The cytotechnologist position is located at the VA San Francisco Healthcare System (VASNHS) and is a component of the Cytopathology Section of the Anatomic Pathology Service. Cytotechnologists are certified laboratory professionals performing highly complex laboratory diagnostic testing on human specimens for diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of disease in the laboratory specialty of cytopathology. 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. Education. Individuals must have successfully completed a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college/university and successfully completed a Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs accredited cytotechnology program. Foreign Education. To be creditable, education completed outside the U.S. must have been submitted to a private organization approved by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) 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. Certification Candidates must currently possess the Cytotechnologist (CT) (ASCP) or Specialist in Cytotechnology (SCT) (ASCP) certification given by the ASCP Board of Certification. Loss of Certification. An employee who fails to maintain the required certification must be removed from the occupation, which may also result in termination of employment. Grandfathering Provision. All cytotechnologists employed in VHA, in this occupational series, performing the duties as described in the qualification standard on the effective date of this qualification standard, are considered to have met all the qualification requirements for the grade held, including positive education and certification that are part of the basic requirements of the occupation. For employees who do not meet all the basic requirements of this standard, but met the qualifications applicable to the position at the time they were appointed to the position, the following provisions apply: (1)Cytotechnologists that do not meet the basic requirements for education and certification may be reassigned, promoted up to and including the full performance level, or demoted within the occupation, but may not be promoted beyond the full performance level or placed in supervisory or managerial positions. (2)Cytotechnologists 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. (3)Cytotechnologists initially grandfathered into this occupation, who subsequently obtain education and/or certification that meets all the basic requirements of this qualification standard, must maintain the required credentials as a condition of employment in the occupation (4)Cytotechnologists who were retained in this occupation, under this provision, and subsequently leave the occupation, lose protected status and must meet the full VA qualification standard requirements in effect at the time of reentry to the occupation. Physical Requirements. See VA Directive and Handbook 5019, Employee Occupational Health Service. English Language Proficiency. Cytotechnologists must be proficient in spoken and written English. See 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f). Grade Determinations: GS-11 Experience The candidate must have one year of creditable experience equivalent to the journey level (GS-9) that is directly related to the position to be filled. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate the following Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) i. - iv. and the advanced KSA as identified by the corresponding asterisk(s): i. Ability to independently determine specimen adequacy using complex specialized testing methods or techniques during Endoscopic Ultrasound, Endobronchial Ultrasound, and other Fine Needle Aspiration procedures. ii. Knowledge of pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical processes to establish and monitor the overall laboratory quality management and quality control program, and initiate corrective action as needed. iii. Skill in collecting, compiling, and analyzing data for quality assurance, statistics, trends and reports, and implementing quality improvement initiatives. iv. Skill in researching, testing, validating, and implementing new procedures and equipment. v.**Ability to perform ultrathin microtomy and operate an electron microscope. Knowledge of microanatomy sufficient to note ultrastructural and microchemical findings. vi.***Ability to convey knowledge of safety regulations and guidelines such as CAP,JC, and OSHA, and to ensure staff compliance with safety requirements, including continuing education and employee orientation. vii.****Knowledge and skill to plan and administer an ongoing continuing education program for the laboratory to meet accreditation standards. viii. *****Skill to maintain and troubleshoot computers and laboratory system instrumentation. Assignments For all assignments above the journey level, the higher-level duties must consist of significant scope, complexity (difficulty), range of variety, and be performed by the incumbent at least 25% of the time. At the advanced level, the cytotechnologist independently performs and monitors processes such as smear preparation, slide fixation, cell block preparation, monolayer filtration processing, and staining. If a discrepancy is identified with these processes, the cytotechnologist will troubleshoot and take corrective action. The cytotechnologist may act as a technical resource in writing and establishing new processes or procedures. The cytotechnologist performs a full range of specialized tasks, including collecting, compiling, and analyzing data according to the laboratory quality management program. The cytotechnologist uses these laboratory data to implement any needed quality improvement initiatives. The incumbent will research, test, validate, and implement new procedures and equipment. NOTE: Advanced assignments may also include one or more of the tasks identified below. When these duties are required, the Advanced Cytotechnologist must also demonstrate the corresponding advanced KSAs as identified by the corresponding asterisk(s) below in KSA (c) v. - (c) viii: **Electron Microscopy (KSA (c) v.): Ability to utilize electron microscope, performance of ultrathin cryomicrotomy, and staining of ultrastructural components. ***Safety Coordination (KSA (c) vi.): Ability to oversee safe handling of specimens, chemicals, and equipment by all staff and ensures adherence to safety regulations. ****Laboratory Education (KSA (c) vii.): Ability to plan and administer an ongoing continuing education program for laboratory staff to meet accreditation requirements. *****Automated Data Processing Applications Coordinator (KSA (c) viii.): Ability to carry out day-to-day operations related to laboratory information systems/computer use and system maintenance. References: VA Handbook 5005/126, PART II, APPENDIX G61. CYTOTECHNOLOGIST QUALIFICATION STANDAQRD, GS-0601, Veterans Health Administration, dated November 25, 2019. The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-11.The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is GS-11. Physical Requirements: This position requires manual dexterity, the ability to sit and concentrate for extended periods of time while embedding and cutting specimens, and to stand for several consecutive hours during the preparation of specimens. Position may require lifting of reagent containers weighing up to 44 pounds and assisting in the moving of bodies during autopsy procedures. See also VA Directive and Handbook 5019, Employee Occupational Health Service. Qualified candidates will be referred in the order received in USA Staffing. Cutoff dates to refer qualified candidates are as follows or as needed: 3/25/2022 4/8/2022 4/22/2022 5/6/2022 5/20/2022 6/3/2022 ["Major duties and responsibilities include but are not limited to the following: Prescreening and microscopic interpretation of all cytologic specimens including, but not limited to sputum, respiratory, gastrointestinal and urinary tract washings and brushings, body fluids and cerebrospinal fluids, uterine, cervical, and vaginal smears; needle aspirations, tumors, and tissue imprints. Processes and prepares cytology specimens for cytodiagnosis, special stains and ancillary testing procedures. Prepares, and fixes tissue smears and prepares cell blocks of submitted samples using a variety of laboratory processes and equipment such as centrifuges, cytocentrifuges, and filtration methods; prepares a variety of cytologic fixatives, processing, and staining solutions; employs staining processes including, but not limited to, Papanicolaou's stain; and labels slides in compliance with quality control standards. Assisting in specialized, diagnostic techniques in cytopathology, such as fine needle aspiration biopsy which include ultrasound or interventional radiology biopsy, endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) guided biopsy, endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) guided biopsy, which is widely used for early detection and treatment of cancer and for the diagnosis of opportunistic infections. Attends fine-needle-aspiration, EBUS, EUS, Interventional Radiology (IR) procedures independently, to ensure adequacy of specimen collection, and or assists an on-site pathologist in the same. Accessions specimens and determines adequacy and quality of each specimen prior to result reporting. Modifies existing procedures as appropriate, identifies parameters and determines acceptable range for each parameter and is given freedom of action under the general guidance of the supervisor or staff pathologists or when working collaboratively with another laboratory practitioner (Medical Technologist/s). Conveys information as necessary to those directly responsible for patient care, i.e., engineer's proper collection methods, transportation of specimens, and interpretation of reports. Recognizes technical limitations and various possibilities for procedural errors in cytology preparation. Examines and evaluates cell samples for the presence or absence of normal / abnormal cellular patterns, presence of microorganisms, inflammatory reactions, benign changes, pre- malignant changes, neoplasia, and cellular responses to therapeutic agents. Reviews clinical data of patients relating data to microscopic findings and makes a primary cytodiagnosis. Issues a preliminary report using standard cytopathologic / histopathologic terminology. Logs specimen submissions. Maintains appropriate records, statistical data, and cross-referenced indexes. Organizes and maintains slide and report files, including those for teaching purposes. Operates, maintains, and troubleshoots all equipment in the Cytopathology Laboratory. Maintains process control in a specialty area through a multifaceted quality assurance program and represents the laboratory on any applicable cytology utilization reviews. Develops and maintains procedural manuals in a manner which fulfills the requirements of the VA Medical Center, the CAP, and TJC on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. This includes correlation with, and actual clinical and histologic data and retrospective review of previous specimens. Develops and implements new methods and procedures. Conducts studies and recommends changes to correct deficiencies and improve the specialty area to include providing recommendations and better means to engage in and meet laboratory cytology accreditation requirements, recommending new / replacement instrumentation, designing workflow and methodologies to document compliance. Analyzes emerging trends and technology specific to cytology as part of improved quality control procedures. Evaluates new quality control protocols to determine their suitability for local use. Observes and follows all established safety and universal precautionary policies and procedures. Orders supplies and equipment. Inventories and maintains a working stock of chemicals, reagents, stains, and other supplies necessary for the operational requirements of the Unit. Participates in training of pathology residents, students, technicians, and volunteers. As needed, the Cytotechnologist may also be required to work on a more expanded basis in the histology area of the anatomic pathology section, accessioning and grossing small biopsy specimens, and performing frozen sections and staining where qualified. Work Schedule: Monday to Friday, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm.\nTelework: Not Available\nVirtual: This is not a virtual position.\nFunctional Statement #: 00000\nRelocation/Recruitment Incentives: Authorized\nPermanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized\nFinancial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
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