Medical Instrument Technician (Polysomnography)

Washington, D.C
Feb 01, 2023
Feb 04, 2023
Full Time

The work involves performance of a wide range of sophisticated diagnostic procedures and therapeutic techniques representing important components of the care of many patients. More than 10% of patients in the medical center have sleep disorders and require such testing and or treatments so this position has significant scope within our medical center.

Major Duties:
  • The incumbent has knowledge of setting up and teaching patients to use CPAP. The incumbent is able to trouble shoot problems patients have with CPAP, The incumbent knows how to track CPAP compliance and working together with techs and providers helps to successfully treat patients with CPAP.
  • Using state of the art equipment the incumbent obtains polysomnograms on patients with life threatening sleep disorders. The incumbent obtains multiple sleep latency tests on patients with possible narcolepsy or other disorders of excess sleepiness. All of the testing performed requires on line analysis by the technologist to obtain the necessary data for correct diagnosis and therapy for the patient. The incumbent must make decisions about therapy in the case of patients with sleep apnea who are undergoing split night studies. This requires both obtaining studies that are representative and making decisions during the study if the patient is appropriate that night to undergo therapy, and determining that the therapy is optimal.
  • The incumbent assists in the education of students (medical students, polysomnography students) and residents and fellows.
  • Based on experience and knowledge the incumbent provides oxygen therapy, and or nasal CPAP and or nasal BiPAP and or nasal autopap therapy, determining the proper levels to be administered.
  • The incumbent is able to determine the appropriate settings of BiPAP ST as well as Servopap. The incumbent recognizes various cardiac arrythmias and independently decides when to call for professional intervention. The incumbent recognizes and describes seizures and other behavior during the sleep study that may require intervention.
  • The incumbent is able to utilize the sophisticated equipment to obtain studies with an extended montage to allow for seizure monitoring. This is performed much more frequently than in most other labs and speaks to the complexity of our referred patients.
  • The incumbent is also able to utilize the more limited equipment that allows monitoring of respiratory parameters in sleep.
  • The incumbent maintains the guidelines on infection control for our laboratory and interfaces with manufacturers to determine appropriate specifications and with our infectious control group and SPD to insure that we are following safe and appropriate procedures. The incumbent disseminates this information on a regular basis to other staff via in-service presentations and informal teaching to make sure guidelines are followed.
  • Teaching - the technologist will assist in teaching new technologists on use of equipment and newer techniques and insure that they are proficient in these techniques.

Work Schedule: Monday to Friday 8:00am - 4:30pm
Telework: Not Available
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Functional Statement #:00000
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required


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.
  • Must pass pre-employment physical examination.
  • 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.


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.
  • English Language Proficiency. Candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English to be appointed as authorized by 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f).
  • Physical Requirements. In addition to the below, you must have the mental, emotional, and physical ability to satisfactorily perform the duties of the proposed assignment and to pass the requisite laboratory and other screening as required by Federal regulatory agencies .

Grade Determinations: GS-8
(a) Experience. At least 1 year of experience comparable to the next lower grade level which demonstrates the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics related to the duties of the positions to be filled. This would be experience which provided the individual with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to independently conduct difficult but standardized polysomnography examinations.

* Examples of the GS-7 include but are not limited to: Assignment: Medical Instrument Technician (Polysomnography), - At this level the Polysomnography Technician performs a full range of standard, but complex, polysomnography examinations with responsibility for properly and accurately calibrating all instruments prior to the beginning of the PSG tracing and selection of appropriate electrode montages and sensitivity and filter settings to elicit the best possible tracings. They independently determine the need for CPAP during all night sleep studies for sleep apnea. They may administer nerve conduction velocity tests.

KSA's: for GS-7
1. Knowledge of CPAP function and operation to select and fit appropriate PAP patient interface devices.
2. Ability to independently titrate and document PAP level to achieve therapeutic goals.
3. Knowledge of indications, complications, and contraindications of CPAP therapy.
4. Knowledge of Bi-Level pressure titrations.
5. Ability to recognize changes seen during the PSG tracing and identify all stages of sleep. This includes the ability to score and analyze sleep stages in clinical polysomnography recordings.

(b) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs). In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all the following KSAs: for GS-8
  • Advanced knowledge or the International Classification of Sleep Disorders and the ability to recognize uncommon and/or rare sleep disorders.
  • Ability to summarize and report polysomnographic data in narrative form.
  • Knowledge of event characteristics (e.g., respiratory, cardiac, sleep stage, seizures, etc.) and ability to take appropriate action.
  • Ability to provide briefings and orientation to hospital staff including physicians.
(c) Certification. No certification or registration is required. Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS) certification is desirable.

(d) Assignment. At this level the Polysomnography Technician performs a full range of standard, but complex, polysomnography examinations with responsibility for properly and accurately calibrating all instruments prior to the beginning of the PSG tracing and selection of appropriate electrode montages and sensitivity and filter settings to elicit the best possible tracings. They independently determine the need for CPAP during all night sleep studies for sleep apnea. They may administer nerve conduction velocity tests.

References: VA HANDBOOK 5005/15 MARCH 17, 2006 PART II APPENDIX G27

The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-8. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-7 to GS-8

Physical Requirements: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit; stand; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; climb or balance; and talk and hear. The employee is occasionally required to walk; sit; and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee must regularly lift and/or move up to 10 pounds, frequently lift and/or move up to 25 pounds, and occasionally lift and/or move up to or over 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.


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 to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application .