Health Technicians (Optometry) in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) support Optometrists in diagnosis, treatment, prevention, follow-up care and patient counseling. 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 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. Health Technician (Optometry) candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English to be appointed as authorized by 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f). 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: (a) 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. (b) 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. Grandfathering Provision. All individuals employed in VHA in this occupational series or in another occupational series performing the duties as described in the qualification standard on the effective date of the qualification standard are considered to have met all qualification requirements for the grade held including positive education and licensure/trademark/registration/certification. For employees who do not meet all the basic requirements required in this standard, but who met the qualifications applicable to the position at the time they were appointed to it, the following provisions apply: (1) They may be reassigned, promoted up to and including the full performance (journey) level, or changed to lower grade within the occupation, but may not be promoted beyond the journeyman level or placed in supervisory or managerial positions. (2) Employees who are 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) Health Technicians (Optometry) who are converted to title 38 hybrid status 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 re-entry to the occupation. 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. Physical Requirements. Physical demands are in relation to helping handicapped patients coming to the clinic, otherwise the routine demands of a hospital environment such as bending, extending arms to take measurements, lifting light weights, walking short distances to call patients, etc. For additional information please see VA Directive and Handbook 5019. GRADE DETERMINATION Health Technician (Optometry), GS-07 - In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met: 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, such as: The ability to provide patient education for eye health and/or vision conditions, to include assisting with patient contact lens insertion, removal and hygiene (cleaning and disinfection) care; The ability to accurately enter into a phoropter the autorefractometry or habitual refractive prescription (i.e., eyeglasses prescription) or lensometer findings, including sphere, cylinder and axis; The ability to perform patient spectacle fitting and dispensing, including selection of appropriate frame, ophthalmic lenses, interpupillary measurements (distance and near) and proper segment height determination, as well as the ability to transpose sphere, cylinder and axis; The ability to provide basic triage of patient telephone calls or optometry requests; Knowledge of ophthalmic medications and supplies needed in the process of restocking the eye clinic exam rooms 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: (a) Ability to determine preliminary objective estimate and/or refinement of the optical status of the eye, not to include the patient's final subjective refraction. (b) Ability to triage and manage eyeglasses issues (e.g., measurement of vertex distance, base curve, prism correction, center thickness, slab off, Fresnel prism, decentration, etc.). (c) Ability to perform accurate assessment of accommodation, near point of convergence and ocular alignment (far and near). (d) Ability to assist the eye care provider (optometrist or ophthalmologist) with ophthalmic procedures. (e) Ability to assist with obtaining accurate ocular cultures and smears. (f) Knowledge and ability to provide advanced patient education for eye health and/or vision conditions. Note: Please ensure how you meet these KSAs is clearly described in your resume; we may not make assumptions regarding your experience. Specialized Experience: Specialized experience include, but are not limited to: Knowledge of service-connected disease or exposure to initiate proper forms; Knowledge of medical terminology including abbreviations, meaning, and spelling to read medical reports to determine patient's status for eligibility, and to determine adjunct conditions; Knowledge of normal ocular anatomy and common ocular pathology associated with diabetes and/or aging, e.g. cataract, macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy; ***Must have specific knowledge of photographic activities connected to all phases of the retinal imaging program and use of digital imaging technology. References: VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G68 Health Technician (Optometry) Qualification Standard GS-640 VHA. ["The responsibilities of the position include but are not limited to: Obtain spectacle data by manual and automated lensometry: sphere, cylinder, axis, single vision, bifocal, trifocal and progressive lenses. Determine lens material, amount and direction of prism. Frame information including eye sizes, frame sizes, lens sizes, bridge sizes, and temple length. Obtain total and split interpupillary distance with a PD ruler or a pupillometer, Extraocular muscle testing in order to determine needed prism for spectacle prescription. Pupillary testing including identification of afferent pupillary defects. Visual field testing including Automated Humphrey Visual field, Automated Octopus Visual field, Automated kinetic Goldmann Visual field, to screen and monitor for glaucoma, ptosis, neurological disorders, retinal disorders, hysteria and malingering. Pachymetry; amsler grid testing; corneal curvature measurements using manual keratometer; color Vision testing and recording using ishahara and D-15; exophthalmometry using a Hertel exophthalmeter; autorefraction; retinoscopy. Manifest refraction including add determination using a phoropter (plus or minus cylinder) or trail frame; use of a Retinal Acuity Meter; dilated and undilated retinal imaging. External photographs using a digital slit lamp camera; Optical coherence tomography, fundus photography and imaging, and keratometry. Blood pressure and pulse readings; glucometry, frame selection measurements including segment height; removal, polish and reinsert prosthetic eyes. Provides instruction to patients in the proper method of contact lens insertion, removal and care when applicable and assisting the optometrist in contact lens fitting. Appropriately cleans and disinfects Reusable Medical Equipment (RME) according to manufacturer's guidelines. Obtain patient history information including chief compliant, history of present illness, family history, ocular history, and medical history including current topical and systemic ocular medications: names, strength, and dosage. Obtain visual acuities near and distance with and without spectacles; glare testing. Knowledge in CPRS electronic record keeping. Knowledge in electronic image capture into the patient's electronic records. Work Schedule: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.\nCompressed/Flexible: Not available\nTelework: Not Eligible\nVirtual: This is not a virtual position.\nPosition Title/Functional Statement #: Health Technician (Optometry)/PD08831A\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.