Program Support Assistant (OA)

3 days left

Salem, Virginia
Apr 07, 2021
Apr 15, 2021
Full Time


This position is located in the Veterans Administration (VA), Veterans Health Administration (VHA), Mid Atlantic Health Care Network (VISN 6), and Veterans Medical Center, located in Salem Virginia in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Service (P&LMS). The primary purpose of this position is to provide clerical and administrative support for both the Anatomic Pathology and Clinical Laboratories.

Learn more about this agency


Duties and responsibilities for this position include, but not limited to the following:
  • Performs accounting procedures and tasks in keeping accurate budget control data.
  • Serves as primary timekeeper for PALMS.
  • Assume responsibility for ordering and maintaining supplies for Anatomic Pathology and the Clinical Laboratory.
  • Assists with data entry duties to include surgical, cytology, and autopsy reports, review reports and make corrections accordingly, print and file verified reports in accordance with record retention guidelines, enter the appropriate workload codes as dictated by the pathologist, enter supplementary reports and scan reference laboratory reports into VistA attached to patient report.
  • Prepare all reports as required by VA policies and professional accrediting bodies such as The Joint Commission and CAP.
  • Request charts and prepare statistical reports as required by the physician of the service as well as the Anatomic Pathology supervisor.
  • Maintain records of autopsy, surgical and cytology cases sent for consultation as well as those cases reviewed within the service by a second pathologist.
  • Type/input data for any material required by the Anatomic Pathology section supervisor, and anatomic pathologists for this activity.
  • Collect and prepare statistical data as required by the supervisor.
  • Performs accessioning procedures for surgical and cytology specimens to include entering patient demographic information and medical history into VistA, and typing, printing, and filing results.
  • Assist with specimen tracking by verifying positive identification, accurately assigning accession numbers and organizing specimens in order for processing and filing slides in chronological order.
  • Assist with gross dissection of surgical specimens by making sure specimens are placed in proper cassettes for processing, cleaning gross dissection workspace, and providing adequate inventory for gross dissection.
  • Provide administrative assistance in Cytology. This includes use of Thin Prep, centrifuge, and cytocentrifuge; preparation and fixation of slides; preparation of cell blocks; staining of slides to include Papanicolaou's and Diff Quick, monitoring and labeling of slides according to professional quality control method.
  • Serve as secretary for the physicians in Anatomic Pathology and backup for the secretary to the Chief.
  • Assist with mail distribution, collecting data for laboratory reports, making copies, faxing correspondence, and preparing send out laboratory testing for shipment.
Work Schedule: Monday-Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm
Position Description Title/PD#: Program Support Assistant (OA)/
Physical Requirements: Most work is performed sitting at a desk; some walking to other areas of the Medical Center is required. The work may demand long periods of standing. Some stooping, bending, and moderate lifting is required for filing and general office duties, for maintaining supply inventory and preparing for autopsy.

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this job
  • Subject to a background/suitability investigation
  • Designated and/or random drug testing may be required
  • May serve a probationary period
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
  • A complete application package; Resume, Transcripts, etc.
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process


To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

GS-05 grade level: One year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-04 grade level in the federal service); experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA's) and other characteristics to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled, in the normal line of progression for the occupation in the organization. Specialized experience includes:A general knowledge of laboratory policies and procedures; Knowledge of basic accounting and mathematical principals (to maintain an accurate accounting system for fund control points assigned to the Laboratory Service)Knowledge of Laboratory expendable (consumables and non-consumables) supplies including familiarity with nomenclature and Supply Service requisitioning regulations and protocol to correctly process required paperwork for expendable and non-expendable equipment and supplies and maintain a documentation system with current information as to disposition of such requested items; Knowledge of regular and recurring application of pay and leave laws, rules, regulations, and agency policy such as entitlements to overtime and holiday pay, etc.; Knowledge of surgical pathology, cytopathology, and autopsy pathology report content/format and associated coding systems for pathology services; Knowledge of VHA and VAMC policies, procedures, directives/VHA regulations, and CAP and TJC requirements and regulations; Knowledge of medical and pathology terminology, correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, format and style in order to accurately prepare and edit written correspondence and reports; Skill in data entry and operating personal computers in an office automation environment and with applicable software (Vista, Microsoft Windows, Word, Excel, PowerPoint)Skill in organization and prioritizing; Knowledge of specimen requirements for anatomic labs; Knowledge in the provision of care to patients from the young adult to the geriatric age category/categories, the employee recognizes the age-related needs and demonstrates knowledge and care appropriate to that age group. The employee considers the cognitive, physical, emotional, and chronological maturation needs of the patients, demonstrates competence and correctly provides appropriate care for that age group(s).Basic knowledge of chemical hygiene as practiced in the clinical laboratory. OR

SUBSTITUTION OF EDUCATION FOR EXPERIENCE :Successfully completed at least 4 years above high school level in any field for which high school graduation or the equivalent is the normal prerequisite is creditable. This education must have been obtained in an accredited business, secretarial or technical school, junior college, college or university. (Transcripts required.) OR

COMBINATION OF EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION : An equivalent combination of successfully completed education above high school and specialized experience, as described above, which meet the total experience requirements for this grade level. Only education in excess of the first 60 semester hours (i.e., beyond the second year) is creditable toward meeting the specialized experience requirement. (Transcripts Required)

To calculate, first identify the percentage of required education you have earned (when substituting, you cannot use the first 60 semester hours that you earned). Then identify the percentage of required experience you possess. Add the two percentages. The total percentage must equal at least 100 percent to qualify at the GS-05. For example, an applicant who has 9 semester hours of graduate level education (i.e. 50% of graduate education required) and 6 months of creditable specialized experience (i.e. 50% of the required experience) would equal 100% of the required experience for the position A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.

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.


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.

Additional information

The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provide eligible displaced VA competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. To be well-qualified, applicants must possess experience that exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors if applicable, and must be proficient in most of the requirements of the job. Information about ICTAP and CTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website which can be found at .

Receiving Service Credit for 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. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employee's credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. 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.

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 .

How You Will Be Evaluated

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 WILL NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. Applicants will be accessed in the order in which the applications were received and select any qualified applicant in that order.

Resume Reminder - Your resume must include the following for each job listed:
1) Job title and grade level/salary. In order to show that you meet time-in-grade, you must document grades you have held and how long you have held them;
2) Duties (you must include enough detailed information to support your specialized experience);
3) Month, day and year start/end dates (e.g. 04/02/2007 to 04/13/2008);
4) Hours worked per week for each job listed
5) Full Name and address of Employer
6) Name of Supervisor or Contact name
7) Complete phone number of Supervisor/Contact

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

Trust determination process

Required Documents

Documents Accepted:
  • Cover Letter
  • DD-214/ Statement of Service
  • Disability Letter (VA)
  • Resume

Documents Required:
  • Resume

Please review the above list(s) to ensure you have included all necessary documents required for your application.Not every applicant will require the same documents, therefore it is the applicants responsibility to ensure that their application package includes all necessary documents to determine qualifications and eligibility for appointment, such as a copy of your SF-50, transcript, ICTAP/CTAP documentation (for displaced Federal employees). You will not be contacted for additional information. Applicants will be deemed ineligible if supporting documentation is not submitted.

Veterans' Preference: Since the Direct-Hire Recruitment Authority is being used, traditional Veterans' Preference rules do not apply. Qualified veterans will, however, be given full consideration for this position.

Applications are accepted online. Applying online will allow you to review and track the status of your application.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.