The Health Technician Audiology (HTA) position is located in the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Service of the VA Northern California Health Care System (VANCHCS). Service delivery is in person at a clinic site and via telehealth. The primary responsibility of health technicians (audiology) is to complete patient care activities which do not require a full professional audiology education or knowledge and skills represented by audiology licensure. 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: Citizenship. Be a citizen of the United States (U.S.). Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with 38 U.S.C. § 7407(a). English Language Proficiency. HTA candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English to be appointed as authorized by 38 U.S.C. § 7403 (f). Experience and Education. Experience. Six months of experience comparable to the next lower level which demonstrates the knowledge, skills and abilities related to the duties of the position to be filled. OR Education. Successful completion of two academic years above high school leading to an associate degree or a bachelor's degree with at least 12 semester hours in courses related to the position. OR Experience/Education Combination. Equivalent combinations of experience and education are qualifying. An example of a combination of experience/education is three months of experience comparable to the next lower level which demonstrates the knowledge, skills and abilities related to the duties of the position to be filled and one year above high school with a minimum of 6 semester hours related to the health care industry. Certification. Not applicable for GS-4/5/6 HTA. Loss of Credential. Not applicable for GS-4/5/6 HTA. Grandfathering Provision. All individuals employed in VHA in this occupational series or in another occupational series performing the duties as described in the qualification standard on the effective date of the qualification standard are considered to have met all qualification requirements for the grade held including positive education and licensure/trademark/registration/certification. For employees who do not meet all the basic requirements required in this standard, but who met the qualifications applicable to the position at the time they were appointed to it, the following provisions apply: (1) They may be reassigned, promoted up to and including the full performance (journey) level, or changed to lower grade within the occupation, but may not be promoted beyond the journey level or placed in supervisory or managerial positions. (2) If an HTA who was retained under this provision leaves the occupation, the employee will lose protected status and must meet the full VA qualification standard requirements in effect at the time of re-entry to the occupation. (3) HTAs who are appointed on a temporary basis prior to the effective date of the qualification standard may not have their temporary appointment extended or be reappointed, on a temporary or permanent basis, until they fully meet the basic requirements of the standard. (4) Employees initially grandfathered into this occupation, who subsequently obtain additional education and/or licensure/certification/registration that meet all the basic requirements of this qualification standard must maintain the required credentials as a condition of employment in the occupation. 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. Physical Requirements. Must pass a pre-employment physical. Grade Determinations: In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates. Health Technician Audiology (HTA), GS-04 Experience. None beyond the basic requirements. Health Technician Audiology (HTA), GS-05 Experience. One year of experience comparable to the next lower level which demonstrates the knowledge, skills and abilities related to the duties of the position to be filled. OR Education. Successful completion of four academic years above high school leading to a bachelor's degree with at least 24 semester hours in courses related to the position or a bachelor's degree in a major field of study appropriate to the functions of the occupation. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, Abilities. In addition to meeting the experience or educational requirements for this grade level, the candidate must fully demonstrate the following KSAs: Knowledge of anatomy of the head and neck. Ability to communicate clearly orally and in writing. Knowledge of basic hearing assistive technologies. Knowledge of basic infection control procedures and guidelines. Ability to maintain stock and supply level inventories. Skill in using basic computer software such as email, spreadsheet and word processing. Health Technician Audiology (HTA), GS-06 Experience. Completion of one year of progressive experience and/or experience equivalent to the next lower grade level directly related to the position being filled. Demonstrated 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 physiology and function to educate patients and families; Knowledge of hearing aids, hearing assistive technology, hearing aid manufacturers and manufacturer software; Ability to solve problems or make decisions regarding hearing aid, hearing assistive technology and patient care, consistent with the documented and co-signed plan of care under the supervision of an audiologist; Ability to prepare patients for testing procedures; Ability to document and code patient procedures. Assignment. Employees at this grade level serve as a full performance level HTA. The HTA at this level works independently under the direction of a licensed audiologist. Assignments associated with this position include, but are not limited to: completing visual and auditory checks of hearing aids and hearing assistive technology; repairing or returning hearing aids to the factory; restoring hearing aid or hearing assistive technology settings after repair or replacement; and ordering, registering, certifying, issuing and tracking prosthetic devices. The health technician assists in setting up and delivering face to face and telehealth visits by preparing the equipment for patient evaluation and other audiology procedures. The health technician provides clinical procedures consistent with the documented and co-signed plan of care which may include non-diagnostic otoscopy, cerumen management, foreign body removal and ear mold impressions and without interpretation, immittance screening and hearing screening. The health technician educates patients, family and staff on topics including but not limited to hearing aid and hearing assistive technology care, maintenance, use and operation, hearing conservation and realistic expectations for hearing aid use. The health technician completes documentation for each episode of care and codes procedures as appropriate in the patient record in preparation for co-signature by the audiologist. References: VA Handbook 5005/143, Part II, Appendix G70, May 13,2021May 13,2021 The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-06. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is GS-4 to GS-06. Physical Requirements: The work requires some physical exertion such as prolonged periods of standing, bending, reaching, crouching, stooping, stretching, and lifting moderately heavy items such as manuals, record boxes, equipment or assisting patients. ["The Health Technician (Audiology) supports the staff audiologists by completing clinical and administrative duties. Clinical duties include, but are not limited to: Greeting and escorting patients Instructing patient on hearing loss or hearing aids on an individual basis or in a group setting Completing non-diagnostic otoscopy Completing cerumen management Taking earmold impressions Troubleshooting and repairing hearing aids Providing basic hearing aid information for patients and care partners Performing listening checks on hearing aids Pairing hearing aids and accessories via Bluetooth technology Completing electroacoustic analysis on all new hearing aids and those returned from repair Downloading previously stored settings into hearing aids Documenting patient care activities in an accurate and timely manner in the electronic medical record system Preparing and mailing surveys and entering patient data in electronic systems. Cleans, disinfects, sterilizes and prepares Reusable Medical Equipment. Administrative duties include, but are not limited to: Managing office supplies Maintaining appropriate levels of clinical supplies in all patient care rooms Managing clinical supplies through Omnicell and quarterly ordering procedures Assuring that all clinical supplies have current use date Tracking loaner stock and hearing aid inventory Verifying orders upon arrival to ensure components are present and working correctly Packaging and mailing hearing aids and accessories Responding to routine inquiries from patients, including determining nature of hearing aid inquiry and responding to administrative questions Assisting patients, visitors, and others requesting information Managing infection control and patient safety for the audiology clinic Maintaining clean, disinfected instrumentation, equipment, and work surfaces in the audiology clinic Reprocessing reusable medical equipment based on facility policy according to Medical Center infection control procedures and reusable medical equipment policies Work Schedule: Typically Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM\nTelework: Not Available\nVirtual: This is not a virtual position.\nFunctional Statement #: Health Technician (Audiology)/FS000000\nRelocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized\nFinancial 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.