This is an OPEN CONTINUOUS ANNOUNCEMENT and will remain open until June 15, 2023. The initial cut-off date for referral of eligible applications will be March 30, 2023, with subsequent cut-off dates on the 1st and 15th of each month. Eligible applications received after that date will be referred at regular intervals until all positions are filled. 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. 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. 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). 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. Failure to Obtain Certification. In all cases, Health Technician (HIS) must actively pursue meeting requirements for board certification starting from the date of their appointment. At the time of appointment, the supervisor will provide the Health Technician (HIS) with the written requirements for board certification, including the time (i.e., two years) by which the board certification must be obtained and the consequences for not becoming board certified by the deadline. Failure to obtain board certification during the two-year period may result in termination of employment. Loss of Certification. A Health Technician (HIS) who fails to maintain the required board certification must be removed from the occupation, which may also result in termination of employment. Foreign Education. To be creditable, education completed outside the U.S. must be deemed at least equivalent to that gained in a conventional U.S. program by a private organization specializing in the interpretation of foreign educational credentials. 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: Health Technician (HIS), GS-06. Experience. One year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade. 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. Preferred Experience: Knowledge with conducting hearing aid fittings, pairing hearing aid accessories, troubleshooting and repair of assistive listening devices. Experienced in patient care, patient charting and patient education with individuals with hearing impaired individuals. Ability to fabricate ear mold impressions. Detailed oriented. Strong customer service skills and ability to work independently with minimal oversight. References: VA Handbook 5005/149, Part II, Appendix G73 The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-6. Physical Requirements: The work is primarily sedentary but also requires some standing, walking, bending, lifting, and carrying of light items. The work requires above average agility and dexterity. The work may require heavy lifting of equipment or patients. ["Incumbent is a staff Health Technician (HT) Hearing Instrument Specialist (HIS) under the supervision of a GS-12 licensed staff audiologist or above and reports to the Service Chief/Department Head of Audiology/Speech Pathology. This position is located in the Audiology/Speech Pathology Department at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (FHCC) in North Chicago, Illinois, with primary duty station to be at the McHenry Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC). The HT (HIS) is focused on hearing instruments. HT (HIS) may recheck pure tone air conduction thresholds to assist the audiologist in modifying the treatment plan during hearing aid repair appointments. Direct patient care duties may include, but not limited to the following: The Health Technician (HIS) assists patients through triaging phone calls and audiology requests; Completes walk-in or car side repair appointments; Checks malfunctioning hearing aids; Completes visual and auditory checks with listening stethoscope of hearing aids; Adheres to the audiology clinic policy and standard operating procedures for infection control and cleaning sterilization, and disposition of reusable medical equipment (RME); Conducts non-diagnostic otoscopy; Provides basic hearing aid information for patients and caregivers; Greeting and escorting patients; Provides patient instruction and counseling on hearing loss, hearing aids or other assistive listening devices; Conducts preliminary interview with patients being seen for audiometric assessment; Responsible for ensuring timely and accurate documentation of all interactions in the medical records. Administrative duties may include, but not limited to, the following: The Health Technician (HIS) maintains a comprehensive supply and equipment tracking systems; Maintains proper levels of mailing/shipping supplies; Registering, certifying and tracking prosthetic devices (hearing aids, hearing aid accessories and assistive devices); Tracking loaner stock hearing aid inventory; Electronic ordering, verifying orders upon arrival to ensure components are present and working correctly; Scheduling appointments; Packaging and mailing hearing aids and accessories; Processing ROES transactions (e.g. certifying and issuing hearing aids, entering orders and repairs); Responding to routine inquiries from patients; Assisting patients, visitors, and others requesting information; Management of infection control, patient safety, and clinical supplies for the audiology clinic; Maintenance of clean, disinfected instrumentation, equipment, and work surfaces in the audiology clinic; Completes documentation per FHCC policy for timeliness for each episode of care and codes procedures as appropriate in the patient record. Conduct Hearing Aid Fittings and Pairing Hearing aid accessories: Assists with set up and delivery of face-to-face and telehealth visits; Provides counseling including, but not limited to realistic expectations, communication strategies and/or aural rehab; Provides instruction to patients, family and staff on device topics ; Assists patients with hearing aid connectivity; 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, 0700-1530/ 0730-1600 (negotiable) 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"]
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.