Occupational Therapist

Perry Point, Maryland
Jun 17, 2021
Jun 24, 2021
Full Time


The Occupational Therapist in this position provides direct patient care and therapy services on an independent basis across the continuum of care to veterans at the VAMHCS Mental Health Service Psychosocial Rehabilitation Recovery Center (PRRC). Expected to carry out general duty assignments but primarily serves as an OT subject matter expert in the Mental Health Clinical Center (MHCC). Serves as the sole OT for the multidisciplinary PRRC treatment team.
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Screens a wide variety of mental health patients for appropriate referral to Occupational Therapy services.

Independently applies a variety of standardized and non-standardized tests and measures correctly in order to provide accurate assessments. Utilizing good clinical reasoning appropriately modifies tests and other assessment tools as needed.

Independently formulates plans of care based on assessments, and patient and team goals to provide appropriately progressive treatment.

Provides individual and group treatments for Veterans living with Serious Mental Illness (SMI).

Works to integrate Veterans living with SMI into their communities which involves providing services outside of the main medical facility.

Based on client needs, independently applies standard and advanced state of the art treatment techniques to deliver consistent quality care.

Independently identifies standard and unique treatment activities/procedures and appropriately utilizes these activities to assist the patient to obtain his/her maximum benefit.

Independently analyzes results of treatment and modifies treatment plans to meet the needs of patients in support of their achievement of maximum benefit.

Uses professional knowledge to interpret results of evaluations and treatment outcomes to patients, families, and medical staff.

Consults with the team of psychiatrists, physicians, prescribers, psychologists, social workers, medical personnel, caregivers, specialists, the patient and as appropriate the family/caregiver, to maximize the patient's benefit of therapy program.

Completes patient and/or family training as indicated and documents in approved format.

Assesses for suicide risk.

Other duties as assigned or required.

Work Schedule: Monday - Friday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required

Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
  • Designated and/or random drug testing may be required
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
  • You may be required to serve a probationary period
  • Subject to a background/security investigation
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process


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.
  • Education: (1) 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.
    (2) Foreign graduates of occupational therapy programs meet the requirements of subparagraph (1) above if they have a current, full, active and unrestricted license/certification/registration/trademark and certification/registration referred to in subparagraphs below. NOTE: Effective January 1, 2005, ACOTE accredits only master or doctoral degree programs in occupational therapy .
  • Certification/Examination: 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 .
  • State Licensure/Certification/Registration/Trademark (hereafter referred to as state regulatory requirement): 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.
May qualify based on being covered by the Grandfathering Provision as described in the VA Qualification Standard for this occupation (only applicable to current VHA employees who are in this occupation and meet the criteria).

Additional Requirements at the GS-12 Level

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 Sole Occupational Therapist. OTs at this grade level have the sole responsibility for the operation of an occupational therapy clinic. An OT in a "sole" position must demonstrate the ability to apply advanced occupational therapy knowledge, theories, and techniques to a full range of patient populations. They apply advanced clinical skills in the following components: 1) sensory motor, to include sensory integration, neuromuscular and motor; 2) cognitive integration and cognitive components; and 3) psychosocial skills and psychological components. Occupational performance areas of activities of daily living (ADL), work activities and play/leisure activities are assessed through administration of standardized and non-standardized tests. Administration of occupational agent modalities (OAMs) is often used in conjunction with advanced treatment techniques to achieve functional goals. Sole OTs also serve as the rehabilitation therapy liaison to an interdisciplinary team in complex rehabilitation settings. There may be more than one OT at the facility; however, individuals in this assignment serve as the sole OT member of a multidisciplinary or specialty care treatment team. OTs assigned to this position must demonstrate all of 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. To balance responsibilities and to work with great autonomy.
c. Ability to adapt assessment tools and treatment to the complexity of the diagnosis or disability and demonstrate the clinical reasoning necessary to identify the need for further in depth specific assessment of disability.
d. Ability to independently develop, implement and modify an occupational therapy treatment plan in response to changing medical or psychological conditions.
e. Knowledge of the principles and techniques in the occupational therapy assessment and treatment of occupational, cognitive, and psychosocial functional deficits and the ability to perform the clinical services independently.
f. Ability to organize work, set priorities and delegate tasks, meet multiple deadlines, analyze organizational problems and develop and implement effective solutions.
g. Ability to provide consultation to other health care practitioners and outside groups about occupational therapy scope of practice and areas of expertise.

References: VA Handbook 5005/25, Part II, Appendix G14

Physical Requirements: Light lifting (under 15 lbs.); light carrying (under 15 lbs.); reaching above shoulder; use of fingers; both hands required; walking (intermittent); standing (intermittent); hearing (aid permitted); hearing without aid. Intermittent Driving a Vehicle (-/+ 2 hours); The work is sedentary. Typically, the employee may sit comfortably to do the work. However, there may be some walking, standing, bending and carrying of light items like papers or books. No special physical demands are required to perform the work.


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 .

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. 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.

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 .

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 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 recommend 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.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

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

Trust determination process
Credentialing , Suitability/Fitness

Required Documents

To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

  • VA Form 10-2850c
  • Resume

VA Form 10-2850c Application for Associated Health Occupations can be found at: https://www.va.gov/vaforms/medical/pdf/vha-10-2850c-fill.pdf .

The following documents are accepted, and may be required if applicable to your eligibility and/or qualifications for this position. Please use this checklist to ensure you have included all documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify), SF-50's (current/former Federal employees), etc.

  • Cover Letter
  • DD-214/ Statement of Service
  • Disability Letter (VA)
  • License
  • VA Form 10-2850c
  • Resume
  • SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action
  • Transcript

Veterans' Preference: When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference for 5pt (TP), 10pt (CP/CPS/XP), or for Sole Survivor Preference (SSP) in the questionnaire. You must provide a legible copy of your DD214(s) which shows dates and character of service (honorable, general, etc.). If you are currently serving on active duty and expect to be released or discharged within 120 days you must submit documentation related to your active duty service which reflects the dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), and dates of impending separation. Additionally, disabled veterans and others eligible for 10-point preference (such as widows or mothers of eligible Veterans) must also submit an SF-15 "Application for 10 Point Veteran Preference" with required proof as stated on the form. Documentation is required to award preference. For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/vetpref/index.aspx .

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.

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