The Columbia VA Health Care System (VAHCS) opened in 1932 at its current location. The facility has 204 skilled nursing beds, which includes acute medical, surgical, psychiatric, and long-term care. The hospital provides primary, secondary, and some tertiary 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: United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy. Education. Associate Degree or higher from an accredited dental hygiene program. This degree must be obtained from and institution whose accreditation was in place for the year in which the course of study was completed. Approved programs are: 1. Dental hygiene programs accredited by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). 2. Education completed outside of the United States must be considered at least equivalent to the gained in DOCA 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. Public Law 97-35 requires that persons who administer radiologic procedures meet the credentialing standards in 42 CFR Part 75. Essentially, 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 which will meet the requirement for certification as dental radiographers. Loss of Credential. A dental hygienist who fails to maintain the required licensure/certification must be removed from the occupation, which may also result in termination of employment. 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: GS-09 Experience. At least 1 year of experience at the next lower grade level that demonstrates the clinical competencies described at that level. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to meeting the KSAs for the GS-8 level, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: 1. Knowledge of hygiene procedures to explain the process and indication, complications and expected treatment outcomes for each. 2. Knowledge of proper usage of dental radiography equipment, radiation safety, assessment of proper image capture and interpretation of films. 3. Knowledge to select appropriate available fluoride products and indications/limitations for safe and proper application. 4. Skill in detecting plaque and calculus, dental abnormalities/pathologies, assessing inflammation and providing safe instrumentation for each procedure. 5. Skill in educating patients and caregivers on periodontal disease, wellness, health maintenance, oral hygiene practices, parafunctional habits, and effects of illness, addictions, medications and tobacco on the oral cavity. 6. Ability to assess the patient's medical, dental, anxiety/phobias, medications and comorbidities to administer safe patient care. 7. Ability to assess the impact of patient's medical and dental condition on maintaining oral health, recognize age-related changes in individual patients, adapt patient environment, and maximize patient's physical comfort. References: VA Handbook 5005/146 PART II APPENDIX G37, July 23, 2021. The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-09. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is GS-09. Physical Requirements: Heavy Lifting (45 lbs and over); Heavy Carrying (45 lbs and over); Light Carrying (15-44 lbs); Reaching above shoulder; Use of fingers; Both hands required; Walking (up to 4 hours); Standing (up to 4 hours); Both legs required; Ability to distinguish basic colors; Ability to distinguish shades of colors; Hearing (aid permitted); Mental and emotional stability required. ["This is an open continuous announcement. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis and qualified candidates will be considered as vacancies become available. First consideration will be given to all who apply by November 14, 2022. Applications will remain on file until September 28, 2023. Shows courtesy, respect, and a positive attitude for patients, co-workers and the public. Provides assistance to customers with questions or concerns, provides service recovery. Sets up operatory for planned dental procedure and cleans dental unit for timely turnover. Handles instruments safely, accurately, and efficiently. Provides routine oral prophylactic care to include application of fluoride solutions. Provides gross debridement, deep scaling, and curettage and root planning procedures. Cleans dental prostheses, fixed and removable. Manages dental recall system, referring patients to the doctor for additional care when needed. Applies desensitizing and sealant materials. Administers topical anesthetic agents. Accomplishes all procedures within standard infection control protocols. Provides patient education appropriate to the veteran's needs and oral condition. Prepares and provides individual and group oral health care instruction to inpatients, outpatients, and caregivers. Demonstrates proper infection control procedures in setting up and cleaning up operatory. Ensures instruments are properly prepared for sterilization by SPD standards. Ensures instruments are prepared in a manner that does not delay clinical care. Demonstrates proper infection control procedures in exposing images. Assists patients in scheduling appointments. Assists in filling gaps in the schedule due to late cancellations and failed appointments Charts findings, treatment plans, and treatment provided in patient records. Maintains patient confidentiality per HIPAA with written and verbal information. Follows computer security regulations. Modifies care as appropriate for patient's age and abilities (patient transfer and position). Provides accurate and understandable instructions to patients. Participates in patient identification and time out per JCAHO requirements. Monitors patient condition during treatment, being alert for signs of physical distress. Completes mandatory annual safety training sessions. Work Schedule: Monday - Friday; 7:30am - 4:00 pm (subject to change based on agency needs). Telework: Not Available Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #: PD009270 Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
About Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
Providing Health Care for Veterans: The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,255 health care facilities, including 170 medical centers and 1,074 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year.