Cytotechnologist

Employer
USAJobs
Location
Salem, Virginia
Posted
Jul 16, 2021
Closes
Jul 24, 2021
Function
Administrative
Hours
Full Time
Duties

Summary

The Cytotechnologist functions primarily in the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Section at Salem, Virginia VAMC. Cytotechnologists review clinical data of patients and evaluate all cytology preparations by light microscopy for the presence or absence of cellular patterns, presence of microorganisms, inflammatory reactions, endocrinopathies, benign changes, pre-malignant changes, neoplasia, and cellular responses to agents.
Learn more about this agency

Responsibilities

The duties of the Cytotechnologist include but are not limited to:
  • Issues and verifies the final diagnosis for negative gynecologic specimens.
  • Prioritizes, prepares, and processes all specimens for cytodiagnostic and immunohistochemical testing in compliance with the guidelines of regulatory agencies.
  • Instructs others on the proper collection methods and transportation of specimens and determines acceptability of patient samples for processing.
  • Performs routine maintenance of equipment using standard operating procedures.
  • Plans, directs and implements administrative and technical functions for the cytology area.
  • Prioritizes workflow/specimen triage.
  • Performs a broad range of cytology laboratory procedures including all testing and tasks of the cytotechnologist occupation. In addition, performs advanced and complex laboratory procedures; recognizes deviation from expected results; analyzes and corrects problems using scientific principles.
  • Screens cytologic preparations prepared from fine needle aspirates/biopsies, effusion fluids, and exfoliated gynecological samples.
  • Examines and evaluates the cellular sample for the presence or absence of normal/abnormal cellular patterns, microorganisms, inflammatory reactions, endocrinopathies, benign changes, premalignant conditions, neoplasia, and cellular responses to therapeutic agents.
  • Makes primary cytodiagnoses, relating cytomorphologic changes to clinical data and using recognized cytopathologic/histopathologic terminology.
  • Marks all typical, suspicious, or malignant cells for the pathologist's review.
  • Coordinates specimen collection and preparation for complex procedures; determines the adequacy of such specimens and instructs clinician on an alternative approach or method for optimal diagnosis.
  • Documents procedural deviations in the patient safety incident system, reports reportable diseases to Infectious Disease Control Committee, and participates in external Quality Assurance surveys with staff pathologists.
  • Signs out negative gynecologic reports and coordinates complex and difficult special procedures (i.e. immunocytochemistry, molecular biology, FISH image analysis, flow cytometry, and special stains).
  • Prepares surgical specimens for histologic analysis.
  • Submits scheduled reports to management and conducts special assignments such as DSS turnaround studies, statistical data collection, incident reports, etc.
  • Collects yearly statistical data for cytology and data for comparison and correlation of all positive cytology with corresponding biopsies.
  • Administers, evaluates, and monitors a quality control review system to determine accuracy of cytologic diagnoses and quality and appropriateness of cyto-preparatory techniques.
  • Conducts proficiency testing and preventative maintenance on the laboratory equipment.
  • Processes and prepares all specimens for cytodiagnostic procedures while controlling physical conditions and responding to time factors to ensure that the physiological state of the specimen is maintained.
  • Organizes work and sets priorities to meet deadlines.
  • Maintains regulatory compliance related to duties, insures procedures are up to date with regulatory criteria, and participates in the inspection process.
  • Maintains enough working levels of expendable and consumable supplies for the section, ensuring that stock is rotated to eliminate waste and expired reagents are discarded.
  • Trains (classroom and on-the-job) technicians, cytotechnology students, medical students, physician residents, and others in new or specialized laboratory techniques, instrumentation, organization of work, and safety regulations.
  • Reviews section specific procedures and recommends updates or changes by applying current testing and/or accreditation requirements knowledge.
  • Grosses surgical tissues while describing the gross anatomic features using appropriate medical terminology, ensuring proper submission for histologic processing at the discretion of the Chief Pathologist.

Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:30pm
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status
No

Promotion Potential
9

Requirements

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


Qualifications

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 per 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f).

Education: Individuals must have successfully completed a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college/university and successfully completed a Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs accredited cytotechnology program.

Foreign Education: To be creditable, education completed outside the U.S. must have been submitted to a private organization approved by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) that specializes in the interpretation of foreign educational credentials and such education must have been deemed at least equivalent to that gained in conventional U.S. programs.

Board Certification: Candidates must currently possess the Cytotechnologist (CT) (ASCP) or Specialist in Cytotechnology (SCT) (ASCP) certification given by the ASCP Board of Certification.

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).

Grade Determinations: In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates:

Cytotechnologist, GS-7 (a) Experience. None beyond the basic requirements.
(b) Assignment. At the entry level, cytotechnologists serve in a career development position practicing under close supervision of a supervisor, lab manager, or qualified individual who reviews and ensures the employee meets competency requirements.

Cytotechnologist, GS-9 (a) Experience. At this level, the candidate must have one year of creditable experience equivalent to the GS-7 grade level that is directly related to the position to be filled.
(b) Assignment. At the journey level, the cytotechnologist independently reviews clinical data of patients and evaluates all cytology preparations by light microscopy for the presence or absence of cellular patterns, presence of micro-organisms, inflammatory reactions, endocrinopathies, benign changes, pre-malignant changes, neoplasia, and cellular responses to therapeutic agents. The cytotechnologist issues and verifies the final diagnosis for negative gynecologic specimens. The cytotechnologist prioritizes, prepares, and processes all specimens for cytodiagnostic and immunohistochemical testing in compliance with the guidelines of regulatory agencies. The cytotechnologist instructs others on the proper collection methods and transportation of specimens and determines acceptability of patient samples for processing. The cytotechnologist performs routine maintenance of equipment using standard operating procedures.

(c) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills,and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: (1) Ability to review clinical data of patients, relate data to microscopic findings, and evaluate all cytology preparations by light microscopy for the presence or absence of cellular patterns, presence of micro-organisms, inflammatory reactions, endocrinopathies, benign changes, pre-malignant changes, neoplasia, and cellular responses to therapeutic agents.
(2) Ability to make a preliminary cytodiagnosis to issue and verify the final diagnosis for gynecologic specimens interpreted to be negative. (3) Knowledge of processes and procedures to prepare all specimens for cytodiagnostic and immunochemistry testing, as well as filtration methods preparation, fixation, and staining of slides. (4) Ability to instruct others on proper collection methods and transportation of specimens, and to determine acceptability of patient samples for processing.
(5) Knowledge of the standards of regulatory agencies, such as those of Joint Commission (JC), College of American Pathologist (CAP), Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) and Occupational Safety and health Administration (OSHA), to ensure compliance with requirements and guidelines.
(6) Ability to perform routine maintenance of laboratory equipment according to standard operating procedures.
(7) Skill in prioritizing workflow/specimen triage.

Physical Requirements: Moderate lifting (15-44 pounds); Moderate carrying (15-44 pounds); Use of fingers; Walking (2-6 hours); Standing (2-6 hours); Ability to distinguish basic colors; Ability to distinguish shades of colors; Mental & emotional stability.

References: VA HANDBOOK 5005/126, PART II, APPENDIX G1, CYTOTECHNOLOGIST QUALIFICATION STANDARD DATED NOVEMBER 25, 2019. THIS CAN BE FOUND IN THE LOCAL HUMAN RESOURCES OFFICE.

The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-09.

Education

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.

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
Other

Drug test required
Yes

Required Documents

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

  • VA Form 10-2850c (Application for Associated Health Occupations)
  • Proof of Bachelor's Degree/Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs accredited cytotechnology program
  • Proof of Cytotechnologist (CT) (ASCP) or Specialist in Cytotechnology (SCT) (ASCP) certification given by the ASCP Board of Certification
  • Resume
  • Transcript


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 .
(REQUIRED AT TIME OF APPLICATION)

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 (Schedule A)
  • Disability Letter (VA)
  • VA Form 10-2850c (Application for Associated Health Occupations)
  • Proof of Bachelor's Degree/Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs accredited cytotechnology program
  • Proof of Cytotechnologist (CT) (ASCP) or Specialist in Cytotechnology (SCT) (ASCP) certification given by the ASCP Board of Certification
  • Proof of Marriage Status
  • Resume
  • Separation Notice (RIF)
  • 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 Feds Hire Vets - Veterans - Job Seekers - Veterans' Preference .

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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