The position of Health Technician Audiology - Hearing Instrument Specialist (HTA-HIS) is located in the Audiology Section of the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service (PM&R) in the VASNHCS. The duties and responsibilities are to be carried out in all clinical and other patient care areas involved with the Audiology section including outpatient clinics. The health technician supports the function of the clinical programs in Audiology. This is an open continuous announcement. 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 (HIS) candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f). 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. (1) 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). 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). 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. GRADE DETERMINATIONS. In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates. Health Technician (Hearing Instrument Specialist), GS-5 (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 (Hearing Instrument Specialist), GS-6 (1) Experience. One year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade GS-5. (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 5005/96, Part II, Appendix G73 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: See VA Directive and Handbook 5019, Employee Occupational Health Service for requirements. ["Functions or Scope of Assigned Duties. 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. 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 HTA-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. Administrative duties may include, but not limited to the following: 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 HTA-HIS assists patients through triaging phone calls and audiology requests with regards to priority and urgency, following the audiologist's plan of care. Work Schedule: Monday - Friday 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM. 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."]
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.