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Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Health Technician (Ophthalmology) in Shenandoah, Iowa


Ophthalmology Technicians in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) support Ophthalmologists in diagnosis, treatment, prevention, follow-up care and patient counseling. The Full Performance Health Technician (Ophthalmology) performs a range of standard, but complex, diagnostic procedures, assists during clinic-based surgical procedures, educates patients and legal representatives, assists with the education of medical students and residents.


Major duties, include but are not limited to: Support and manage telehealth clinical encounters from the patient and provider location as the site tele-presenter. Manage the patient-site clinical, business, scheduling and technical aspects of telehealth applications for the Technology -based eye care grant. Maintains telehealth peripherals such as lensometer, pachymeter, and imaging camera. Open the telehealth room patient room and readying equipment for examination. Verify that all equipment is functioning properly. Ensure proper cleaning of equipment and perform minor maintenance and adjustments. Obtains ocular history of patient and input all patient information and data into electronic medical record system. Obtains distance and near vision using Snellen chart and near card. Obtain eye glass prescription using lensometer Autorefract and refine patient's refraction using trial frames and lens set. Fit and measure patients for new eye glasses, making minor repairs and adjustments. Examine pupils for abnormalities. Obtain intraocular pressure and corneal thickness measurements using tonopen and pachymeter. Obtain Retina and External Eye Photos according to a standard protocol Work Schedule: The tour of duty for this position is typically Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Additional information regarding the tour of duty may be discussed during the interview process.

Financial Disclosure Report: Not required


Conditions of Employment


To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 10/02/2020. 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. 1 year of experience in a health care field, such as but not limited to nursing, medical assistant, or health technician. OR Education. 2 years above high school with a minimum of six semester hours directly related to a health care field or associate's degree in a health care related degree. OR Experience/Education Combination. Equivalent combinations of experience and education are qualifying. Examples are listed below: 6 months of experience in the health care field; and one year above high school; or 6 months of experience in the health care field and successful completion of a course for health care technicians, hospital corpsmen, medical service specialists, or ophthalmology technicians given by the U.S. Armed Forces; or 6 months of experience in the health care field and completion of an independent study course in Ophthalmic Medical Assisting. Certification. All applicants must be certified as a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) with the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO). The COA certification is JCAHPO's entry-level certification examination for a Health Technician (Ophthalmology). Exception. Non-certified applicants who otherwise meet the minimum qualification requirements may be appointed as a graduate Health Technician under the authority of 38 U.S.C. 7405(c)(2)(B). The appointing official may waive the requirement of certification for a period not to exceed 2 years for a Health Technician (Ophthalmology) that provides care under the supervision of an Ophthalmologist. The exception only applies below the full performance level. For grade levels at or above the full performance level (GS-8) the candidate must be certified. Failure to obtain COA certification during that period is justification for termination of the temporary appointment and may result in termination of employment. Failure to Obtain Certification. In all cases, the Health Technician must actively pursue meeting certification requirements starting from the date of appointment. At the time of appointment, the supervisor will provide the written requirement to obtain certification, the date by which the certification must be acquired, and the consequences for not becoming certified by the deadline. Failure to become certified within 2 years from date of appointment will result in removal from the occupation and may result in termination of employment. Loss of Credentials. A Health Technician who fails to maintain the required certification must be removed from the occupation, which may also result in termination of employment. English Language Proficiency. Must be proficient in spoken and written English as required by 38 U.S.C. 7402(d) and 38 U.S.C. 7407(d). Creditable Experience: Knowledge of Current Health Technician (Ophthalmology) Practice. To be creditable, the experience must have demonstrated the knowledge, skills (KSAs), and abilities associated with a health care field or KSAs related to the current occupation. Experience satisfying this requirement may be paid or non-paid employment in the health care field. Quality of Experience. Qualifying experience must be at a level comparable to Health Technician (Ophthalmology) experience at the next lower grade level of the position being filled. For all assignments above the full performance level, the higher level duties must consist of significant scope, administrative independence, complexity 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. Part-time Experience. Part time experience as a Health Technician (Ophthalmology) is creditable according to its relationship to the full time work week. Example, a Health Technician (Ophthalmology) employed 20 hours per week, or on a ½ time basis, would receive 1 full-time work week credit for each 2 weeks of service. Grade Determinations:

GS-5 (Entry Level) Experience or Education. None beyond the basic requirements. GS-6 Experience. 1 year of experience equivalent to the GS-5 grade level. Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities (KSAs). In addition to the experience above, your resume must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: Knowledge of general outpatient clinical policies and procedures in a healthcare environment; Ability to obtain, document and record demographic and medical information from patients in order to develop an accurate medical record; Ability to use basic ophthalmic equipment; and Knowledge of basic disinfection of non-critical reusable medical equipment. GS-7 Experience. 1 year of experience equivalent to the GS-6 grade level. Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities (KSA). In addition to the experience above, your resume must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: Knowledge of anatomy and function of the eye and basic ocular pharmacology; Knowledge of outpatient eye care policies and procedures in a health care environment; Ability to use basic ophthalmic diagnostic equipment to perform preliminary ocular testing; Ability to perform minor extraocular surgical assisting; and Ability to provide eye care patient education. GS-8 (Full Performance Level) Experience. 1 year of experience equivalent to the GS-7 grade level. Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities (KSA). In addition to the experience above, your resume must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: Ability to perform advanced tonometry and pupil evaluation; Ability to perform calculations for selection of intraocular lens; Knowledge of clinic based ophthalmic surgical assisting; Knowledge of eye anatomy and physiology; Knowledge of medication effects and proper instillation in the eye; Knowledge of optics; and Knowledge of proper cleaning and maintenance of clinic equipment. References: VA Handbook 5005/98 Part II Appendix G52 The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-08. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-5 to GS-8. Physical Requirements: The position requires fine motor skills and dexterity necessary for working with ophthalmic equipment. The position requires the operation of several different devices under dim illumination for the examination of patients. These generally require that the operator sit opposite the patient, using one band to support the eyelids in the static position while the body, head and other hand of the operator must be able to shift positions sometimes rapidly to obtain the optimal picture field. The operator's eye is employed in this arrangement and the combination of static position and adjusting movements can be stressful and tiring. There are extensive periods of regular and recurring standing, walking, sitting, bending, lifting, pushing and reaching. It requires pushing a patient in a wheelchair. Clinic duties require providing manual assistance in lifting and positioning patients, e.g., wheelchair ­bound patients. Various equipment items and some heavy objects must be moved or relocated, e.g., visual field machine. It requires walking throughout the clinic environment to access faxing and printing equipment, etc. It requires frequent computer use. The individual must be able to work for sustained periods under pressure. The ability to be flexible regarding patient needs is critical.


IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education. 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. Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit:

Additional Information

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies. It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment. This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status. VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply. The health-related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority. Veterans and Transitioning Service Members: Please visit the VA for Vets site for career-search tools for Veterans seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members. If you are unable to apply online view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application.