Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Histopathology Technician (Adv in Buffalo, New York
Summary Advanced Histopathology Technicians in Buffalo, NY, have a higher level of responsibility for technical oversight and are expected to carry out assigned tasks of considerable difficulty independently. The incumbent will have the responsibility of performing difficult specialized histological, histochemical, and immuno-histochemical procedures, as well as developing, and improving existing methods as necessary for routine histo-technology procedures. Responsibilities Major Duties: Independently performs a broad range of laboratory procedures including processing tasks of the histopathology technology occupation involving anatomic pathology to include surgical pathology, autopsy pathology and cytopathology. In addition, performs advanced and complex laboratory procedures, recognizes deviations from expected results, analyzes and corrects problems using scientific principles. Ensures and maintains accurate patient identification through the chain of custody of the specimen. Evaluates and solves problems related to collection and processing of biological specimens for diagnostic evaluation, considering physiologic processes and requirements. Prepares technically adequate slides of surgical, cytology, and autopsy specimens by processing, embedding tissue, cutting, staining and cover slipping. Utilizes new or specialized techniques for handling cell blocks, frozen sections, bone marrows, autopsies, and fine-needle biopsies Examines slides under a microscope to ensure tissue preparation meets laboratory requirements. - Identifies problems in processing and staining procedures and makes necessary adjustments as needed for diagnostic purposes. Maintains and documents the optimal function of laboratory equipment. Uses, identifies malfunctions, repairs, and performs preventative maintenance of laboratory equipment. - Diagnoses and troubleshoots deviations in histochemical and immuno-histochemical procedures due to instrument malfunction. Performs and documents quality control, quality assurance activities and corrective actions related to test performance using statistical principles and theories of performance improvement, as applicable. Adheres to practices and regulations governing safety in the laboratory Identifies discrepancies, solves problems, and presents solutions. Incorporates principles of educational methodology in the instruction and training of new employees and students and in the laboratory's in-service/continuing education program. Communicates effectively and courteously while working as a healthcare team member. Provides excellent service as defined by the customer (healthcare providers, patients, and others). Gives direction and guidance using underlying histopathology and cytopathology principles. Organizes work and sets priorities to meet deadlines. Supervisory Controls The incumbent works under the general supervision of the Anatomic Pathology Supervisor, who establishes objectives and department priorities. The incumbent plans and carries out procedures necessary to complete work assignment; handles problems and corrects error in accordance with established protocols or accepted laboratory practices. The incumbent exercises judgment in the execution of the work and solves most technical problems independently, keeping the supervisor informed technical problems and requesting assistance as needed. The supervisor reviews work for technical soundness and conformity to policy and established requirements. Work Schedule: 7AM to 3:30PM Compressed/Flexible: Not available Telework: Not Available Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #: 24233-F Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized PCS Appraised Value Offer (AVO): Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required Requirements Conditions of Employment You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job. All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in a testing designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA. Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959. Must be proficient in written and spoken English. You may be required to serve a probationary period. Subject to background/security investigation. Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process. Must pass pre-employment physical examination. Participation in the seasonal influenza vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP). Participation in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination program is a requirement for all Veterans Health Administration Health Care Personnel (HCP) - See "Additional Information" below for details. Qualifications BASIC REQUIREMENTS: Citizenship: Citizen of the United States. 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: 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. Physical Requirements: See VA Directive and Handbook 5019. English Language Proficiency: Histopathology Technicians must be proficient in spoken and written English Certification: None Grandfathering Provision: All Histopathology Technicians employed in VHA in this occupation on the effective date of this qualification standard are considered to have met all qualification requirements for the title, series, and grade held. 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: Such employees in an occupation that does not require a licensure/certification/registration, may be reassigned, promoted, or demoted within the occupation. 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. If an employee who was retained (grandfathered) under this provision leaves that occupation, the employee loses protected status and must meet the full VA qualification standard requirements in effect at the time of reentry to the occupation. Grade Determinations: Creditable Experience: To be creditable, the experience must have demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) associated with a health care field or knowledge, skills, and abilities related to the Histopathology Technician practice. Experience satisfying this requirement may be paid or non-paid employment in the health care field. Quality of Experience: Qualifying experience must be at a level comparable to Histopathology Technician experience at the next lower grade level of the position being filled. For all assignments above the full performance level, the higher level duties must consist of significant scope, administrative independence, complexity (difficulty) and range of variety as described in this standard at the specified grade level and be performed by the incumbent at least 25% of the time. Part-time Experience: Part-time experience as a Histopathology Technician is credited according to its relationship to the full-time workweek. For example, one week of full-time credit is equivalent to two weeks of part-time work. Histopathology Technician, GS-7 (Advanced) Experience: One year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade level. Assignment: Histopathology technicians at this level generally have a higher level of responsibility for technical oversight, and are expected to carry out assigned tasks of considerable difficulty independently. The incumbent will have the responsibility of performing difficult specialized histological, histochemical, and immuno-histochemical procedures, as well as developing, modifying, or adapting new staining methods or techniques, improving existing methods as necessary for routine histo-technology procedures. The technician will be responsible for troubleshooting issues with instruments and resolving problems. For all assignments above the full performance level, the higher-level duties must consist of significant scope, complexity (difficulty) and range of variety and be performed by the incumbent at least 25% of the time. 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 5005/102 PART II APPENDIX G55 The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-6. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is GS-7. Physical Requirements: See VA Directive and Handbook 5019. Education IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education. Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/. If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html. Additional Information Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. Selected applicants may qualify for credit toward annual leave accrual, based on prior work experience or military service experience. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed. This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies. This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status. VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply. The health-related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority. Pursuant to VHA Directive 1193.01, VHA health care personnel (HCP) are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 subject to such accommodations as required by law (i.e., medical, religious or pregnancy). VHA HCPs do not include remote workers who only infrequently enter VHA locations. If selected, you will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination before your start date. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request a legally required accommodation from this requirement using the reasonable accommodation process. If you are unable to apply online or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application.