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Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Practical Nurse - Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Unit in Syracuse, New York

Summary The Syracuse VA Medical Center is seeking a Full Time Licensed Practical Nurse for the Spinal Cord Injury Inpatient Unit. Responsibilities Delivers fundamental, knowledge-based care to assigned patients while developing technical competencies. The Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) demonstrates unit/department specific competencies, and competency in caring for adult and geriatric residents. Patients receiving care in the Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Unit are being treated for any number of medical and psychological conditions. Given the nature of their disease process patients may express intent to harm either themselves or others (suicidal or homicidal ideations) or exhibit behaviors that place the patient at risk for harm or elopement. Some examples of these behaviors include but are not limited to confusion, delirium, and interference with medical devices (e.g. intravenous lines or indwelling urinary catheters). In order to maintain the patient's safety, patients may be assigned a 1:1 sitter. The LPN provides care to the patient under the direction of the RN assigned to care for the patient. LPNs at this grade level are expected to provide direct patient care and perform all duties within the scope of their license (e.g., medication administration), actively seeking out educational opportunities to enhance nursing knowledge and skills, sharing new knowledge gained with other staff to improve and advance nursing practice. Incumbent must be technically proficient in initiating, performing, and completing assigned duties in providing care to variable resident populations. Completed work needs only a general review by a registered nurse (RN). Individuals at this grade level are expected to have a broad working knowledge of practical nursing procedures and operate in accordance with all established policies, procedures, and techniques. Duties will primarily be performed in the SCI Unit; however, re-assignment may be required based on patient care needs.Duties Include but are not limited to: Explains procedures to residents, using language which they understand and displaying consideration of individual resident needs. Ensures that the physical and emotional environment is consistent with the vision for resident-centered care. Maintains self-control and responds consistently to the requirements of the work situation. Maintains a positive attitude in accepting temporary reassignment to meet patient care needs. Responds to residents calls for assistance promptly and interacts with the resident in a tactful, courteous manner, making customer service the focus of all interactions. Communicates respectfully and works effectively with administrative staff, the health care team, unit staff, residents, and visitors. Provides emotional support to residents, and families/significant others to assist them in adjusting to changes brought about by illness or change in health status. Establishes constructive relationship with individual residents to elicit feelings and attitudes and to promote positive relationships, communication and socialization skills. Hospice/Palliative care needs are supported as needed based on resident self-determination. Fosters an environment of respect for individual resident and family/significant other rights to privacy and dignity in all aspects of care delivery. Serves as Veteran's/family/significant others' advocate. Demonstrates knowledge and skills necessary for concentrated effort and self-direction in carrying out the most complex practical nursing assignments, including assignments for, long-term, short-term rehabilitation, respite, hospice/palliative care, and psychiatric residents requiring skilled nursing care. Prepares and administers prescribed oral, topical, subcutaneous, inhaled medications, controlled substances, intravenous piggybacks, continuous intravenous infusions, and injectable medications and suppositories according to policy and procedure. Correctly documents medications given or omitted in Bar Code Medication Administration (BCMA) according to established policy and procedures. Documents effects of medications. Initiates, maintains, and discontinues IV therapy and intermittent intravenous devices. Administers IV piggyback medications via continuous infusion or intermittent infusion device according to hospital policy and procedure. Observes and documents resident changes in condition; examples such as bleeding, vomiting, fainting, skin changes, behavioral concerns, etc. to the Charge Nurse or RN. Promptly reports untoward patient incidents; examples medication errors, falls, etc. to Charge Nurse/Nursing Supervisor, and initiates incident report. Appropriately initiates emergency response teams: Rapid Response Team (RRT), Code Blue, Stroke-Cardiac alerts and responds to emergency situations including cardiopulmonary arrest, choking, and disaster or fire drills. Work Schedule: Day/Evening - 12 hour shifts Telework: Not Available Virtual: This is not a virtual position. 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: United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy. United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy. Education: Graduate of a school of practical or vocational nursing approved by the appropriate State agency and/or accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) at the time the program was completed by the applicant. Licensure: Full, active, current and unrestricted licensure as a licensed practical or vocational nurse in a State, Territory or Commonwealth (i.e., Puerto Rico) of the United States, or District of Columbia. English Language Proficiency: Licensed practical or vocational nurses appointed to direct patient care positions must be proficient in both spoken and written English as required by 38 U.S.C. 7402(d), and 7407(d). 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: GS-3. None beyond the basic requirements. GS-4. Employees may be appointed at or advanced to GS-4 if they meet any of the criteria in paragraphs (a) through (c) below:(a) Six months of qualifying experience as an LPN or LVN; or(b) Graduation from an approved school (which may be waived as provided in paragraph 4 of Section C) and one year of experience that involved nursing care work in a hospital, outpatient clinic, nursing home, or other supervised medical, nursing, or patient care facility that provided a practical knowledge of human body structure and sterile techniques and procedures; or(c) Graduation from an approved school of at least 24 months duration. GS-5. (a)Completion of at least 1 year of qualifying experience at the GS-4 level or equivalent.(b) Demonstrated knowledge and ability to provide a full range of practical nursing care to patients with a variety of physical and/or behavioral problems. Works with the RN and/or MD/DO to appropriately orient/train less experienced LPNs/LVNs and/or Nursing Assistants (NAs)/Health Technicians (HTs) in relation to acceptable standards of practice in promoting optimal patient care delivery. Provides effective education to patients and/or family members in relation to common disease processes, medication, and /or prescribed treatment regimes.(c) Demonstrated ability to serve as a responsible member of the nursing team and interact in an appropriate manner with patients, family members, professional and other] supportive personnel involved in the delivery of patient care, [incorporating acceptable, established customer service standards into practice.(d) Knowledge and skill sufficient to prepare, administer, and appropriately document actions taken specific to commonly prescribed oral, topical, subcutaneous, intramuscular, and/or intravenous medications as permitted by approved local facility policies and procedures.(e) Knowledge and ability to recognize the need for and to institute emergency measures when indicated, promptly seek the assistance of the RN or MD/DO, and assist in resuscitation procedures in cardiac and/or pulmonary arrest.(f) Recognizes and appropriately responds to breakage/malfunction or loss of equipment, safety hazards, and supply deficiencies, promptly reporting to appropriate personnel for corrective action. GS-6. (a) Completion of at least one (1) year of additional qualifying experience at the GS-5 level or equivalent, fully meeting all performance requirements for the GS-5 LPN/LVN.(b) Technically proficient in initiating, performing and completing assigned duties in providing care to variable patient populations.(c) Knowledge and ability to appropriately carry out assigned patient care based on the patients' conditions; to use judgment in selecting the appropriate order and sequence of procedures and treatments; and to accurately recognize, report and record relevant] patient information. Completed work [should need] only a general review by a registered nurse (RN) or physician (MD/DO) for appropriateness and conformity with established policies/procedures.(d) Ability to observe, identify and respond to the patient's needs for care, including medication, equipment-assisted care and patient/family education. In organizing and delivering care , the LPN/LVN recognizes and considers emotional, cultural, spiritual, socio-economic, and age-related factors.(e) Prepares and administers prescribed medications (oral, topical, subcutaneous, intramuscular and/or intravenous) and performs treatments according to established policies/procedures. Observes for physical and/or emotional changes in patient's condition from prescribed medications/treatments, promptly and accurately documenting noted changes, and reporting any deviations from normal to RN or MD/DO.(f) Knowledge and ability to recognize urgent or emergent patient care situations, seek assistance of the RN and/or MD/DO, and initiate appropriate emergency interventions as directed.(g) Knowledge and understanding of human behavior, patient motivations and reactions to situations, and ability to appropriately utilize this knowledge in working effectively with patients, family members, and other staff.(h) Establishes constructive relationships with individual patients and their families to elicit feelings and attitudes, and to promote positive relationships, communication and socialization skills. Fosters an environment of respect for individual patient and family rights to privacy and dignity in all aspects of care delivery. Effectively incorporates knowledge and understanding of established customer service standards in all interactions with patients, family members, and/or other internal/external customers.(i) Knowledge and skill in performing support duties for complex diagnostic tests and/or specialized practices or procedures, which include preparing the patient, assisting in the diagnostic examination, preparing and handling specialized instruments or other specialized equipment, and monitoring the patient's condition before, during, and following the procedure. Serves as a preceptor in orienting, educating, and training less experienced LPNs/LVNs or NAs/HTs related to support duties for these more complex, specialized tests/procedures.(j) Actively seeks out educational opportunities to enhance nursing knowledge and skills, sharing new knowledge gained with other staff to improve and advance nursing practice. References: VA Handbook 5005, Appendix G-13. 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-6. Physical Requirements: This position requires visual acuity, keen hearing, clear distinctive speech, and manual dexterity. This position requires potentially long periods of continued walking, standing, stooping, sitting, kneeling, bending, pulling, and pushing. The incumbent may be exposed to infected patients and contaminated materials and may be required to don protective clothing in isolation situations or during patient procedures and care. The incumbent may occasionally be exposed to patients who are combative secondary to delirium, dementia, or psychiatric disorders. Use of fingers, both hands, and near and far vision is required. 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.

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