Occupational Therapist (Clinical Specialist)
Relocation expenses reimbursed No
Citizen of the United States. (Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3g this part.)
Graduation from a degree program in occupational therapy approved by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) or predecessor organizations to include an internship (supervised fieldwork experience required by the educational institution). The ACOTE is the only accreditation agency recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Degree programs may be verified by contacting the American Occupational Therapy Association website or at their office address: American Occupational Therapy Association, P.O, Box 31220, Bethesda, MD 20824-1220.
Foreign graduates of occupational therapy programs meet the requirements subparagraph 2b(1) if they have a current, full, active and unrestricted license/certification/registration/trademark referred to in subparagraph 2d and certification/registration referred to in subparagraph 2c.
English Language Proficiency
OTs must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with VA Handbook Part II, chapter 3, Section A, paragraph 3j.
Possession of written documentation that the individual has passed the entry-level certification examination for OTs which is administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).
NOTE: Effective January 1, 2007, candidates for certification as an Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR) must be a graduate from a post-baccalaureate accredited occupational therapy program approved by NBCOT or be a graduate from a degree program recognized by NBCOT or considered equivalent to the American Occupational Therapy education standard.
The OT must hold a full, current, and unrestricted state license, certification, or registration or trademark to practice occupational therapy in a State, Territory, a Commonwealth of the United States (i.e., Puerto Rico), or in the District of Columbia.
NOTE: The OT must maintain full, current and unrestricted license, trademark, registration, or certification as required by state statute. The majority of states have determined that licensure is the most effective approach to regulating occupational therapy practitioners. As of the date of this standard, 47 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico license OTs; two states-Hawaii and Michigan-have registration laws; and one state, Colorado, has a title protection trademark law.
Loss of Credential
An employee in this occupation who fails to maintain OTR registration and meet state regulatory requirements must be removed from the occupation, which may also result in termination of employment.
Exceptions for the Graduate Occupational Therapist
OTs who are graduates from an approved occupational therapy program but do not possess the NBCOT OTR certification and/or do not meet the state regulatory requirements, may be given a temporary appointment as a graduate OT not-to-exceed two years under the authority of 38 U.S.C. § 7405(c)(2). This appointment may not be extended.
The OT in these cases may provide care only under the supervision of an OT who meets all state regulatory requirements.
Grade Determinations: In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates
GS-12 Occupational Therapist
Education and Experience. In addition to the basic requirements, completion of a minimum of 1 year of progressively complex experience equivalent to the next lower grade level. Generally, assignments at this grade level require the knowledge, skills, and competencies normally acquired through post-graduate residency or fellowship training programs. In addition to fully meeting KSAOs identified at the GS-11 full performance level, the candidate must also demonstrate the KSAOs required for the specific assignment.
Assignments. Typical assignments for OTs at the GS-12 grade level are described below. Other assignments of equal complexity and responsibility may be approved on an individual basis where warranted.
GS-12 Clinical Specialist/Lead Occupational Therapist. The individual assigned responsibility for serving as the subject matter expert in a content specialty area and as a consultant to occupational therapy and other medical center staff in evaluating and treating patients in the specialty areas of occupational therapy practice that are beyond the general practice of occupational therapy. This individual must demonstrate skills and techniques for a specific patient population who have varying degrees of highly complex occupational and/or mental problems. This individual provides professional oversight and consultation for staff therapists and monitors and evaluates clinically appropriate treatment programs with great autonomy. Clinical specialties may include: certified hand therapist, ergonomic specialist, blind/visual rehabilitation, assistive technology specialist, functional capacity examination specialist (FCE) and/or demonstrate advanced skills to plan, develop, lead, and administer programs/clinics in care settings such as acute, sub acute, Long Term Care (LTC), outpatient, Mental Health, Spinal Cord Injury (SCI), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Polytrauma and other specialty care service delivery areas. Clinical Specialists generally would be found in Complexity Level 1 (High Complexity) or Level 2 (Medium Complexity) facilities, or practice at a facility designated as a Polytrauma Support Clinic Team, Polytrauma Network Site, or Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center.
Clinical specialists may also practice in facilities of lesser complexity levels where an applicable specialty area exists (e.g., - a facility where coordinated rehabilitation services are provided on a long term care unit may have the need for a Geriatric Clinical Specialist). In addition to completion of 1 year of progressively difficult experience comparable to the next lower grade level, OTs assigned to this position must fully demonstrate the following KSAOs:
a. Advanced knowledge of contemporary occupational therapy across multiple areas of practice, and the demonstrated ability to apply this advanced knowledge to provide clinical guidance to staff OTs within the department.
b. Demonstrated clinical knowledge of advanced specialized evaluation, interventions, and services to independently develop treatment strategies for specialty populations;
c. Skill in developing protocols and procedures for intervention programs based on current occupational therapy theory, recent research and practice;
d. Ability to provide consultation to other health care practitioners and outside groups about occupational therapy scope of practice and areas of expertise;
e. Ability to implement, revise/update evidence based occupational therapy services in specialized areas such as polytrauma, TBI, SCI, geriatrics, mental health, driver rehabilitation, home based primary care (HBPC) and other specialty areas;
f. Advanced knowledge in prosthetics/orthotics devices and demonstrated ability to make adjustments on devices or adaptive equipment to obtain maximum benefit from the device. May assess for and fabricate orthotic devices and proceed with modifications as needed.
The full performance level of this vacancy is GS 12.
Physical Requirements: Requirements: Heavy lifting, 45 pounds and over, Use of fingers, both hands required, Reaching above shoulder, Walking (8 hours), Standing (8 hours), Both legs required (1 prosthetic), Far vision correctable in one eye to 20/20 and to 20/40 in the other, Ability to distinguish basic colors, Ability to distinguish shades of colors, Hearing (Aid permitted), and mental and emotional stability
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: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/. 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: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html.
This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.
Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process.
It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.
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.
Veterans and Transitioning Service Members: Please visit the VA for Vets site for career-search tools for Veterans seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members.
If you are unable to apply online view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application.
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. Your application, résumé, C.V., and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect consideration for employment.
NOTE: The Professional Standards Board (a peer-review group) will review the selected candidate's education and experience and recommend the grade and salary at which the candidate will be placed. For internal selectees eligible for promotion, the board will determine grade and HR will determine step in accordance with policy.
Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.