Physician Assistant - Mental Health - Internal Facility Opportunity

Wallops Island, Virginia
Jun 15, 2023
Jun 22, 2023
Full Time

The Psychiatry Physician Assistant (PA) is responsible for the care and administrative needs of mental health patients in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. The PA also functions as a coordinator between the attending physician and the other team members to include nurses and PMH NPs, psychologists, social workers, psychotherapists, LMFTs, LPCs, addiction therapists and other clinic personnel. The PA will also be directly responsible to the Outpatient or Inpatient Psychiatry Medical Director for all clinical and administrative duties.

Care will be provided to Veterans virtually utilizing approved tele-health technology.

The Psychiatry PA will be responsible for the primary medical needs of inpatients and outpatients in the mental health clinics and wards. These patients often have concomitant medical problems and are multi-symptomatic. Duties will include, but are not limited to, the evaluation of current psychiatric and medical problems, administrative assistance, quality assurance and educational support as detailed below.

The PA may perform the following duties:
  • Conduct initial psychiatric evaluations, including initial assessment interviews, history and physical exams; lab, imaging, medication and psychotherapy consultation orders, aftercare plans and follow up visits. Following the initial evaluation, the PA will provide appropriate follow up care including reassessments of diagnoses and conditions, medication adjustments, and any further tests or consults indicated.
  • Provide mental health education /counseling and brief therapy of patients and their families.
  • Primary responsibility for care of patients when the clinic medical director is absent.
  • Conduct ongoing follow up appointments for stable patients, including regular refills of medications, required lab and other tests and documenting progress.
  • Perform examinations and screening scales (such as AIMS, MoCA, HAM-D) and similar non-invasive examinations specific to the ongoing care of psychiatric patients
  • Ordering appropriate laboratory tests, imaging studies, EKGs (electrocardiograms), and similar noninvasive tests
  • Initiating and expediting consultation requests and scheduling special tests and studies
  • Drawing blood specimens for testing, and obtaining other body fluid samples requiring comparably low levels of invasiveness
  • Making rounds for inpatients, and holding scheduled appointments for outpatients to observe and record patients' medical progress, and notifying the collaborating physician of significant changes in patients' condition
  • Mixing and starting IV (intravenous) solutions and administering IV medications
  • Dispensing medications (including injections)
  • Providing education and counseling of the patient and the patient's family in preventive care, medical conditions, and the use of prescribed treatments and medications
  • Performing preventive health activities (including intradermal testing)
  • Ordering appropriate prosthetic devices and medical equipment
  • Recording notes on all procedures performed for which the PA is responsible
  • Initiating ECT or TMS work up and scheduling
  • Ordering diets
  • Case management
  • Conducting educational groups
  • Perform treatment planning in an outpatient or inpatient setting.
  • Integrate the activities of the psychiatry clinic/ward with other patient care programs at the facility.

  • There are also administrative, educational and research duties.

    Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, hours negotiable (subject to change based on agency need)
    Telework: Not available
    Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not authorized.
    EDRP Authorized: Contact, the EDRP Coordinator for questions/assistance. Learn more
    Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not authorized
    Financial Disclosure Report: Not required.


    Conditions of Employment

    • 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.

    Physician Assistant Basic Requirements
    • Master's degree in any discipline or a bachelor's degree in any discipline with one year of experience as a Physician Assistant ~AND~
    • Successfully passed the PA National Certifying Exam (PANCE) (or are you in the process to taking the exam) ~AND~
    • Currently hold, or will hold, a full and unrestricted license to practice in a State, Territory, or Commonwealth of the United States or in the District of Columbia.

    Preferred Experience: Inpatient psychiatric experience.

    Grade Determinations: In addition to the basic requirements stated above, the following qualification criteria must be met in determining the appropriate grade assignment of candidates:
    • Physician Assistant-I (PA-I)
      • Experience and Education: None beyond the basic requirements. This is the entry level for PAs.
      • Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: The following list of knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) present the minimum skill set expected of an Entry Level PA. This practice may include, but is not limited to:
        • i. Ability to utilize the principles of PA practice in the care of assigned patients to provide appropriate care.
        • ii. Ability to perform patient history and physical.
        • iii. Ability to formulate a plan and provide treatment to the patient.
        • iv. Ability to provide patient care that is abreast of changing concepts and advancements in the profession.
    • Physician Assistant-II (PA-II)
      • Experience and Education: The PA at this grade is at the intermediate grade level and has had progressively increasing responsibility and experiences as indicated in the KSAs listed below. Individuals will have demonstrated the ability to analyze and solve more complex medical problems than at the entry level grade and can utilize their training in the successful practice of patient care and participate in team problem solving. Individuals demonstrate the KSAs of PA-II intermediate level by:
        • i. Two years of successful practice as a PA. OR
        • ii. Successful completion of a PA post-graduate residency program sponsored by VHA Office of Academic Affiliations or other postgraduate residency programs accredited by VA, ARC-PA, U.S. Armed Forces, or another accrediting agency. OR
        • iii. A doctoral degree in a health-related field from an accredited college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
      • Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: PAs at this level are not required to meet each individual KSA listed below to qualify, but should be able to demonstrate, develop, or acquire those not met upon appointment for PA-II:
        • i. Skills to analyze and solve complex medical problems.
        • ii. Ability to function autonomously and make independent medical decisions.
        • iii. Skill to incorporate training and experience into the successful practice of patient care including telehealth medical care.
        • iv. Ability to work effectively in an interdisciplinary environment for improvement of services for patient care.
        • v. Ability to practice with colleagues and peers collaboratively.
    • Physician Assistant-III (PA-III)
      • Experience and Education: PAs at the PA-III grade are at the full performance level and lead and organize patient care independently, practice within multidisciplinary teams, and coordinate all aspects of patient care across the health care system. They utilize advanced clinical knowledge and judgment in decision-making and evaluating outcomes. They function as experts in clinical practice and/or in areas related to the assigned roles and responsibilities, may serve as mentors for transitioning PAs, and may provide training for health care students. Individuals can demonstrate the KSAs for the full performance level by:
        • i. Three years of successful practice as a PA. OR
        • ii. Successful completion of a PA post-graduate residency program sponsored by VHA Office of Academic Affiliations or other postgraduate residency programs accredited by VA, ARC-PA, U.S. Armed Forces, or another accrediting agency and one year of professional practice as a PA. OR
        • iii. A doctoral degree in a health-related field from an accredited college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and one year of professional practice as a PA.
      • Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: PAs at this level are not required to meet each individual KSA listed below to qualify, but should be able to demonstrate, develop, or acquire those not met upon appointment for PA-III:
        • i. Ability to clinically evaluate facility patient care delivery systems and validate or identify barriers to safe and effective patient care.
        • ii. Skill to consistently demonstrate an elevated level of expertise and autonomy in diagnosing and treating seriously ill, multi-symptomatic patients through facility Focused Professional Practice Evaluation (FPPE) and Ongoing Professional Practice Evaluation (OPPE).
        • iii. Ability to present clinical findings and recommendations to appropriate management officials.
        • iv. Ability to clinically facilitate the delivery of patient care in collaboration with health professionals, health managers, and other health care personnel.
        • v. Ability to implement and initiate clinical changes to established treatment protocols based upon new medical literature research findings to enhance patient delivery care for improved patient outcomes. vi. Ability to participate clinically in the development of the PA patient care audit processes involving in-depth review and analysis of medical records.

    References: VA Regulations, specifically VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G-8 Physician Assistant Qualification Standard. This can be found in the local Human Resources Office.

    The full performance level of this vacancy is VN-3. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of VN-1 to VN-3.

    Physical Requirements: Requires extended periods of sitting.


    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

    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.