The Dental Service within the VA St. Louis Health Care System (VASTLHCS) is seeking a highly qualified Dental Hygienist. The Dental Hygienist is responsible for performing basic and advanced prophylactic and preventive dental procedures and the treatment of patients with related medical and dental problems. At the full performance level, the dental hygienist requires only general supervision from a dentist and is expected to provide direct patient care. 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: Be a Citizen of the United States. Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with [38 U.S.C § 7407(a), Administrative Provisions for Section 7405 and 7406 Appointments.] Education. Applicants must possess an Associate degree or higher from an accredited dental hygiene program. The degree must have been obtained from an institution whose accreditation was in place for the year in which the course of study was completed. Approved programs are: Dental hygiene programs accredited by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Education completed outside of the United States must be considered at least equivalent to that gained in CODA accredited United States programs and would enable the candidate to sit for the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, which is administered by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations.] Licensure. Applicants must be currently licensed to practice as a dental hygienist with a full, current and unrestricted license in a State, Territory or Commonwealth of the United States, or the District of Columbia. Certification. P.L. 97-35, Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act Of 1981, requires persons who administer radiologic procedures meet the credentialing standards in 42 C.F.R. Part 75, Standards for the Accreditation of Educational Programs for and the Credentialing of Radiologic Personnel. To meet this requirement, they must have successfully completed an educational program that meets or exceeds the standards described in that regulation and is accredited by an organization recognized by the Department of Education and be certified as radiographers in their field. Accredited dental hygiene programs contain curriculum addressing radiologic procedures meets the requirement for certification as dental radiographers. Exceptions for Non-Certified Dental Hygienist. (a) Non-certified applicants who otherwise meet the eligibility requirements for licensure, may be given a temporary appointment as a graduate dental hygienist under the authority of 38 U.S.C. § 7405(c)(2)(B), Temporary Full-Time Appointments, Part-Time Appointments and Without-Compensation Appointments for a Period Not to Exceed Two Years. Non-certified individuals may only be appointed at the entry level and may not be promoted/converted until certification is obtained. (d) Temporary appointments of non-certified dental hygienist may not be extended beyond two years or converted to a new temporary appointment. GS-11 Experience: At least one year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade level that is directly related to the position being filled fully meets the KSAs at that level. Assignments: For all assignments above the full performance level, the higher-level duties must consist of significant scope, complexity, and range of variety, and be performed by the incumbent at least 25% of the time. At this level, dental hygienists are senior-level clinical practitioners in assigned areas. Assignments may include but are not limited to conducting comprehensive medical assessment, adaptive treatment of the medically/mentally/physically compromised, using more advanced adjunctive, diagnostic tools and techniques in patients with severe and recalcitrant periodontal disease, designing customized adaptive aids, participating in patient wellness programs, advanced medical and behavioral management, curriculum and examination fabrication, and giving lectures and presentations. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: In addition to meeting the KSAs for the GS-10 Advanced Clinical Hygienist level, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: Knowledge of comprehensive medical assessment (including contraindications to dental treatment) and appropriate adaptation techniques to provide safe and effective periodontal care in severely compromised patients. Knowledge of more advanced adjunctive, diagnostic tools and techniques (e.g. microscopy, toluidine blue dye, intraoral camera) for monitoring clinical disease processes and patient selection for their indicated use. Knowledge of tobacco cessation treatments and counseling techniques to select and manage patients in a comprehensive program and make recommendations for prescribing tobacco cessation medications. Knowledge of medical and behavioral management risk factors for medically/mentally/physically compromised patients including indication of administration of adjunctive therapies (e.g. nitrous oxide, self-induced hypnosis techniques). Skill in designing custom adaptive aids based on assessment of patients' abilities and disabilities and training patients and caregivers for proper usage. Ability to write curriculum, examinations, training protocol, present lectures and presentations at the level of dental hygiene school faculty. Ability to effectively interview, screen and adapt treatment based on findings of medically/mentally/physically compromised patients. References: VA Handbook 5005/146 PART II APPENDIX G37 July 23, 2021The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-11. Physical Requirements: Office environment and include standing (2 hours), bending (6 hours), light lifting (under 15 lbs.), light carrying (under 15 lbs.), reaching above shoulder, and sitting at chairside with unique manual dexterity in intra-oral dental hygiene procedures. There must be constant and careful eye-to-hand coordination. Acute attention to the details of fine instrumentation of tooth surfaces and tissues is essential. Above average dexterity is required. The work is primarily performed in an operatory and involves exposure to contagious diseases. Gloves, masks, protective eye wear, other barriers, and radiation safety badges are required. ["Duties and responsibilities are as follows: Promotes dental health by completing dental prophylaxis, providing oral cancer screening and radiographic studies, charting conditions of decay and disease, and performing procedures in compliance with the Dental Practice Act. Prepares treatment room for patient by adhering to prescribed procedures and protocols. Prepares patient for dental hygiene treatment by welcoming, soothing, seating, and draping patient. Provides information to patients and employees by answering questions and requests. Maintains instrumentation for dental hygiene treatment by selecting, sharpening, and preparing instruments for sterilization. Selects materials and equipment for dental hygiene visit by evaluating patient's oral health. Completes dental prophylaxis and periodontal scaling and root planing by removing deposits and stains from teeth and from beneath gum margins. Detects disease by completing oral cancer screening; feeling and visually examining gums, using probes to locate periodontal disease and to assess levels of recession and exposing and formatting radiographic and other intraoral and extraoral images. Arrests dental decay by applying fluorides and other cavity- preventing agents. Maintains patient appearance and ability to masticate by cleaning and polishing removable appliances. Removes cement from crowns and bridges. Helps dentist manage dental and medical emergencies by maintaining CPR certification, emergency drugs and oxygen supply, and directory of emergency numbers. Educates patients by giving oral hygiene and plaque control instructions and postoperative instructions and providing reminders of time of next dental hygiene visit. Documents dental hygiene services by recording vital signs and medical and dental histories and charting in patient records. Maintains patient confidence and protects operations by keeping information confidential. Maintains safe and clean working environment by complying with procedures, rules, and regulations of the Dental Service and medical facility. Protects patients and employees by adhering to infection-control policies and protocols. Ensures operation of dental equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements, following manufacturer's instructions, troubleshooting malfunctions, and calling for repairs, maintaining equipment inventories, and evaluating new equipment and techniques. Maintains dental supplies inventory by checking stock to determine inventory level, anticipating needed supplies, placing and expediting orders for supplies, and verifying receipt of supplies. Conserves dental resources by using equipment and supplies as needed to accomplish job results. Work Schedule: 7:00 AM - 3:30 PM Monday - Friday Compressed/Flexible: Not Available Telework: Not Available Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
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