This position is located in the Audiology and Speech Pathology Service at the Phoenix VA Health Care System (PVAHCS) in Phoenix, AZ. The duties and responsibilities are to be carried out in all clinical and other patient care areas involved with the Audiology service. Occasional travel to Northwest and southwest community based outpatient clinics may be required. The health technician supports the function of the clinical programs in Audiology. 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. Experience and Education. (1) Experience. Completion of the Department of Labor Apprenticeship Program for Hearing Aid Specialists; OR (2) 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. 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. Board Certification. Individuals must hold active board certification from the National Board for Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences (NBC-HIS). (1) Exception for Non-Board Certified Health Technician (HIS). (a) 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). (b) Non-board certified individuals shall only provide care under the supervision of a licensed audiologist. (c) Non-board certified individuals may only be appointed at the entry level and may not be promoted/converted until board certification is obtained. (d) Temporary appointments of non-board certified Health Technician (HIS) may not be extended beyond two years or converted to a new temporary appointment. English Language Proficiency. Health Technician (HIS) candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f). 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: Health Technician (HIS), GS-05. (1) Experience. None beyond the basic requirements. (2) 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. (1) Experience. One year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade. (2) 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. References: VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G73. 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 5 to GS 6. Physical Requirements: moderate lifting (15-44 pounds); moderate carrying (15-44 pounds); straight pulling; pulling hand over hand; pushing; reaching above shoulder; use of fingers; both hands required; walking; standing; repeated bending (2 hours); near vision correctable to 13" to 16" to Jaeger 1 to 4; far vision correctable in one eye to 20/20 and to 20/40 in the other; both eyes required; depth perception; ability to distinguish basic colors; ability to distinguish shades of colors; hearing (aid permitted). ["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: Hearing aid troubleshooting and repair; performing visual and auditory checks of hearing aids and hearing assistive technology-including all hearing aid accessories as well as alerting devices (troubleshoots performance) Fabricating earmold impressions with proper (non-diagnostic) otoscopy; ordering earmolds based on plan of care through prosthetics or DLC and fitting and modifying earmolds, if necessary; providing basic hearing aid information for patients and caregivers consistent with the audiologist's treatment plan, including but not limited to, realistic expectations, communication strategies, and/or aural rehabilitation; assisting in set up and delivery of face-to-face and telehealth visits by preparing the equipment for patient evaluation and other audiology procedures including, but not limited to daily biologic listening calibration of audiometric equipment and calibration of real-ear equipment. Assisting patients with hearing aid connectivity including, but not limited to downloading applications (or apps), pairing devices in the app, Bluetooth pairing, and pairing hearing aid accessories, rechecking air-conduction pure tone threshold testing to assist the audiologist in modifying the treatment plan during hearing aid repair appointments; Providing patient care in hearing aid repair appointments, consistent with the audiologist's treatment plan. Performing non-diagnostic otoscopy including proper bracing techniques and making appropriate referrals for abnormalities and cerumen management Rechecking air-conduction pure tone threshold testing to assist the audiologist in modifying the treatment plan during hearing aid repair appointments. 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. Maintaining comprehensive supply and equipment tracking systems 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 regarding date of expiration and may maintain a loaner hearing aid inventory. The Health Technician (HIS) assists patients through triaging phone calls and audiology requests with regards to priority and urgency, following the audiologist's plan of care. Performs other duties as assigned. Work Schedule: The schedule is to be determined by the supervisor based on the needs of the facility. Compressed/Flexible: Not available. Telework: Not available. Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #: 0000000 Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not authorized. Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not authorized. Financial Disclosure Report: Not required."]
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the largest integrated health care system in the United States, providing care at 1,321 health care facilities, including 172 VA Medical Centers and 1,138 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics) to over 9 million Veterans enrolled in the VA health care program. At VA Long Beach Healthcare System, our health care teams are deeply experienced and guided by the needs of Veterans, their families, and caregivers. Our medical center provides primary care and specialty health services, including cardiology, mental health care, treatment for spinal cord injuries and disorders, suicide prevention, women’s health services, and more.