Recreation Assistant

Hampton, Virginia
Nov 24, 2021
Dec 01, 2021
Full Time

Administration of programs 50%

The incumbent will serve as the Recreation Assistant (RA) for the SCI/D unit. The incumbent is responsible for carrying out a full range of Therapeutic Recreation programs and interventions inclusive of recreation treatment modalities and general recreation ( diversional) activities, as define and assessed or assigned by the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS). The RA independently develops and implements diversional programs. These interventions address the assessed needs of the patients, utilizing appropriate motivational and leadership approaches and will be implemented in both the clinical and community setting. The incumbent works with patients who have a variety of illnesses, diseases and/ or disabling conditions with varying degrees of impairment. At times the RA will work independently with patients and is responsible for minimizing all potential risks to patients and following safety policy/procedures. They must assure that patients are appropriately dressed for prescribed outdoor activities; observe safety precautions in use of tools and equipment, record attendance and participation of patients in projects or activities; and report the reactions and responses of patients. Patient care areas may include, SCI, Sub-acute and Acute Rehabilitation, Mental Health, Community Living Centers, PTSD treatment, clinics and on inpatients units.
The RA works with patients on an individual basis, in small groups or in large groups depending on the patient's physical and mental status and individual needs for treatment. The Incumbent works as an integral member of the Spinal Cord Injury & Disorders/ Recreation Therapy team and assigned unit/program interdisciplinary team, providing patient care based on practical knowledge of the modalities used in therapeutic recreation. Independently conducts on-station and off-station general ( diversional) activity programs for various types of disabilities which include psychiatric diagnoses, dementia, neuro-muscular disorders, orthopedic conditions, amputation, paralysis, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, respiratory disorders, chronic cardiovascular diseases, and patients with multiple diagnoses. Incumbent strives to reduce mental and physical functional declines, maintaining the highest degree of self-determined and independence within limitations of a patient's disability and provides feedback to the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and/or other team members as appropriate. Independently modifies techniques and develops new approaches as necessary to ensure the realization of patient treatment goals are met in noncomplex cases.

Volunteer recruitment 20%

The incumbent solicits support and involvement of volunteers in specialized programs. Follows up on activities involving these individuals or groups for confirmation, supplies needed and other details pertinent to the activity.

Community Programs 20%

Drives and/or escorts patients to community activities; utilizing vans, wheel-chair buses and large passenger buses; gives instructions on expectations and observes patients for unpredictable behavior. Physically assists individuals with physical disabilities (ambulatory or non-ambulatory) in getting into and out of the vehicle and around in the community environment. A Commercial Driver's License (CDL) will be required for specific vehicles such as passenger buses.

Recreation space and supply management 10%

Assist in maintaining the Recreation Therapy activity areas, offices, and outdoor activity areas by performing periodic on-site inspections and reporting any problems. Manages all supplies and equipment used in assigned area(s) by inventory, storage, issue, service, and repair.
Promotion Potential: The selectee may be promoted to the full performance level without further competition when all regulatory, qualification, and performance requirements are met. Selection at a lower grade level does not guarantee promotion to the full performance level.

Work Schedule: Monday-Friday 11:30am-8:00pm every other Weekends, and Holidays
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Position Description/PD#: Recreation Assistant/PD028970
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required


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 background/security investigation
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process
  • Participation in the seasonal influenza vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP)
  • Participation in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Personnel


To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 11/30/2021.

Time-In-Grade Requirement: Applicants who are current Federal employees and have held a GS grade any time in the past 52 weeks must also meet time-in-grade requirements by the closing date of this announcement. For a GS-06 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-05. The grade may have been in any occupation, but must have been held in the Federal service. An SF-50 that shows your time-in-grade eligibility must be submitted with your application materials. If the most recent SF-50 has an effective date within the past year, it may not clearly demonstrate you possess one-year time-in-grade, as required by the announcement. In this instance, you must provide an additional SF-50 that clearly demonstrates one-year time-in-grade.

Note: Time-In-Grade requirements also apply to former Federal employees applying for reinstatement as well as current employees applying for Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA) appointment.

You may qualify based on your experience and/or education as described below:

GS-189-06 (Full Performance Level):
    To qualify for the GS-189-06 based on Specialized Experience: Qualifying specialized experience includes one year of specialized experience comparable to GS-05 which is directly related to the work of this position and which has equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position. For this position, specialized experience is defined as experience serving as a Recreational assistant performing social service functions knowledge of the characteristics of physical and mental illness in judging the conditions of patients, in recognizing the relationships between patients' disabilities and the effects of treatment, and in assessing accurately both positive and negative responses to treatment. knowledge of basic health care issues and human behavior required to independently develop, plan and conduct a variety of diversionary activity programming and functions, to include but not limited to social activities, physical activities, table games, outdoor activities, spectator events, one to one activities, hobbies/crafts and community activities and skill with recreation equipment and materials. Knowledge of data collection techniques and skills in written communication to assist in documentation of progress of each patient referred to the assistant's program with the ability to utilize the Computerized Patient Record System (CPRS) in order to inform the treatment team of patient development. knowledge of the patient's needs, talents, interests, abilities, physical condition, motivation, and other such factors, in order to develop, plan, and revise effective programs.
    To qualify for the GS-189-06 based on Education: As a general rule, education is not creditable above GS-5 for most positions covered by this standard; however, graduate education may be credited in those few instances where the graduate education is directly related to the work of the position. For the GS-6, applicants must have successfully completed Six months of graduate education in a degree program directly related to the work of the position as a substitution for specialized experience. Qualifying graduate coursework includes: Business Management, Telecommunications, Information Technology, or comparable major of study. This education must have been obtained in an accredited college or university. Transcripts (unofficial) are required at time of application. A transcript or course listing must be submitted if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education. Applications submitted without this information will not be considered. Such education must demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work. An academic year of graduate education is considered to be the number of credit hours that the school attended has determined to represent 6 months of full-time study. This determination is made based on normal course loads for a full year of study in the graduate program. If that information cannot be obtained from the school, 9 semester hours or 27 quarter hours should be considered as satisfying the 6 months year of full time study requirement. Part-time graduate education is creditable in accordance with its relationship to a year of full-time study at the school attended. When academic credit is expressed in contract months, units, or other terms that differ from conventional semester or quarter hours, it is the responsibility of the applicant to provide an interpretation of such credits from the appropriate institution in order to equate them to the semester or quarter hours specified in the standard. OR
To qualify for the GS-189-06 based on combination: Applicants may also combine education and experience to qualify at these grade levels. Combinations of successfully completed post-high school education and experience may be used to meet total qualification requirements and may be computed by first determining the applicant's total qualifying experience as a percentage of the experience required for the grade level; then determining the applicant's education as a percentage of the education required for the grade level; and then adding the two percentages. The total percentages must equal at least 100 percent to qualify an applicant for that grade level. When crediting education that requires specific course work, prorate the number of hours of related courses required as a proportion of the total education to be used.
Bachelors Degree in recreational therapy Preferred.

You will be rated on the following Competencies for this position:
  • Customer Service
  • Health informatics
  • Client Orientation
  • Database Administration
  • Communications
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: A full year of work is considered to be 35-40 hours of work per week. Part-time experience will be credited on the basis of time actually spent in appropriate activities. Applicants wishing to receive credit for such experience must indicate clearly the nature of their duties and responsibilities in each position and the number of hours a week spent in such employment.

Physical Requirements: Work is generally sedentary and requires sitting, walking, standing, bending, and/or carrying light items.

For more information on these qualification standards, please visit the United States Office of Personnel Management's website at .


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

The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provide eligible displaced Federal/VA competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. To be qualified you must submit appropriate documentation (a copy of the agency notice, your most recent performance rating, and your most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location) and be found well-qualified for this vacancy. To be well-qualified : applicants must possess experience that exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors, and who are proficient in most of the required competencies of the job. Information about ICTAP and CTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at .

Placement Policy: The posting of this announcement does not obligate management to fill a vacancy or vacancies by promotion. The position may be filled by reassignment, change to lower grade, transfer, appointment, or reinstatement. Management may use any one or any combination of these methods to fill the position.

It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

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.

For more information on the "Who may apply" eligibility requirements, please refer to the OHRM Status Candidates and Other Candidate Definitions document.

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 .

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