Optometry Technicians in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) have both clinical and administrative responsibilities. They assist optometrists in the delivery of eye care. They perform functions that include, but are not limited to, pre-testing, ocular imaging and testing, ready exam rooms, and clinic management. They assist with the education of optometry residents and students. 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. 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). Experience and Education. Experience. One year of experience as a health technician or assistant in the health care field demonstrating the applicant's ability to perform the work or by demonstrating a basic understanding of work in the health care field; OR Education. Successful completion of two academic years above high school with a minimum of 12 semester hours related to health technician/assistant or health technician (optometry)/assistant or associate degree, or completion of an independent study course in an optometry related technician or assistant field; OR Experience/Education Combination. Equivalent combinations of experience and education are qualifying. Examples are listed below: (a) Six months of experience comparable to the next lower level which demonstrates the knowledge of optometry assistant theory and practices and general understanding of the health technician/assistant duties and one year above high school with a minimum of six semester hours of health technician/assistant or health technician (optometry)/assistant related courses. (b) Successful completion of a course for health care technicians or assistants, hospital corpsmen, medical service specialists, or hospital training in a program given by the U.S. Armed Forces, the U.S. Maritime Service, or the U.S. Public Health Service, may be substituted on a month-for-month basis. Licensure/Certification/Registration. None. 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: 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 journeyman level or placed in supervisory or managerial positions. Employees 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. Health Technicians (Optometry) who are converted to title 38 hybrid status 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 re-entry to 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. Work requires some direct assistance to patients. Incumbent must be mobile to assist patients in wheelchairs and to respond to requests from the optometrists. English Language Proficiency. Health Technician (Optometry) candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English to be appointed as authorized by 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f). Grade Determinations. In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates. Health Technician (Optometry), GS-06 Experience. One year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: (a) Ability to provide patient education for eye health and/or vision conditions, to include assisting with patient contact lens insertion, removal and hygiene (cleaning and disinfection) care. (b) Ability to accurately enter into a phoropter the autorefractometry or habitual refractive prescription (i.e., eyeglasses prescription) or lensometer findings, including sphere, cylinder and axis. (c) Ability to perform patient spectacle fitting and dispensing, including selection of appropriate frame, ophthalmic lenses, interpupillary measurements (distance and near) and proper segment height determination, as well as the ability to transpose sphere, cylinder and axis. (d) Ability to provide basic triage of patient telephone calls or optometry requests. (e) Knowledge of ophthalmic medications and supplies needed in the process of restocking the eye clinic exam rooms. Health Technician (Optometry), GS-07 Experience. One year of experience comparable to the next lower (GS-6) level which demonstrates the knowledge, skills and abilities related to the duties of the position to be filled. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities. In addition to meeting the experience or educational requirements for this grade level, the candidate must fully demonstrate the following KSAs: (a) Ability to determine preliminary objective estimate and/or refinement of the optical status of the eye, not to include the patient's final subjective refraction. (b) Ability to triage and manage eyeglasses issues (e.g., measurement of vertex distance, base curve, prism correction, center thickness, slab off, Fresnel prism, decentration, etc.). (c) Ability to perform accurate assessment of accommodation, near point of convergence and ocular alignment (far and near). (d) Ability to assist the eye care provider (optometrist or ophthalmologist) with ophthalmic procedures. (e) Ability to assist with obtaining accurate ocular cultures and smears. (f) Knowledge and ability to provide advanced patient education for eye health and/or vision conditions. Preferred Experience: - Health Tech experience in an Optometry setting with acute and chronic patients - One year of Optometry technician experience or assistant in the health care field - Ability to perform ophthalmic testing and imaging - Experience with spectacle fitting and dispensing - Customer service experience References: VA Handbook 5005/142 Part II Appendix G68, April 9, 2021 The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-7. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-6 to GS-7. ["Clinical: - Checks and performs calibration of technical optometric screening instruments - Instills eye medications (drops or ointment) - Neutralize eyeglasses - Verify contact lenses - Performs auto-refraction/keratometry - Performs automated visual field testing - Performs external photographs and fundus photography - Performs optical coherence tomography of the anterior segment, retina, and optic nerve - Performs patient screening and triage of potentially urgent ocular conditions - Order eyeglasses and contact lenses - Assists in the education and training of optometry students and residents - Ensures proper cleaning and disinfection, calibration, and maintenance of ophthalmic equipment Administrative Responsibilities: The incumbent works collaboratively with the optometry staff and surgical service administration to: - Assists with management of optometry clinic operations - Maximize clinic function (patient flow, equipment status, etc.) - Participate in completing projects to improve care or clinic function as assigned by the Optometry Chief and other optometry staff - Orders supplies and equipment, obtains quotes as needed - Assists with annual inventory - Reports needed repairs to biomedical engineering - Assist in managing contact lens clinic (orders, lens verification, communication with patients, etc.) - Communicates with patients via phone and secure messaging - Manages secure messaging - Manage faxes Quality Management: - Prepare and ready clinics for inspections - Complete required VAPAHCS TMS trainings and other required trainings as assigned by the Optometry Chief - Participate as requested in addressing veteran related complaints/issues Work Schedule: Monday - Friday: 8:00am to 4:30pm Telework Eligible: Not Authorized Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
About Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
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.