The Health Technician (Optometry) performs a range of standard, but complex, optical duties, diagnostic ophthalmic procedures, and patient education. This includes extensive optical duties to include performing glasses measurements, fittings, ordering, dispensing, adjusting, and repair of ophthalmic lenses and eyewear. They are responsible for generating important and complex diagnostic procedures to produce information to be used by the eye clinic licensed providers with whom they work. 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. 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. 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: In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates. GS-04 Experience. None beyond the basic requirements. GS-05 Experience. One year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade (GS-4). Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSA). In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs (a)Knowledge of basic eye anatomy and function. (b)Ability to obtain, document and record ophthalmic and medical information from patients in order to develop an accurate electronic progress note (c)Ability to practice basic hygiene and infection control in a patient care setting. (d)Ability to follow eye clinic and patient care medical policies and procedures. (e)Ability to perform minor eyeglasses repairs, such as replacing nose pads and screws. GS-06 Experience. One year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade (GS-5). Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: (a)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. (b)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. (c)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. (d)Ability to provide basic triage of patient telephone calls or optometry requests. (e)Knowledge of ophthalmic medications and supplies needed in the process of restocking the eye clinic exam rooms. GS-07 Experience. One year of experience comparable to the next lower level (GS-6) 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: (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. References: VA Handbook 5005/142, Part II, Appendix G68, April 9, 2021 The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-7. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-4 to GS-7. Physical Requirements: The work requires light lifting and carrying (under 15 lbs.), pushing, reaching above shoulder, use of fingers, both hands, walking, standing, both legs, ability for rapid mental and muscular coordination simultaneously, near vision correctable at 13" to 16" to Jaeger 1 to 4, depth perception, ability to distinguish basic colors, hearing (aid permitted), and mental & emotional stability. Work environment may involve working closely with others, working alone, and protracted or irregular hours of work. ["To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements within 30 days of the closing date of this announcement. Duties include, but are not limited to: Performs optical functions including spectacle fitting, ordering, adjustment, repair; able to transpose prescriptions from plus to minus cylinder, triage optical/spectacle complaints, measure for properly fitting frames for monovision, bifocal, trifocal, and progressive addition lenses and coordinates with prosthetics and fabrication laboratory for orders and corrections as needed. Independently provide direct patient care services related to patient education, verification and troubleshooting of ophthalmic lenses and eyewear. Educates the patient on lens material, lens design, frames, tints and coatings that they are eligible to receive. Assists patients in the selection and fitting of properly fitting standard and safety eyewear frames and properly adjust eyeglasses for comfortable fit and proper alignment of the optical centers and segment heights for optimal visual performance. Have the skills to repair broken or defective eyeglasses and will triage patient concerns by manual or automated lensometry verification and trouble shooting. All patient care activities will be properly and clearly documented in the Veteran's electronic health record in a timely manner. Performs duties such as measuring and recording visual acuity (with use of pinhole testing as indicated), obtaining accurate potential acuity meter, laser interferometry, contrast sensitivity or other specialized visual acuity measurements. Evaluates pupillary light responses and measure pupil size, determine the presence or absence of fusion and perform stereoacuity measurements. The health technicians (optometry) perform Amsler grid testing, administer eye drops under the supervision of an eye care provider (optometrist or ophthalmologist), perform basic tonometry (e.g., non-contact, Goldmann, Tono-Pen) and estimate the anterior chamber depth with a penlight or slit lamp biomicroscope. The technicians are skilled in properly reading a basic spectacle prescription using an automated or manual lensometer, obtaining accurate autorefractometry and keratometry measurements, performing confrontation and standard automated visual field testing and administering and scoring basic color vision tests (e.g., pseudoischromatic plates, Farnsworth D-15). Adept at measuring and recording corneal thickness by pachymetry as well as performance of advanced corneal measurements, exophthalmometry, tear testing and ocular imaging (e.g., stereo fundus photography, basic slit lamp biomicroscopy, intraocular lens master measurements, ocular ultrasonography, posterior segment optical coherence tomography, fundus autofluorescence and/or ocular angiography). Provides day-to-day direction of volunteers and optometry trainees to ensure that program goals are met, that clinical care flows smoothly, and assigned tasks are completed in a timely manner. Maintains effective control of the optometry work area by assisting to coordinate and organize the workflow to expedite care delivery. Assists in creating, implementing, and preparing written and oral reports for the completion of continuous or problem focused Process Improvement and Quality Assurance processes. Keeps current in new techniques and technological advances as employed by the eye clinic. Consults with bio-med and maintenance personnel within the VA to report daily equipment problems, notifies supervisor of issues. Anticipates needs for supplies and equipment and notifies supervisor. Assists in training and in-service programs to aid in the instruction of nurses and physicians on procedures, operation and/or maintenance of new and existing medical equipment. Assists with establishing written procedures and protocol for use with new medical equipment. Assists scheduler in scheduling patients for exams at the VAMC to provide prompt medical care. Documents the patient's testing results and data into EHMR (or similar automated patient medical record system) for co-signature by a staff optometrist or ophthalmologist. Assists the program support clerk by responding to telephone calls and visitors to the clinic, determining the purpose of the contact and taking appropriate action. This includes management of patient phone calls, secure messaging, and/or walk-in messages, questions, and concerns. Performs patient screening and triage of potentially urgent ocular conditions. Assists Veterans and providers with coordination of care between Veterans Affairs and Community Care Programs. Work Schedule: 8AM - 4:30PM, Monday - Friday\nTelework: Not available\nVirtual: This is not a virtual position\nFunctional Statement #: 000000\nRelocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not authorized\nPermanent Change of Station (PCS): Not authorized\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.