The Dental Hygienist provides direct patient care under the general supervision of the dentist and performs other clinical and clerical functions independently of direct supervision. It is expected that they provide direct patient care and receive guidance from higher-level or supervisory staff members for only the most complex patients. 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. 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/Certification (1) 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. 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). English Language Proficiency. Dental hygienist candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f) Grade Determinations: Dental Hygienist, GS-09 Experience. At least one year of experience at the next lower grade level that demonstrates the clinical competencies described at that level. Assignments. Employees at this level serve as staff dental hygienists at the full performance level. They provide direct patient care and receive guidance from higher-level or supervisory staff members for only the most complex patients and require only general supervision from a dentist. Assignments at this level include but are not limited to patient medical assessment (e.g. medical/dental history, social history, vital signs, full periodontal assessment and charting), disease and treatment management recommendations, denture care, scaling and root planing, radiographs/image interpretation, patient education (e.g. post-procedure, tobacco cessation, caries and perio-disease prevention), behavior management, management of stable medically compromised patients (including risk factors), instrument sharpening, inter-service communication. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities. In addition to meeting the KSAs for the GS-8 level, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: Knowledge of hygiene procedures to explain the process and indication, complications and expected treatment outcomes for each. Knowledge of proper usage of dental radiography equipment, radiation safety, assessment of proper image capture and interpretation of films. Knowledge to select appropriate available fluoride products and indications/limitations for safe and proper application. Skill in detecting plaque and calculus, dental abnormalities/pathologies, assessing inflammation and providing safe instrumentation for each procedure. 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. Ability to assess the patient's medical, dental, anxiety/phobias, medications and comorbidities to administer safe patient care. . 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 dated July 23, 2021 Physical Requirements: This position requires extended periods of sitting, bending, and twisting ["Employees at this level serve as staff dental hygienists at the full performance level. Assignments at this level include but are not limited to: patient medical assessment (e.g. medical/dental history, social history, vital signs, full periodontal assessment and charting), disease and treatment management recommendations, denture care, scaling and root planing, radiographs/image interpretation, patient education (e.g. post-procedure, tobacco cessation, caries and perio-disease prevention), behavior management, management of stable medically compromised patients (including risk factors), instrument sharpening, inter-service communication Functions: a. Customer Service/Veteran Centered Care 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 Delivers care that reflects the Veteran's and the family's personal goals, personal preferences, and freedom of choice Demonstrates knowledge and application of patient and family centered care in written care plans, instructions to patients, and in observation of the actual care provided Demonstrates non-judgmental understanding of the Veteran's and family's knowledge, values, beliefs, and cultural backgrounds Demonstrates collaborative orientation to working with patients and families b. Patient Care Sets up operatory for planned dental procedure and cleans dental unit for timely turnover Handles instruments safely, accurately, and efficiently Assesses patient's medical, dental, anxiety/phobias, medications and comorbidities Assesses 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 Provides routine oral prophylactic care to include application of appropriate fluoride solutions Provides gross debridement, scaling and root planing procedures Cleans dental prostheses, fixed and removable Manages dental recall system, referring patients to the doctor for additional care when needed Makes impressions for fluoride carrier trays Administers topical anesthetic agents Accomplishes all procedures within standard infection control protocols c. Patient Education Provides patient education appropriate to the Veteran's needs and oral condition Explains hygiene procedures, indications, complications and expected outcomes to individual patient and caregiver Prepares and provides education on periodontal disease, wellness, health maintenance, oral hygiene practices, parafunctional habits, and effect of illness, addictions, medications and tobacco on the oral cavity Work Schedule: Monday - Friday (8:00 am to 4:30 pm) Compressed/Flexible: Not authorized Telework: Not available Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #: 000000 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.