Physician Assistant-BHIP/Outpatient Program

Hampton, Virginia
Sep 20, 2021
Sep 23, 2021
Full Time


This position is eligible for the Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP), a student loan payment reimbursement program. You must meet specific individual eligibility requirements in accordance with VHA policy and submit your EDRP application within four months of appointment. Approval, award amount (up to $200,000) and eligibility period (one to five years) are determined by the VHA Education Loan Repayment Services program office after complete review of the EDRP application. Learn more

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This position is located within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Health Administration (VHA), VA Mid-Atlantic Health Care Network (VISN 6), Hampton Veterans Affairs Medical Center (HVAMC), under the Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences Service Line (MHBS). This position is aligned with the BHIP/Outpatient Program.

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 Psychiatry PA will be responsible for the primary medical needs of inpatients and outpatients in the mental health clinics and wards. 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.

Provide medical care and evaluation for both psychiatry inpatients and outpatients in the mental health wards and/or outpatient clinics. These patients often have associated medical problems and are multi-symptomatic. The PA may perform the following duties:

Clinical Responsibilities 80%
a. 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.
b. Provide mental health education /counseling and brief therapy of patients and their families.
c. Primary responsibility for care of patients when the clinic medical director is absent.
d. Conduct ongoing follow up appointments for stable patients, including regular refills of medications, required lab and other tests and documenting progress.
e. Perform examinations and screening scales (such as AIMS, MoCA, HAM-D) and similar non-invasive examinations specific to the ongoing care of psychiatric patients.
f. Ordering appropriate laboratory tests, imaging studies, EKGs (electrocardiograms), and similar noninvasive tests.
g. Initiating and expediting consultation requests and scheduling special tests and studies.
h. Drawing blood specimens for testing and obtaining other body fluid samples requiring comparably low levels of invasiveness.
i. Making rounds for inpatients, holding scheduled appointments for outpatients to observe and record patients' medical progress, and notifying the collaborating physician of significant changes in patients' condition.
j. Mixing and starting IV (intravenous) solutions and administering IV medications.
k. Dispensing medications (including injections).
l. 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.
m. Performing preventive health activities (including intradermal testing).
n. Ordering appropriate prosthetic devices and medical equipment.
o. Recording notes on all procedures performed for which the PA is responsible.
p. Initiating ECT or TMS work up and scheduling.
q. Ordering diets.
r. Case management.
s. Conducting educational groups.
t. Perform treatment planning in an outpatient or inpatient setting.
u. Integrate the activities of the psychiatry clinic/ward with other patient care programs at the facility.

Administrative Responsibilities 10%
a. Evaluates outside consultations presenting to the mental health clinic and determines the appropriate disposition, routing, and urgency of those consults.
b. Facilitates access to the mental health clinic medical director and other staff for other Health Care Providers.
c. Participates in quality assurance program with a multi-disciplinary group-developing criterion for administrative goals in the clinic.
d. Participates in hospital, care line, or program work groups or committees for various professional, facility, or VA needs.

Academic/Teaching/Training 5%
As the psychiatry inpatient or outpatient physician assistant, the incumbent is responsible for the following educational assignments:

a. Develops and implements in-service training for primary care providers regarding the specialty of psychiatry, and assists with training medical students, PA students, NP students, psychiatry residents and fellows.
b. Performs academic didactic or clinical teaching, lectures, or presentations for VA affiliated academic institutions as needed per the PAs training and areas of interest.

Work Schedule: Monday thru Friday, between 7:30AM to 4:30PM EST
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
  • 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
  • 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
  • Must pass pre-employment physical examination
  • Participation in the seasonal influenza and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination programs are requirements for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP)


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.
  • Graduate of a training program which is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education of PA (ARC-PA) or one of its predecessor organizations. Additionally, candidates must meet one of the following: (1) Master's degree in any discipline; OR (2) Bachelor's degree in any discipline with one year of experience as a PA.
  • Must have successfully passed the PA National Certifying Exam (PANCE).
  • PAs must possess an active, current, full, and unrestricted license to practice in a State, Territory, or Commonwealth of the United States, or in the District of Columbia. PAs must maintain current registration in the State of licensure if this is a requirement for continuing active and current licensure in that State. -
    • - Exceptions for Graduate PAs.
    • (a) PAs who otherwise meet the basic requirements, but do not possess the required licensure, may be appointed, pending licensure, as a graduate PA on a temporary full-time appointment not-to-exceed two years under the authority of 38 U.S.C. § 7405(c)(2)(B).
    • (b) Graduate PAs may only be appointed at the entry grade level and may not be promoted/converted until certification is obtained.
    • (c) Temporary graduate PA appointments may not be extended beyond two years or converted to a new temporary appointment.
    • NOTE: Individuals who have or have had multiple licenses and had any such license revoked for professional misconduct, professional incompetence or substandard care, or who surrendered such license after receiving written notice of potential termination of such license by the State for professional misconduct, professional incompetence, or substandard care, are not eligible for appointment to the position unless such revoked or surrendered license is fully restored (38 U.S.C. § 7402(f)). This requirement does not apply to licensed PAs currently employed by VA as of November 30, 1999, provided they maintain continuous appointment and are not disqualified for employment by any subsequent revocations or voluntary surrenders of State license, registration or certification

The full performance level of this vacancy is VN-0603-III. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of VN-0603-I to VN-0603-III.

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)
    (a) Experience and Education. None beyond the basic requirements. This is the entry level for PAs.
    (b) 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.
    (2) Physician Assistant-II (PA-II)
    (a) 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.
    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.
    iii. A doctoral degree in a health-related field from an accredited college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
    (b) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs). 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.
    (3) Physician Assistant-III (PA-III)
    (a) 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.
    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.
    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.
    (b) 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.

    Reference: VA Handbook 5005/134-September 27, 2020, PART II APPENDIX G8. This can be found in the local Human Resources Office.
    Physical Requirements: See VA Directives and Handbook 5019, Employee Occupational Health Service.

  • 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: . 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

    Testing Designated Position: 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.
    Annual leave shall accrue for full-time Nurses, and Nurse Anesthetists at the rate of 8 hours for each full biweekly pay period.

    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 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 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: Candidate's education, scope, and length of nursing practice (experience) will be considered by a Nurse Professional Standards Board in determining the grade and salary of the applicant selected. The recommended salary may be at any point in the range listed for this vacancy.

    Experience as an RN will be evaluated to determine if the experience is of an acceptable level of quality with regard to the following four dimensions of nursing: Practice, Professional Development, Collaboration and Scientific Inquiry. Each dimension of practice has criteria that demonstrate essential core competencies for VHA Nursing Personnel.

    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.

    Veterans' Preference Note: Preference eligible candidates and other Veterans will be given preference when qualification of candidates are approximately equal for Title 38 positions in VHA. 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 .

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance
    Not Required

    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 10-2850a
    • Resume

    VA Form 10-2850a - Application for Nurses and Nurse Anesthetists can be found at: .

    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)
    • VA Form 10-2850a
    • Resume

    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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