Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration | Pittsburgh, PA

Posted Date 9/10/2019
Description This position is located within the Rehabilitation Department within Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service (PM&RS) of VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System in Pittsburgh, PA which is a Complexity Level 1A Facility as defined by the 2008 Complexity Report.

The incumbent functions as a Physical Therapist in a perpetual float status with planned and spontaneous assignments across all rehab areas within the VAPHS catchment area, CBOCs, and its' spoke facilities.

The incumbent Is willing and able to float to other areas of clinical practice as needed to maintain staffing throughout the entire PM&R department. Clinical assignment may include outpatient, acute care, skilled nursing, Community Based Outpatient Care, in-home/in-community care, and Tele-Rehabilitation. The physical therapist clinical specialist who works at this level will be able to perform complex lymphedema and/or wound assessments and provide specialized evaluations and treatment as a certified lymphedema therapist. Incumbent will possess specialized skills in assessment, planning, and treatment to provide complex therapeutic interventions to patients with lymphatic and integumentary systems related to lymphedema and associated healing and vascular wounds. The prescription of compression stockings may include elements from a variety of manufacturers, necessitating the therapists' familiarity with best-practice and current research, and contacts in the community with whom he/she must work to recommend the most appropriate plan of care. The position requires subject matter expertise of the lymphatic, vascular, and integumentary system along with a firm understanding of the interrelation of intact vs compromised organ systems as well as the vocational, functional, and psychosocial implications related to edema, wound, and amputee issues. Extensive knowledge of clinically-relevant products, medical equipment, and regulatory issues is necessary. The goal of the prescription is to properly fit, enhance function, minimize wounds, provide plan of care, improve and maintain their comfort and quality of life. The incumbent is expected to carry out duties as assigned. The therapist coordinates the ordering, delivery and ongoing edema/wound program with the goals of timeliness, efficiency, and accuracy. This requires that the therapist be familiar with all internal and external processes related to the procurement of prosthetic equipment, including national VA regulations (the 'Prosthetic Handbook"), identify problems, resolve obstacles and improve overall process. Independently develops rehabilitation objectives for patients, solves complex problems related to Physical therapy, and engages the patient in activities to restore and enhance their performance and potential for independent living or maximum function within their lifestyles. Individuals may perform ancillary assignments, including research opportunities and program management duties on an occasional basis, where the complexity and amount of work is not substantial and less than 25% of the duty time. This incumbent may be required to travel as needed for clinical duties, but use of government transportation and travel will be available to use on government time.

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.

Work Schedule: If selected you will be assigned thru managements discretion to one of the three available tours of duty
7:30AM-4:00PM, 8:00AM-4:30PM, 8:30AM-5:00PM
Financial Disclosure Report: Not requiredTo qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 09/30/2019.
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 and experience. The individual must meet at least one of the requirements below:(1) Bachelor's degree in Physical Therapy AND five (5) years of progressively independent experience as a physical therapist.(2) Master's degree in Physical Therapy AND two (2) years of progressively independent experience as a physical therapist.(3) Doctorate degree in physical therapy
  • Licensure. Individuals hold a full, current, and unrestricted license to practice physical therapy in a State, Territory or Commonwealth of the United States, or in the District of Columbia. Non-licensed PTs, who otherwise meet the basic requirements in this standard, may be given a temporary appointment as a graduate PT at the GS-11 grade level under the authority of 38 U.S.C. 7405 (a)(1)(D) for a period not-to-exceed two years from the date of employment on the condition that such PT provide care only under the supervision of a PT who is licensed. Failure to obtain licensure during that period is justification for termination of the
  • English Language Proficiency. Individuals appointed under authority of 38 U.S.C. chapters 73 or 74, to serve in a direct patient-care capacity in VHA must be proficient in written and spoken English.
Preferred Experience:
Experience is only creditable if it was post degree experience as a professional PT and is directly related to the duties to be performed. Qualifying experience must also be at a level comparable to or exceeding the professional PT experience at the next lower grade level

Grade Determinations: GS- 13 Physical Therapist (Clinical Specialist)Experience. In addition to meeting the basic requirements, one year of progressively complex experience equivalent to the GS-12 grade level and one of the following:
1. Evidence of a minimum of 2,000 hours of clinical practice directly in the specialty area. This time must be between the past two and five years; or
2. Board Certification in the specialty area recognized by the ABPTS; or
3. Completion of a fellowship program; or
4. An additional advanced degree in a related field. In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the all following KSAs.
(b) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
1. Advanced knowledge and expert skill in a range of specialized interventions and treatment modalities used in a specialized treatment area of physical therapy.
2. Ability to serve as a consultant and subject matter expert for health care providers regarding the delivery of care within a specialized content area of physical therapy (see paragraph 2i).
3. Ability to teach and mentor medical center staff in a specialized content area of physical therapy.
4. Ability to guide the work of a multi-disciplinary team in a specialized content area of physical therapy
5. Advanced knowledge and expert skill to perform and interpret specialized procedures and tests in evaluating the treatment outcomes in the assigned specialty content area.
(c) Assignment. For all assignments above the full performance level, the higher-level duties must consist of significant scope, complexity (difficulty), and variety. Clinical Specialists spend at least 25% or greater of their time working with specialized population(s) within their department. Physical therapists at this level perform assignments in specialty areas such as geriatrics, neurology, cardiopulmonary, orthopedics, spinal cord injury, amputee, wound care, chronic pain, electromyography, women's health or pelvic health, polytrauma, brain injury, lymphedema, vestibular, assistive technology, seating and mobility. The individual is assigned responsibility for serving as the subject matter expert in the content specialty area and as a consultant to physical therapy and other medical center staff in evaluating and treating patients in the specialty area. Clinical Specialists have advanced knowledge and demonstrate expert clinical practice skills in providing assessment and treatment interventions across the continuum of care. He/she utilizes advanced knowledge and expertise to modify treatment plans and to identify therapeutic activity interventions based on the changing needs, goals and performance of patients. Clinical Specialists have advanced training in specialized technology related to their area of practice. He/she establishes and maintains contact with other health care providers involved in patient care via written, telephone, and personal communication on a regular basis. He/she exercises expert professional judgment to establish appropriate discharge planning recommendations to ensure safe discharge from inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation programs. If the medical center has a PT residency program, the clinical specialist may be on faculty for the program.


The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-13. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is GS-13

Physical Requirements: Pre-placement and periodic physical examinations are required for hybrid occupations to ensure workers are placed in positions where they can perform the essential functions of their job considering their physical, mental and emotional capacities, without endangering their health or the health of their co-workers.

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