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Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Histopathology Technologist in Seattle, Washington

Summary 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. Responsibilities 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. Performs highly complex gross tissue description and sampling on most specimen, utilizing proper dictation, dissection techniques, proper specimen orientation, and confers with on-duty pathologist regarding some larger and any unusual specimen Evaluates and solves problems related to collection and processing of biological specimens for diagnostic evaluation considering physiologic processes and requirements Performs frozen section preparations Assists with the collection and processing of kidney biopsies. Skill in performing detailed Mohs procedures. 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 when needed. Operates and maintains highly complex equipment, including automated and manual rotary microtomes, tissue processors, cryostat microtomes, automated stainers, cover slippers and immunohistochemical stainers. 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. Ability to convey knowledge of safety regulations and guidelines from organizations such as College of American Pathologists (CAP), The Joint Commission (TJC), and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), to ensure staff compliance with safety requirements, including continuing education and employee orientation. 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. 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. Work Schedule: 7:30AM Telework: Not Available Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #: 0000000 Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required Requirements Conditions of Employment You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job. All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in a testing designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA. Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959. Must be proficient in written and spoken English. You may be required to serve a probationary period. Subject to background/security investigation. Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process. Participation in the seasonal influenza vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP). Participation in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination program is a requirement for all Veterans Health Administration Health Care Personnel (HCP) - See "Additional Information" below for details. Qualifications To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements within 30 days of the closing date of this announcement. 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. Individuals must meet one of the requirements below: 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, pre-medical, medical lab technology, chemistry, immunology, physiology, anatomy. 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 entry level. For grade levels at or above the 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. Failure to Obtain Certification. In all cases, non-board-certified histopathology technologists must meet one of the ASCP histotechnologist eligibility routes at the date of their appointment and must actively pursue certification from the date of their appointment. At the time of appointment, the supervisor will provide the histopathology technologist with the written requirement to obtain certification, the date by which the certification must be acquired, and the consequences for not becoming certified by the deadline. Failure to obtain board certification by the prescribed date will result in removal from the histopathology technologist, GS-0601 occupational series and may result in termination of employment. Loss of Certification. Employees who fail to maintain the required certification must be removed from the histopathology technologist, GS-0601 occupation, which may result in termination of employment. English Language Proficiency. Histopathology Technologists must be proficient in spoken and written English as required by 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f). Grade Determinations: Histopathology Technologist, GS-7 (Entry Level) Experience. None beyond the basic requirements. Histopathology Technologist, GS-9 (Full Performance) Experience. Must have one year of creditable experience equivalent to the GS-7 grade level, which is directly related to the position to be filled. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. 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. Preferred Experience: One year experience in Histology at a 1A facility preferred. References: VA Handbook 5005/118 PART II APPENDIX G65 II-G65-1 [APPENDIX G65. HISTOPATHOLOGY TECHNOLOGIST QUALIFICATION STANDARD GS-0601 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: Heavy lifting, 45 pounds and over; Moderate carrying, 15-44 pounds; Reaching above shoulder; Use of fingers; Both hands required; Standing, 5 hours; Depth perception; Ability to distinguish shades of colors; Formalin; Xylene; Working with infectious agents. Education IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education. Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit: Additional Information Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. Selected applicants may qualify for credit toward annual leave accrual, based on prior work experience or military service experience. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed. This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies. This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status. VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply. The health-related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority. Pursuant to VHA Directive 1193.01, VHA health care personnel (HCP) are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 subject to such accommodations as required by law (i.e., medical, religious or pregnancy). VHA HCPs do not include remote workers who only infrequently enter VHA locations. If selected, you will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination before your start date. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request a legally required accommodation from this requirement using the reasonable accommodation process. If you are unable to apply online or need an alternate method to submit documents, please reach out to the Agency Contact listed in this Job Opportunity Announcement.