This position develops, performs, evaluates, interprets, correlates, and validates the accuracy of microbiology procedures and results. Testing procedures are performed on a variety of biological specimens and/or environmental samples using manual or automated techniques and require a broad exercise of independent judgment and responsibility.
Clarification from the agency
This announcement is an INTERNAL ANNOUNCEMENT and is limited to current permanent employees of the Nebraska-Western Iowa VA Health Care System and current permanent VA Nationwide employees. Current permanent employees of the Nebraska-Western Iowa VA Health Care System will receive first consideration. The public and employees of other Federal agencies should apply to announcement number CBSY-11911129-23-KAH.
This announcement is open continuous. Certificates will be issued to the hiring manager on a weekly basis until all positions have been filled. Announcement will remain open until all vacancies are filled, and may close sooner than 9/29/2023.
Major duties include, but are not limited to the following:
- Performs a broad range of laboratory procedures including all testing and tasks of the medical laboratory technician occupation. In addition, performs advanced and complex laboratory procedures; recognizes deviation from expected results; analyzes and corrects problems using scientific principles.
- Evaluates and solves problems related to collection and processing of biological specimens for analysis taking into account physiologic processes and requirements.
- Maintains and documents the optimal functioning of laboratory equipment. Uses, calibrates, identifies malfunctions, repairs, and performs preventive maintenance of laboratory equipment. Diagnoses deviations in test performance due to instrument malfunction.
- Performs and documents quality control and assurance activities and corrective actions related to test performance using statistical principles and theories of performance improvement.
- Adheres to practices and regulations governing biosafety and biosecurity in the workplace.
- Identifies discrepancies, solves problems, and presents solutions.
- Answers inquiries regarding test results, methodology, test specificity, test sensitivity, and specific factors, which influence test results. Interprets results and suggests follow-up test selection or procedures.
- Evaluates and implements new techniques and procedures in the laboratory in terms of equipment, method comparison, and establishment of reference intervals using statistical methods and theoretical knowledge. Interprets findings and makes recommendations.
- 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 principles of laboratory testing.
- Organizes work and sets priorities to meet deadlines
: Monday - Friday 7:30am-4:00pm or 8:00am-4:30pm with rotating Saturday coverage
: Not Authorized
This is not a virtual position.
Functional Statement #
: Not Authorized
Permanent Change of Station (PCS):
Financial Disclosure Report:
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.
- 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.
Citizen of the United States. (Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3g, this part.)
Education and/or Experience Combination:
- A bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited college or university in medical laboratory science, medical technology, clinical laboratory science or in a related science (e.g., laboratory sciences such as chemistry, biochemistry, biology, microbiology, immunology, etc.) -AND- Completion of a medical technology clinical practice program. Clinical practice programs completed after 1974 must have been accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP, formerly CAHEA), or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). The professional curriculum may have consisted of a post-baccalaureate certificate program or be integrated into a four-year program of study that culminated in a baccalaureate degree. -OR-
- A bachelor's degree from an accredited college/university, including 16 semester hours of biological science (with one course in microbiology), 16 semester hours of chemistry (with one course in organic or biochemistry) and one course in mathematics -AND- Two years of post-certification clinical laboratory experience (e.g., blood banking, chemistry, hematology, microbiology, immunology, clinical microscopy, etc.) within the last ten years as a certified Medical Laboratory Technician by the American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification (ASCP-BOC), American Society of Clinical Pathology Board of Registry (ASCP-BOR) or American Medical Technologists (AMT). This experience must include performing moderate and/or high complexity testing in blood banking, chemistry, hematology, microbiology immunology and clinical microscopy (or categorical experience which matches categorical certification) in a clinical laboratory. -OR-
- A bachelor's degree from an accredited college/university, including 16 semester hours of biological science (with one course in microbiology), 16 semester hours of chemistry (with one course in organic or biochemistry) and one course in mathematics -AND- Five years of clinical laboratory experience within the last ten years performing moderate and/or high complexity testing in blood banking, chemistry, hematology, microbiology, immunology and clinical microscopy (or categorical experience which matches categorical certification) in a clinical laboratory.
Candidates must have either (1) or (2) below:
- Candidates must currently possess the appropriate certification as a MT, MLS, or CLS given by the ASCP-BOC, ASCP-BOR, or AMT.
- For positions up to the full performance level, candidates must currently possess the categorical or specialist technologist level certification from the certification agencies listed above, such as, but not limited to, chemistry (C/SC), hematology (H/SH), microbiology (M/SM), molecular biology (MB/SMB) and blood bank (BB/SBB). Technologists with categorical or specialist certifications may only perform duties within the area of the laboratory specific to their categorical certification (e. g., an individual with a chemistry (C) certification can only perform duties in chemistry.
Non-certified applicants who otherwise meet the eligibility requirements for certification may be given a temporary appointment up to the full performance level not to exceed one year as a graduate medical technologist under the authority of 38 U.S.C. § 7405(c)(2)(B). This appointment may not be extended. For grade levels above the full performance level, the candidate must be certified in accordance with paragraph 2d(1) above.
Failure to Obtain Certification:
In all cases, MTs must actively pursue meeting prerequisites for certification from the date of their appointment. At the time of appointment, the supervisor will provide the MT with the written requirement to obtain certification, the date by which the certification must be acquired, and the consequences for not becoming certified by the deadline. Failure to become certified within one year from date of appointment will result in removal from the GS-0644 MT series. Failure to obtain certification during that period is justification for termination of the temporary appointment.
Loss of Credential:
Once certified, MTs must maintain their certification. Loss of certification will result in removal from the occupation and may result in termination of employment.
English Language Proficiency:
MTs must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with chapter 2, section D, paragraph 5a, this part.
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).
GS-7 (Entry Level)
None beyond the basic requirements which listed in the basic requirements section.
GS-9 (Full Performance Level)
Must have 1 year of creditable experience equivalent to the next lower grade level, which is directly related to the position to be filled. -OR-
Must have Master's degree or 2 academic years of progressively higher-level graduate education in medical technology or directly related field. -AND-
Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities -
In addition to the experience or education above, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:
- Comprehensive knowledge of professional MT principles, practices, concepts and theories providing for sound independent work.
- Comprehensive knowledge of laboratory quality control and assurance procedures and principles of performance improvement in order to manage reagent and supply inventories and document control systems.
- Knowledge of laboratory equipment and ability to maintain, troubleshoot and repair instrumentation.
- Ability to plan, organize, set priorities, work as a team member and effectively complete assignments.
- Ability to use independent technical judgment to analyze and interpret laboratory results.
- Ability to read, interpret and apply complex written instructions.
- Skilled in informatics, laboratory data flow and the understanding of laboratory processes.
- Ability to communicate, consult and interact with other members of the healthcare team, external relations, customer service and patient education.
VA HANDBOOK 5005/72 PART II APPENDIX G24
One year of MT/MLS experience preferred.
The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-9. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-7 to GS-9.
IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application.
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.
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.
The VA Midwest Health Care Network advocates for a Whole Health System of care in each of the Medical Centers. This is an approach to healthcare that empowers and equips people to take charge of their health and well-being and live their lives to the fullest. As an employee operating in a Whole Health System of care, you will operate in a model with three core elements, seeking to create a personalized health plan for each Veteran. This is done in the context of healing relationships and healing environments and a connection back to the Veteran's community. This aligns with the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Mission Statement to Honor America's Veterans by providing exceptional health care that improves their health and well-being.
A career with the U.S. government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Opens in a new windowLearn more about federal benefits.
Review our benefits
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
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, résumé, 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.
To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:
- SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action
VA Form 10-2850c Application for Associated Health Occupations can be found at: About VA Form 10-2850C | Veterans Affairs
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.
- Cover Letter
- Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) document
- VA 10-2850c - Signed within last 12 months
- Performance Appraisal
- Professional Certification
- SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action
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.
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 09/29/2023 to receive consideration. To preview the questionnaire click https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/11911128.
- 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.
- Click Submit My Answers to submit your application package.
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.
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.