkers and insures they are in good working order at all times. Receives turned-in hearing aids, removes from veteran's record, and determines if the aids can be used as loaners or turned in for salvage. Sends potential loaner aids for refurbishment to ensure that they are fully operational. Equipment Management: Responsible for turning on all audiology test equipment and doing daily listening checks to insure proper functioning of audiometers. At the end of the day, responsible for proper shut-down of all audiometric test equipment. Responsible for daily cleaning of the suction pumps and other equipment in the clinic. Management of Infection Control, Patient Safety and Clinical Supplies Monitors/maintains inventory of instruments used for cerumen management, MDS reports on all chemicals used in the clinic and updates as needed. Establishes the clinic policy for Infection Control and assures the protocols follow hospital regulations. Work Schedule: Mon - Fri 0800-1630 Telework: Not Available Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #: 00000000 Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
About Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
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.