The histopathology technologist independently performs a full range of routine and specialized tests. They utilize information technology systems to apply histopathology techniques and broad scientific principles from the fields of biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology. The histopathology technologist acts as a technical resource, troubleshooting a variety of specialized lab tests, identifying suboptimal issues, and uses independent judgment and resources to resolve concerns. 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 Histopathology Technologists must be proficient in spoken and written English as required by 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f). Education Successful completion of a full four-year course of study from an accredited college or university, leading to a bachelor's or higher degree, that included a major study in an academic field related to health sciences or allied sciences appropriate to the work of a histopathology technologist, such as, but not limited to clinical biology, microbiology, physiology, pre-medical, medical lab technology, chemistry, immunology, physiology, anatomy. OR Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college/university with a combination of 30 semester hours (45 quarter hours) of biology and chemistry (must include credit hours in both). OR Successful completion of two years of progressively higher level graduate education, leading to a master's degree or equivalent graduate degree, with a major study in an academic field related to health sciences or allied sciences appropriate to the position of histopathology technologist, such as clinical biology, microbiology, physiology, premedical, medical lab technology, chemistry, immunology, physiology, anatomy. OR 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. Certification Candidates must currently possess the histotechnologist (HTL) certification given by the ASCP Board of Certification. The ASCP requires completion of one of the following for a candidate to be considered "board eligible" to take the certification exam: Successful completion of a histotechnician or histotechnology program accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS) OR One year of full time experience in all of the following: fixation, embedding, microtomy, processing, and staining in a histopathology (clinical, veterinary, industry, or research) laboratory. Exception for Non-Board Certified Non-board-certified candidates designated by ASCP as "board eligible," who otherwise meet the eligibility requirements, may be given a temporary appointment under the authority of 38 U.S.C. § 7405(c)(2)(B). The appointing official may waive the requirement of certification for a period not to exceed two years for a histopathology technologist working under the direct oversight of a supervisor, lab manager, or qualified individual who can verify technical experience. This exception only applies at the GS-07 entry level. For grade levels at or above the GS-09 full performance level, the candidate must have HTL certification. Temporary appointments of non-board-certified histopathology technologists may not be extended beyond 2 years or be converted to a new temporary appointment. Grade Determinations: GS-07 Experience None beyond the basic requirements. GS-9 Experience Must have one year of creditable experience equivalent to the GS-07 grade level, which is directly related to the position to be filled. AND GS-09 Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) In addition to the experience or education above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: Knowledge of laboratory information technology systems and inter-connectivity. Knowledge of histopathology techniques, chemistry, anatomy and physiology principles, theories, concepts, and methodologies sufficient to process specimens, and the ability to perform a full range of routine specialized tests. Ability to identify and test suboptimal specimens and take corrective action to minimize or eliminate impact on a patient's sample. Ability to organize, coordinate, and prioritize simultaneous work assignments; both individual and team related. Skill in applying professional, anatomic pathology principles, practices, concepts, and theories in performing new or difficult specialized testing methods or techniques. References: VA Handbook 5005/118, Part II, Appendix G65 The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-09. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-07 to GS-09. Physical Requirements: Must be able to perform all activities of the position without restriction. This position involves Heavy Lifting (up to 40lbs); Heavy Carrying (up to 40lbs.); Straight Pulling (1-2 hours); Pushing (1-2 hours); Reaching above shoulder (occasional); Use of fingers; Both hands required; Walking (up to 3 hours); Standing (1 hours); Repeated bending (up to 1 hour); Ability for rapid mental and muscular coordination simultaneously; Sitting (up to 6 hours); Near vision correctable at 13" to 16"; Hearing (aid permitted). ["This assignment requires specialized training and experience. Must have advanced knowledge of specialized and complex subject matter extending beyond the duties of test performance. The histopathology technologist uses professional skills in applying anatomic pathology principles, practices, concepts, and theories to perform new or difficult specialized testing methods, such as immunohistochemical, histochemical, and frozen section techniques. Specific Duties: Performs a broad range of laboratory procedures including all processing from wet tissue to slide preparation involving anatomic pathology, i.e. surgical pathology, and autopsy pathology. Evaluates and solves problems related to collection and processing of biological specimens for diagnostic evaluation considering physiologic processes and requirements Identifies the need for and perform fixation techniques that are non-routine such as lymph node preparations and bone decalcification Performs frozen section preparations Assists with the collection and processing of kidney biopsies. Adheres to practices and regulations governing safety in the laboratory. Operates the microtome to achieve tissue sections of the thickness required for variety of tissue types and test methods. Performs routine and special histochemical stains as requested by the pathologist Trains and performs cross coverage duties in the Immunohistochemistry laboratory including fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) and chromogenic in-situ hybridization (CISH) as well as FISH analysis when needed. Operates and performs routine maintenance of instruments, troubleshoots, and resolves problems. Performs quality control and assurance procedures well as troubleshoot quality control problems including examining slides under a microscope to ensure tissue preparation meets laboratory requirements. File blocks, slides, and residual tissue and maintains them in accordance with record retention guidelines. Packages, appropriately records, and distributes a variety send out request in accordance with established laboratory procedures. Incorporates principles of educational methodology in the instruction and training of new employees and students and in the laboratory's internship/continuing education program. Communicates effectively and courteously while working as a healthcare team member. Organizes work and sets priorities to meet deadlines. Maintains an adequate stock of supplies in the various areas of the laboratory and indicates when supplies are low. Assists in autopsy procedures and the maintenance of the autopsy suite, as needed. Work Schedule: M-F; 08:00am-4:30pm Telework: Not Available Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #: 57122-O, 57123-O Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
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