This position is eligible for the Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP), a student loan payment reimbursement program. You must meet specific individual eligibility requirements in accordance with VHA policy and submit your EDRP application within four months of appointment. Approval, award amount (up to $200,000) and eligibility period (one to five years) are determined by the VHA Education Loan Repayment Services program office after complete review of the EDRP application. Learn more All requirements must be met by the closing date of this announcement. 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: 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: (a) 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 (b) 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: (a) 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. (b) 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. Certification: None English Language Proficiency: Histopathology Technicians must be proficient in spoken and written English. Grade Determinations: Histopathology Technician, GS-7 (Advanced) Experience: One year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade level, GS-6. AND Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs. (a) Skill in applying professional, complex anatomic pathology principles, practices, concepts, and theories in performing new or difficult specialized testing methods or techniques. (b) 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. (c) Ability to validate methodologies, operate anatomic pathology laboratory equipment and perform complex instrument troubleshooting. (d) Ability to use independent technical judgment to analyze and evaluate laboratory results and resolve problems. Preferred Experience: Histology certification preferred References: VA HANDBOOK 5005/102, PART II, APPENDIX G55 The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-7. Physical Requirements: Moderate lifting, light carrying, reaching above shoulder, use of fingers, both hands required, walking, and standing ["Duties include, but are not limited to: - Receives all requests and specimens for testing into the laboratory. Verifies the accuracy and completeness of the request and proper sample submission. Properly identifies all specimens. Verifies discrepancies with the provider. Is proficient in recognizing a wide variety of tissues and can identify unusual conditions and discrepancies which may cause erroneous results or require special handling. Makes sound decisions independently and takes appropriate action to correct and solve problems. Accessions all specimens into the hospital computer system and labels specimens according to laboratory labeling requirements.\n- Is responsible for embedding tissue of all sizes in the proper medium and in the proper manner for correct sectioning. Is able to operate the microtome to achieve tissue sections of the thickness requested by the pathologist. Performs routine and special stains as requested by the pathologist. Correctly coverslips preparations so that there are no artifacts produced. Can ascertain the need for and perform fixation techniques that are non-routine such as EM preparations and bone decalcification. Recognizes improperly processed or improperly fixed tissue and is able to take corrective action.\n- Performs frozen section preparations. Frozen section preparation includes selection of pathogenic portions of the specimen; marking it for correct orientation and identification of the tumor margins, freezing the unfixed specimen; sectioning it with a cryostat microtome and staining and coverslipping the slide.\n- Performs staining of tissue sections, including histochemical and other advanced staining techniques. These procedures are specialized and often complex, difficult and non-standardized. Many procedural steps are not covered by specific instructions. The choices of alternative ways of proceeding are determined through the Histopathology Technician's professional training and experience. Procedures must be adapted to individual variance in specimen and stain performance. The principles of each unique stain involve chemical procedures such as pH balance and altering the concentration of chemical solutions. Chemical interaction with microorganisms, certain tissue fibers, and types of cells, as well as the physiology of different tissues, all must be understood to determine proper staining.\n- Assists the pathologist or pathology resident with surgical gross description and processing. Selection of the proper fixation technique is also critical, such as decalcification of bony specimens.\n- Assists the pathologist, pathology resident, radiologist or endocrinologist during specimen collection of fine needle aspirations and bone marrow. S/he prepares specialized touch preparations and aspirate smears in accordance with protocol.\n- Prepares fresh specimens, orders, and other necessary materials for outside testing for any collected specimen where testing is contracted to be performed at another facility.\n- Adapts and develops new test and staining procedures. This development requires research into state-of-the-art methods and advancing technology. These new procedures are evaluated for proper performance of equipment and stains.\n- Writes, edits, and reviews AP laboratory procedures in accordance with CAP guidelines utilizing the laboratory electronic document control system and submits to pathologist for final review. Is responsible for reviewing all AP procedures biennially and updates the procedures as needed to reflect current practices. Ensures that the histology laboratory procedures and policies meet the current requirements of regulatory and accrediting agencies such as CAP, JCAHO, and OSHA.\n- Performs established quality control and quality assurance procedures to check the accuracy and validity of work. Records information daily. Deviations are documented and reported to the pathologist and laboratory leadership. 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.\n- Records and tabulates data for required reports, such as LMIP, Quarterly Quality Management Reports, and quality assurance monitors. Maintains standards that conform to accreditation requirements. Work Schedule: Full-time; Monday - Friday, 5:30am - 2:00pm\nTelework: Not available\nVirtual: This is not a virtual position.\nFunctional Statement #: 000000\nRelocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not authorized\nEDRP Authorized: Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, the EDRP Coordinator for questions/assistance\nPermanent Change of Station (PCS): Not authorized\nFinancial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
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