This is an open continuous announcement and applications submitted prior to June 19, 2022 will be pulled and rated for referral. Further ratings will occur every two weeks thereafter until position is filled. Once a selection has been made, no further candidates will be rated/referred unless further vacancies occur. This announcement may be canceled at any time. 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: Must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with VA Handbook 5005, part II, chapter 2, section D, paragraph 5.a. Experience and Education: Individual must meet at least one of the requirements below. Experience. One year of experience in a health care field that demonstrates the applicant's ability to perform the work or provides an understanding of the work such as but not limited to a medical or clinical laboratory assistant (or technician) or health technician. OR Education. Four academic years above high school leading to a bachelor's degree with courses related to the occupation such as biological science or chemistry; or Successful completion of two academic years of study above high school that included at least 24 semester hours in Chemistry and/or in appropriate fields of biological science and successful completion of a 12-month program of education and training in histopathology or cytotechnology. OR Experience/Education Combination. Equivalent combination of experience and education are qualifying for entry level for which both education and experience are acceptable. Examples are listed below: Six months of experience in the health care field and two years of education above high school that included at least six semester hours in health care related courses such as biological science, surgical technician courses or other courses related to the position; or an associate's degree in a health care related field. Six months of experience in the health care field and successful completion of a course for health care technicians, hospital corpsmen, medical service specialists, or histopathology technicians given by the U.S. Armed Forces. 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: In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates. Histopathology Technician, GS-7 (Advanced) Experience. One year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade level GS-6. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs. Skill in applying professional, complex anatomic pathology principles, practices, concepts, and theories in performing new or difficult specialized testing methods or techniques. Ability to provide technical oversight of laboratory quality control and assurance procedures and principles of performance improvement exhibiting competence in managing reagent and supply inventories and document control systems. Ability to validate methodologies, operate anatomic pathology laboratory equipment and perform complex instrument troubleshooting. Ability to use independent technical judgment to analyze and evaluate laboratory results and resolve problems. References: VA Handbook 5000, Part II, APPENDIX G55. HISTOPATHOLOGY TECHNICIAN QUALIFICATION STANDARD GS-0646, dated April 6, 2018. The full performance level of this vacancy is 7. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is 7. Physical Requirements: VA Directive and Handbook 5019. A physical examination will be conducted based on the physical requirements of the position. A physical examination prior to placement is required. ["PROCESSING SURGICAL, CYTOLOGY AND AUTOPSY SPECIMENS Receives all requests and specimens for testing into the pathology laboratory. Records patient and specimen data into the computer system using two unique patient identifiers. Prepares specimens for tissue examination and performs dissection and gross examination of biopsies and simple anatomical specimens. Using principles of histotechnology, processes surgical, cytology and autopsy tissue specimens which are often delicate and difficult to handle through the required, complex steps of fixation, dehydration, clearing, infiltration, embedding, microtomy, staining and cover slipping. Recognizes improperly processed tissue and is able to take corrective action. Sections paraffin blocks of tissue and mounts paraffin sections on slides. Sections are cut at proper thickness (2-5 microns) according to tissue type or as required for special staining procedures. Sections contain a minimal, unavoidable number of artifacts. Stains routine slides using computerized strainers with hematoxylin and eosin for studying nuclear and cytoplasmic details of tissues. Checks for proper differentiation, dehydration and clearing. Control tissue is evaluated and results documented. Problems are corrected. Prepares cytological specimens for examination using the following principles: homogenization, filtration and biochemical processing. Assists in the collection of fine needle aspiration biopsies for immediate diagnosis from the clinics, patient's bedside, and Special Procedure room in Imaging Services. Responsible for knowing appropriate fixation techniques for any special studies that may be appropriate. Cover slips slides choosing the right kind of mounting medium depending on the kind of stain. The labeled slides are checked for accuracy and legibility and distributed to the pathologist for examination and diagnosis. Both the slides and paraffin blocks are stored as per regulatory guidelines. Operates equipment such as microscopes, centrifuges, cassette labeler, thin-prep cytology processor, microtomes, tissue processor, cryostat, embedding center and stainers. Calibrates, performs preventive maintenance and records required function checks. Reports needed repairs to biomedical engineer. Maintenance and inventory for all stains, supplies and reagents used in histopathology and order laboratory supplies. Maintenance of work records including temperature records, preventive maintenance records etc. as assigned by the supervisor. Maintains a safe, clean and professional work area and is responsible for safe work practices of the Anatomic Pathology Laboratory to assure that they comply with accreditation and regulatory requirements. Assists in training personnel, newer staff and students in laboratory safety and laboratory policies and procedures. Participates in the Quality and Performance Improvement plan for Anatomic Pathology. Monitors specimens, reagents, equipment and the environment for contamination and assists in decontamination and safe handling and disposal of chemicals. Prepares and ships specimens required for consultation or to reference laboratories. FROZEN SECTION COVERAGE Performs procedures in the frozen section laboratory. Orients, cuts and stains any specimens submitted for intra operative consultations, including minute biopsies for rapid diagnosis by the pathologist with no margin for error. Prepares quality frozen sections per accrediting agency guidelines to provide rapid diagnosis in surgical cases (intra operative consultations). MAINTAINS REPORTS, RECORDS AND MATERIALS Performs established quality control and quality assurance procedure to check the accuracy and validity of work. Records information daily. Deviations are documented and reported to the supervisor. Corrective action is performed and appropriately documented. Identifies unusual discrepancies/ conditions that may cause erroneous results (i.e. malfunctions, conditions of test performance, reaction systems and/or test procedure used). Takes appropriate action to make corrections and solve problems, Daily records temperature charts of refrigerators, water baths, rooms, equipment's. Maintains inventory of supplies and reagents. Works closely with Biomedical engineering with preventative maintenance and repairs of all equipment in the laboratory. Maintains an adequate stock of supplies and reagents to cover normal and peak workloads. Work Schedule: Monday to Friday, 8:00AM to 4:30PM\nTelework: Not Available\nVirtual: This is not a virtual position.\nPosition Title/Functional Statement #:HISTOPATHOLOGY TECHNICIAN (ADVANCE)/PD0000000\nRelocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized\nPermanent Change of Station (PCS): 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.