Health Technician (Optometry)

Salem, Virginia
Oct 13, 2021
Oct 15, 2021
Full Time


This position is located in Surgical Service. Employee at this grade level serves as a full performance level Health Technician (Optometry). The technicians perform duties such as measuring and recording visual acuity, obtaining accurate potential acuity meter, laser interferometry, contrast sensitivity or other specialized visual acuity measurements. The technicians also evaluate pupillary light responses and measure pupil size, determine the presence or absence of fusion.
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The duties of this position are but not limited to the following:

Records patient history through interviews.

Assists in direct patient care under the supervision of an ophthalmologist.

Administer eye drops, topical anesthetics, mydriatics, and cycloplegics.

Performs eye screening examination and check patient's visual acuity (uncorrected and corrected, distance and near).

Conducts subjective and cycloplegic refractions on patients in or preparation for eye glass prescription.

Performs pupil exams, evaluate anterior chambers, angles, and conduct confrontational visual fields.

Performs intraocular pressure readings with Goldmann tonometer and portable tonometer.

Performs optic coherence tomographic readings.

Performs ocular photography and slit lamp or fundus cameras.

Performs automated visual field tests (both screening and comprehensive).

Triages of consultation requests from other services.

Triage's phone calls and communicates with patients.

Work Schedule: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM, Monday - Friday
Telework: Not available
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Position Title/Functional Statement #:Health Technician (Optometry)/PD000000, PD000005, PD000006, and PD000007
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized
Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized
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
  • 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.

Experience. One year of experience as a health technician or assistant in the health care field demonstrating the applicant's ability to perform the work or by demonstrating the applicant's ability to perform the work by demonstrating the applicant's ability to perform the work or by demonstrating a basic understanding of work in the health care field;


Education. Successful completion of two academic years above high school with a minimum of 12 semester hours related to health technician/assistant or health technician (optometry)/assistant or associate degree, or completion of an independent study course in an optometry related technician or assistant field;


Experience/Education Combination. Equivalent combinations of experience and education are qualifying. Examples are listed below:

(a) Six months of experience comparable to the next lower level which demonstrates the knowledge of optometry assistant theory and practices and general understanding of the health technician/assistant duties and one year above high school with a minimum of six semester hours of health technician/assistant or health technician (optometry)/assistant related courses.

(b) Successful completion of a course for health care technicians or assistants, hospital corpsmen, medical service specialists, or hospital training in a program given by the U.S. Armed Forces, the U.S. Maritime Service, or the U.S. Public Health Service, may be substituted on a month-for-month basis.

Licensure/Certification/Registration. None.

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).

Grandfathering Provision. All individuals employed in VHA in this occupational series or in another occupational series performing the duties as described in the qualification standard on the effective date of the qualification standard are considered to have met all qualification requirements for the grade held including positive education and licensure/trademark/registration/certification. For employees who do not meet all the basic requirements required in this standard, but who met the qualifications applicable to the position at the time they were appointed to it, the following provisions apply:

(1) They may be reassigned, promoted up to and including the full performance (journey) level, or changed to lower grade within the occupation, but may not be promoted beyond the journeyman level or placed in supervisory or managerial positions.

(2) Employees who are appointed on a temporary basis prior to the effective date of the qualification standard may not have their temporary appointment extended or be reappointed, on a temporary or permanent basis until they fully meet the basic requirements of the standard.

(3) Health Technicians (Optometry) who are converted to title 38 hybrid status under this provision and subsequently leave the occupation lose protected status and must meet the full VA qualification standard requirements in effect at the time of re-entry to the occupation.

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

Health Technician (Optometry), GS-04

None beyond the basic requirements.

Health Technician (Optometry), GS-05

One year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate the following knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs):

(a) Knowledge of basic eye anatomy and function.

(b) Ability to obtain, document and record ophthalmic and medical information from patients in order to develop an accurate electronic progress note.

(c) Ability to practice basic hygiene and infection control in a patient care setting.

(d) Ability to follow eye clinic and patient care medical policies and procedures.

(e) Ability to perform minor eyeglasses repairs, such as replacing nose pads and screws.

Health Technician (Optometry), GS-06

One year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade.In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate the following knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs):

(a) Ability to provide patient education for eye health and/or vision conditions, to include assisting with patient contact lens insertion, removal and hygiene (cleaning and disinfection) care.

(b) Ability to accurately enter into a phoropter the autorefractometry or habitual refractive prescription (i.e., eyeglasses prescription) or lensometer findings, including sphere, cylinder and axis.

(c) Ability to perform patient spectacle fitting and dispensing, including selection of appropriate frame, ophthalmic lenses, interpupillary measurements (distance and near) and proper segment height determination, as well as the ability to transpose sphere, cylinder and axis.

(d) Ability to provide basic triage of patient telephone calls or optometry requests.

(e) Knowledge of ophthalmic medications and supplies needed in the process of restocking the eye clinic exam rooms.

Health Technician (Optometry), GS-07 Full Performance Level

Experience. One year of experience comparable to the next lower level which demonstrates the knowledge, skills and abilities related to the duties of the position to be filled. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate the following knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs):

(a) Ability to determine preliminary objective estimate and/or refinement of the optical status of the eye, not to include the patient's final subjective refraction.

(b) Ability to triage and manage eyeglasses issues (e.g., measurement of vertex distance, base curve, prism correction, center thickness, slab off, Fresnel prism, decentration, etc.).

(c) Ability to perform accurate assessment of accommodation, near point of convergence and ocular alignment (far and near).

(d) Ability to assist the eye care provider (optometrist or ophthalmologist) with ophthalmic procedures.

(e) Ability to assist with obtaining accurate ocular cultures and smears.

(f) Knowledge and ability to provide advanced patient education for eye health and/or vision conditions.

Preferred Experience:

References: VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G-68

The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-7.

Physical Requirements: See VA Directive and Handbook 5019.


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

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 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.

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
Not Required

Drug test required

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

Trust determination process

Required Documents

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

  • Resume

VA Form 10-2850c Application for Associated Health Occupations 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)
  • Resume
  • SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action

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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