A Hearing Instrument Specialist (HIS) is a hearing care professional who has been trained to evaluate common types of hearing loss in adults and to dispense hearing aids. This position is in the Audiology Service at Amarillo, Texas. The duties and responsibilities are to be carried out in all clinical and other patient care areas involved with the Audiology service, including Mobile Medical Units (MMU). The health technician supports the function of the clinical programs in Audiology. 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. 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). 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: Performing otoscopy and taking ear mold impressions, trouble shooting and minor repair of hearing aids/ear molds Performing daily biologic listening calibration of audiometric equipment and calibration of real-ear equipment;. Setting up patients for testing and also for performing real ear measurements. Performing air conduction audiometry (without interpretation) for follow up patients Knowledge to educate on care and maintenance of hearing aids, accessories. Pairing hearing aids with accessories and cell phone Changing acoustic parameter information in NOAH, performing feedback tests. Performing firmware updates on hearing aids, programming Loss and damage hearing aid with previously programmed data. completing adjustments of hearing aids as outlined in Audiologist treatment plan of care Computer literacy and electronic documentation, knowledge of ROES, printing consult reports for audiologist to review Knowledge on Inventory and supplies 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); 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: Processing incoming devices from patients with concerns related to their hearing aids or hearing assistive technology. Preparing and charging (if required) hearing aids and assistive devices for delivery. Receiving devices and restoring settings of hearing aid/hearing assistive technology after repair or replacement from manufacturer, Denver Logistics Center (DLC) 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. 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). 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. Administrative: 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. Receives and completes incoming communications from Veterans (electronic and telephone), and facilitates follow-up based on audiologist's treatment plan to include ordering supplies through DLC. Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:30pm Telework: Not available Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #: 000000 Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required This is a Bargaining Unit position."]
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.