HISTOPATHOLOGY TECHNICIAN (ADV)
Applicants pending the completion of educational or certification/licensure requirements may be referred and tentatively selected but may not be hired until all requirements are met. 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. Experience and/or 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. 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. 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: (a) 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. (b) 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. 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. English Language Proficiency. Histopathology Technicians must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with chapter 2, section D, paragraph 5.a., this part. 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 immunohistochemical procedures, as well as developing, modifying, or adapting new staining methods or techniques, improving existing methods as necessary for routine histotechnology 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 or education above, the candidate must demonstrate the KSAs below: 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, Appendix G55 Physical Requirements: The work requires regular and recurring standing to perform tests; prolonged sitting while utilizing a microtome; walking, reaching, stooping and bending to obtain supplies and operate instruments. The incumbent occasionally lifts heavy containers of reagents or supplies.