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Cytotechnologist

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Summary

This is an OPEN AND CONTINUOUS ANNOUNCEMENT until October 1 , 2024. Qualified applicants will be considered and referred as vacancies become available.



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Overview

  • Accepting applications
  • Open & closing dates

    07/01/2024 to 10/01/2024

  • Salary

    $72,533 - $94,317 per year

  • Pay scale & grade

    GS 11

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    Location

    1 vacancy in the following location:

  • Remote job

    No

  • Telework eligible

    No

  • Travel Required

    Not required

  • Relocation expenses reimbursed

    No

  • Appointment type

    Permanent

  • Work schedule

    Full-time

  • Service

    Excepted

  • Promotion potential

    11

  • Job family (Series)

    0601 General Health Science

  • Supervisory status

    No

  • Security clearance

    Not Required

  • Drug test

    Yes

  • Position sensitivity and risk

    Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

  • Trust determination process

    Credentialing

    Suitability/Fitness


  • Announcement number

    CBTC-12460912-24-DC

  • Control number

    798039900

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This job is open to

Clarification from the agency

This announcement is open to the public. All VA/federal employees must apply to VIN#12460911.

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Duties

  • Assignments require the advanced knowledge of the theories, principles, technical practices and detailed cellular structures specific to all areas of cytotechnology (includes gynecological and non-gynecological specimens).\
  • Knowledge of medical and pathological processes to triage specimens to appropriate ancillary diagnostic tests such as flow cytometry, electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry, based upon minimal information and without written guidance. Incorporate new molecular technologies such as DNA testing for viruses, cytogenetic analysis of tumors, molecular markers of disease.
  • The cytotechnologist is an integral part of the health care team and is directly involved in patient care through diagnostic assistance during costly procedures (CT scan, bronchoscopy, aspiration biopsy). Cytotechnologists must incorporate medical knowledge of pathologic entities into diagnosis evaluation and specimen triage. Since interpretive errors can result in medical mismanagement, and are the major cause of pathology litigation, the degree of personal responsibility in this position is high.
  • Professional knowledge of cytotechnology concepts, principles, and methodologies sufficient to develop and establish procedures for cytological determinations is required to perform the more difficult and infrequent procedures, as well as to evaluate, modify, and implement new methods.
  • Knowledge to perform screening and processing, as well as citing recommendations for more specific diagnostic testing. Maintain a thorough understanding of the ultrastructural characteristics of both normal and abnormal cells obtained from numerous body sites in order to differentiate between neoplastic (benign and malignant) and non-neoplastic disease processes. Independent judgment is essential in deciding which cases are within normal limits as opposed to those cases which require further interpretation. Consistency in judgment in the development of a differential diagnosis by the use of observation, application, analysis and synthesis is crucial.
  • Knowledge of special staining procedures, applications, and interpretation. Theoretical and practical knowledge of the standard state-of-the-art methods of collection and preparation of specimens for all types of cytological evaluation.
  • Knowledge of CAP and Joint Commission standards to maintain accreditation, medico legal responsibilities, federal and state laws and regulations sufficient to ensure that cytology plans and procedures are consistent with those requirements.
  • Knowledge of immunopathologic principles and methodologies. Knowledge of medical terminology sufficient to communicate in an organized, articulate, and accurate manner to the medical staff.
  • Knowledge of quality control systems, corrective actions, inspection and accreditation, proficiency testing programs, and procedures for preventive maintenance and 2 performance testing of instruments and equipment sufficient to identify and resolve problems and assure compliance with appropriate requirements.
  • Knowledge of the types of surveillance needed to monitor variables that affect quality of services and skills in evaluating, interpreting, and teaching others to use quality control procedures and implementing corrective actions where indicated.
  • Mastery of cytopathology principles, concepts, and methods to apply new scientific/technological developments and theories to major problems not susceptible to treatment by accepted methods and/or take actions or make recommendations which have significant impact on existing agency/national policies and programs. Typically the cytotechnologist is recognized as a technical authority in a particular discipline or function.
  • Knowledge & skill sufficient to evaluate and approve clinical laboratories for CAP accreditation throughout a multistate region. Assignments require expert knowledge of all aspects of laboratory practice as well as statutory requirements and published rule & regulations to plan and conduct the surveys of laboratories; assure compliance of CAP and Joint Commission standards; develop & recommend regulations, criteria, and standards for laboratory certification; provide technical assistance to other laboratories, professional organizations, & others in developing laboratory/surveyor improvement programs, providing training, modifying guidelines/procedures to make them compatible with Federal requirements, etc.; provide authoritative advice and consultation on the interpretation and application of Medicare/Medicaid standards for medical laboratory services & other cytopathology related issues; & collaborate with other regions and programs of the agency in developing national guideline materials.

Work Schedule: 8am-4:30pm
Telework: Not Available
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Functional Statement #: 70649F
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Authorized
Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required
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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.
  • English Language Proficiency. Cytotechnologists must be proficient in spoken and written English.
  • Education. Individuals must have successfully completed a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college/university and successfully completed a Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs accredited cytotechnology program. ( Transcripts must be submitted)
Foreign Education. To be creditable, education completed outside the U.S. must have been submitted to a private organization approved by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) 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. ( Foreign evaluation must be submitted)
  • Certification: Candidates must currently possess the Cytotechnologist (CT) (ASCP) or Specialist in Cytotechnology (SCT) (ASCP) certification given by the ASCP Board of Certification ( Certification must be submitted)
Grandfathering Provision. All cytotechnologists employed in VHA, in this occupational series, performing the duties as described in the qualification standard on the effective date of this qualification standard, are considered to have met all the qualification requirements for the grade held, including positive education and certification that are part of the basic requirements of the occupation. For employees who do not meet all the basic requirements of this standard, but met the qualifications applicable to the position at the time they were appointed to the position, the following provisions apply:(1) Cytotechnologists that do not meet the basic requirements for education and certification may be reassigned, promoted up to and including the full performance level, or demoted within the occupation, but may not be promoted beyond the full performance level or placed in supervisory or managerial positions. (2) Cytotechnologists 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.(3) Cytotechnologists initially grandfathered into this occupation, who subsequently obtain education and/or certification that meets all the basic requirements of this qualification standard, must maintain the required credentials as a condition of employment in the occupation.(4) Cytotechnologists who were retained in this occupation, 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 reentry to the occupation.

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:

The candidate must have one year of creditable experience equivalent to the journey level (GS-9) that is directly related to the position to be filled.

In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate the KSAs:

i. Ability to independently determine specimen adequacy using complex specialized testing methods or techniques during Endoscopic Ultrasound, Endobronchial Ultrasound, and other Fine Needle Aspiration procedures.
ii. Knowledge of pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical processes to establish and monitor the overall laboratory quality management and quality control program, and initiate corrective action as needed.
iii. Skill in collecting, compiling, and analyzing data for quality assurance, statistics, trends and reports, and implementing quality improvement initiatives.
iv. Skill in researching, testing, validating, and implementing new procedures and equipment.
v. **Ability to perform ultrathin microtomy and operate an electron microscope. Knowledge of microanatomy sufficient to note ultrastructural and microchemical findings.
vi. ***Ability to convey knowledge of safety regulations and guidelines such as CAP, JC, and OSHA, and to ensure staff compliance with safety requirements, including continuing education and employee orientation.
vii. ****Knowledge and skill to plan and administer an ongoing continuing education program for the laboratory to meet accreditation standards.

References: VA Handbook 5005/126 PART II APPENDIX G61

The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-11.

Physical Requirements: The work requires regular and recurrent standing, sitting, transporting samples between work areas, stretching, reaching, bending and lifting of reagents/supplies for instruments. Moderate risks of discomfort associated with working in a clinical laboratory with regular and recurrent possible exposure to hazards such as infectious, chemical and/or environmental agents and performing repetitive motions to complete tasks. Safety guidelines on safe equipment operation must be adhered to. There is possibility of constant stress and mental pressure to complete all testing in an accurate and timely manner for quality patient care.

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: https://sites.ed.gov/international/recognition-of-foreign-qualifications/.

Additional information

This is an OPEN CONTINUOUS ANNOUNCEMENT and will remain open until October 1, 2024. The initial cut-off date for referral of eligible applications will be bi weekly. Eligible applications received after that date will be referred at regular intervals or as additional vacancies occur on an as-needed basis until positions are filled

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.

During the application process you may have an option to opt-in to make your resume available to hiring managers in the agency who have similar positions. Opting in does not impact your application for this announcement, nor does it guarantee further consideration for additional positions.

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 an alternate method to submit documents, please reach out to the Agency Contact listed in this Job Opportunity Announcement.

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How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. Your application, resume, C.V., and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect consideration for employment.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

The Department of Veterans Affairs performs pre-employment reference checks as an assessment method used in the hiring process to verify information provided by a candidate (e.g., on resume or during interview or hiring process); gain additional knowledge regarding a candidate's abilities; and assist a hiring manager with making a final selection for a position.

It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.

Veterans and Transitioning Service Members: Please visit the VA for Vets site for career-search tools for Veterans seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members.

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Required Documents

To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

  • Cytotechnologist (CT) (ASCP) or Specialist in Cytotechnology (SCT) (ASCP) certification given by the ASCP Board of Certification (
  • Professional Certification
  • Resume
  • Transcript


The following documents are accepted, and may be required if applicable to your eligibility and/or qualifications for this position. Please use this checklist to ensure you have included all documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify), SF-50's (current/former Federal employees), etc.

  • DD-214/ Statement of Service
  • Disability Letter (VA)
  • Cytotechnologist (CT) (ASCP) or Specialist in Cytotechnology (SCT) (ASCP) certification given by the ASCP Board of Certification (
  • Professional Certification
  • Resume
  • Transcript


Veterans' Preference: When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference for 5pt (TP), 10pt (CP/CPS/XP), or for Sole Survivor Preference (SSP) in the questionnaire. You must provide a legible copy of your DD214(s) which shows dates and character of service (honorable, general, etc.). If you are currently serving on active duty and expect to be released or discharged within 120 days you must submit documentation related to your active duty service which reflects the dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), and dates of impending separation. Additionally, disabled veterans and others eligible for 10-point preference (such as widows or mothers of eligible Veterans) must also submit an SF-15 "Application for 10 Point Veteran Preference" with required proof as stated on the form. Documentation is required to award preference. For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit Feds Hire Vets - Veterans - Job Seekers - Veterans' Preference.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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How to Apply

All applicants are encouraged to apply online. To apply for this position, you must complete the full questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section below. The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (ET) on 10/01/2024 to receive consideration. To preview the questionnaire click https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/12460912.

  1. To begin, click Apply Online to create a USAJOBS account or log in to your existing account. Follow the prompts to select your USA JOBS resume and/or other supporting documents and complete the occupational questionnaire.
  2. Click Submit My Answers to submit your application package.

NOTE: It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation is submitted prior to the closing date.

To verify your application is complete, log into your USA JOBS account, https://my.usajobs.gov/Account/Login, select the Application Status link and then select the more information link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process. To return to an incomplete application, log into your USA JOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USA JOBS account or your application will be incomplete.
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Agency contact information

Davina Cook
Address
James A Haley Veterans Hospital
13000 Bruce B. Downs Boulevard
Tampa, FL 33612
US
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Next steps

Once your online application is submitted you will receive a confirmation notification by email. After we receive application packages (including all required documents) and the vacancy announcement closes, we will review applications to ensure qualification and eligibility requirements are met. After the review is complete, a referral certificate(s) is issued and applicants will be notified of their status by email. Referred applicants will be notified as such and may be contacted directly by the hiring office for an interview. All referred applicants receive a final notification once a selection decision has been made.

You may check the status of your application at any time by logging into your USA Jobs account and clicking on Applications. Information regarding your application status can be found in the USAJobs Help Center.

NOTE: Participation in the seasonal influenza program is a condition of employment and a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP). It is a requirement that all HCP to receive annual seasonal influenza vaccination or obtain an exemption for medical or religious reasons. Wearing a face mask is required when an exemption to the influenza vaccination has been granted. HCP in violation of this directive may face disciplinary action up to and including removal from federal service. HCP are individuals who, during the influenza season, work in VHA locations or who come into contact with VA patients or other HCP as part of their duties. VHA locations include, but are not limited to, VA hospitals and associated clinics, community living centers (CLCs), community-based outpatient clinics (CBOCs), domiciliary units, Vet centers and VA-leased medical facilities. HCP include all VA licensed and unlicensed, clinical and administrative, remote and onsite, paid and without compensation, full- and part-time employees, intermittent employees, fee basis employees, VA contractors, researchers, volunteers and health professions trainees (HPTs) who are expected to perform any or all of their work at these facilities. HPTs may be paid or unpaid and include residents, interns, fellows and students. HCP also includes VHA personnel providing home-based care to Veterans and drivers and other personnel whose duties put them in contact with patients outside VA medical facilities.

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