This position is located in the Audiology and Speech Pathology Service at one of the campuses of the VA North Texas Health Care System (VANTHCS), Dallas, TX. The incumbent will be assigned a primary duty station (Dallas, Bonham, Fort Worth, Tyler, or other CBOC). The duties and responsibilities are to be carried out in all clinical and other patient care areas involved with the Audiology service. The health technician supports the function of the clinical programs in Audiology. Basic Requirements: Experience and Education: Experience. Completion of the Department of Labor Apprenticeship Program for Hearing Aid Specialists; OR Education. Successful completion of two academic years above high school that includes coursework related to the field: hearing science, human anatomy and physiology, hearing instrument science, gerontology, psychology or other general healthcare areas. NOTE: There is no combination of education and experience which can be substituted for the basic requirements. Licensure or Registration: Individuals must hold a full, current and unrestricted license or registration to practice as a HIS in a state, territory, commonwealth or the District of Columbia. Loss of Licensure or Registration. A Health Technician (HIS) who fails to maintain the required licensure or registration must be removed from the occupation, which may also result in termination of employment. Board Certification: Individuals must hold active board certification from the National Board for Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences (NBC-HIS). Exception for Non-Board Certified Health Technician (HIS). Non-board certified applicants who otherwise meet the eligibility requirements for appointment, may be given a temporary appointment as a graduate Health Technician (HIS) under the authority of 38 U.S.C. § 7405(c)(2)(B). Non-board certified individuals shall only provide care under the supervision of a licensed audiologist. Non-board certified individuals may only be appointed at the entry level and may not be promoted/converted until board certification is obtained. Temporary appointments of non-board certified Health Technician (HIS) may not be extended beyond two years or converted to a new temporary appointment. Failure to Obtain Certification. In all cases, Health Technician (HIS) must actively pursue meeting requirements for board certification starting from the date of their appointment. At the time of appointment, the supervisor will provide the Health Technician (HIS) with the written requirements for board certification, including the time (i.e., two years) by which the board certification must be obtained and the consequences for not becoming board certified by the deadline. Failure to obtain board certification during the two-year period may result in termination of employment. Loss of Certification. A Health Technician (HIS) who fails to maintain the required board 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 be deemed at least equivalent to that gained in a conventional U.S. program by a private organization specializing in the interpretation of foreign educational credentials. Physical Requirements: See VA Directive and Handbook 5019, Employee Occupational Health Service for requirements. English Language Proficiency: Health Technician (HIS) candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f). United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy. Grade Determinations: Health Technician (HIS), GS-05 Experience. None beyond the basic requirements. Knowledge, Skills and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: Knowledge of basic anatomy of the head and neck. Knowledge of basic infection control procedures and guidelines. Skill in using basic computer software to complete tasks such as using email, creating spreadsheets and word processing. Ability to communicate orally and in writing. Ability to follow verbal and written instructions. Ability to maintain stock and supply level inventories. Health Technician (HIS), GS-06 Experience. One year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade. Knowledge, Skills and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: Knowledge of normal and abnormal ear anatomy. Knowledge of hearing aids, hearing assistive technology, hearing aid manufacturers and manufacturer software. Skill in documenting patient procedures and patient devices. Skill in providing patient education for hearing aid use, to include assisting patient with hearing aid insertion, removal and hygiene (cleaning and disinfection). Ability to provide patient education and training regarding hearing loss and communication strategies for various listening situations. Ability to solve problems or make decisions regarding hearing aids, hearing assistive technology and patient care that is consistent with the documented and co-signed plan of care under the supervision of an audiologist. Ability to prepare patient, equipment, and/or environment for audiology procedures. Ability to provide triage of patient telephone calls or audiology requests. Preferred Experience: Active board certification from the National Board for Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences (NBC-HIS). Minimum of 1 year of Hearing/Hearing aid experience. Ability to read, write and speak English. Expectation is that the incumbent be proficient and effective working independently to achieve goals, tasks and exercise independent judgment. Knowledge and application in basic computer programs such as Outlook, Word, Excel, etc. Knowledge of hearing aids/assistive listening devices and basic software skills, including GN ReSound, Oticon, Signia, Sonova, and Starkey as well as Audiology testing equipment and methods. References: VA Handbook 5005/149 Part II Appendix G73 Health Technician (Hearing Instrument Specialist) Qualification Standard GS-0640 Veterans Health Administration March 18, 2022. The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-06. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-05 to GS-06. Physical Requirements: moderate lifting (15-44 pounds); moderate carrying (15-44 pounds); reaching above shoulder; use of fingers; walking (less then 1 hr); standing (less then 1 hr); hearing (aid permitted). ["This is an OPEN CONTINUOUS ANNOUNCEMENT and will remain open until May 31, 2023. The initial cut-off date for referral of eligible applications will be October 30, 2022, with subsequent cut-off dates every two weeks until 5/31/2023. Eligible applications received after that date will be referred at regular intervals or as additional vacancies occur on an as-needed basis until positions are filled. Applicants who are referred will be considered for 90 days, after 90 days applicants will have to reapply. Primary responsibility is for patient care, supporting diagnostic and treatment procedures, patient charting and patient education, which do not require a full professional audiology education or knowledge and skills represented by audiology licensure. Support functions include both direct patient care and administrative duties. Direct patient care duties may include, but not limited to the following: Performing non-diagnostic otoscopy including proper bracing techniques and making appropriate referrals for abnormalities and cerumen management; providing patient care in hearing aid repair appointments, consistent with the audiologist's treatment plan; completing visual and auditory checks with listening stethoscope of hearing aids prior to and following repair of device (troubleshoots performance). The Health Technician (HIS) adheres 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 (HIS) provides instruction to patients, family and staff on device topics including but not limited to hearing aid and hearing assistive technology care, maintenance, use and operation. The incumbent is responsible for ensuring timely and accurate documentation of all interactions in the medical records and that all encounters are correctly documented using electronic medical record and computerized tracking and ordering functions via ROES. The Health Technician (HIS) completes documentation per medical center policy for timeliness for each episode of care and codes procedures as appropriate in the patient record in preparation for co-signature by the audiologist. Work Schedule: 7:30 am - 4:00 pm, Monday - Friday Telework: Not Available Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #:00000 Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): 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.