Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Physical Therapy Assistant in Des Moines, Iowa
Summary The Physical Therapist Assistant (Clinical)/PTA) works under the supervision of a physical therapist to provide services that promote the prevention, remediation and rehabilitation of acute and chronic physical dysfunction. The PTA participates with the physical therapist in planning and implementing complex treatment programs and applies physical therapy procedures to patients under the general supervision of a physical therapist. Responsibilities Duties include, but are not limited to: 1. Under the general direction of a physical therapist, the PTA assists with a preliminary review/examination of patient data (including medical history), compiles and organizes pertinent information, and develops/presents a patient profile to assist in assessing patient's status and ascertaining patient's need for therapy services. 2. Assists with development of treatment goals under the supervision of and collaboration with a physical therapist. 3. Administers patient treatments. The incumbent of this position, with guidance of the Physical Therapist, implements a program relating to the treatment of typical patients. He/She displays competence in using a full range of modalities including heat, cold, sound, electricity and massage. Treatments provided by PTA include, but are not limited to, range of motion, gait training, muscle strengthening, coordination, endurance, postural balance, transfer training (with/without orthosis, prosthesis), therapeutic exercise, massage, all electrical modalities, traction, TENS, EMS high and low voltage, family training and home program. The PTA instructs, motivates and assists patients in learning and improving functional activities such as perambulation, transfers, daily living activities and advanced exercise techniques. 4. Coordinates/interfaces with others. Fits patients for, adjusts and trains in use of orthoses, prostheses and supportive devices such as crutches, canes, walkers and wheelchairs. As a member of the interdisciplinary team, confers with the physical therapy staff and other health team members individually and in conference to exchange, discuss and evaluate patient information for planning, modifying and coordinating treatment programs and discharge planning. Supervises volunteers, aides and non-physical therapy students. Monitors treatment administered by physical therapy assistants through peer review. Performs various tasks such as taking inventory, ordering supplies, answering telephone, taking messages, compiling statistics and computer data entry for scheduling of individual patients. The incumbent schedules and administers treatment in a manner that the patient will receive maximum benefit from therapy. He/She must be able to demonstrate tact and patience, and maintain an appropriate attitude in order to contribute to the physical and mental well being of the patient. Incumbent must also gain each patient's confidence and cooperation and provide patient health education in a manner understood by the patient. 5. Documents information. The incumbent of this position is able to recognize and report orally or in writing to his/her supervisor any unusual reactions, contraindications or possible inappropriate treatment of assigned patients. At all times, incumbent must maintain vigilance in order to prevent injury to the patients from overdosages, falls or unwise activity. Incumbent practices universal precautions. 6. Maintains equipment and work areas. The incumbent is responsible for the proper order of the treatment area, such as sanitation, safe use of mechanical equipment and its proper working order, as well as preparation of the treatment area and instructions to patient such as correct positioning before treatment. The incumbent may also be involved in such duties as taking inventory, ordering supplies, materials and equipment for clinic or patient use. 7. Provides guidance/supervision. Provides support to other physical therapy assistants. Supervises volunteers, physical therapy aides and non-physical therapy students and personnel. 8. Takes active role in development and monitoring of section specific quality measurement activities to the extent of not only gathering data but ability to determine patient treatment and projected outcome in order to increase the usefulness of the monitor as need occurs. Work Schedule: Full time 7:30 - 4:00 Monday - Friday and Tuesday - Saturday alternating weeks Financial Disclosure Report: Not required Requirements Conditions of Employment 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. Education: Individuals must meet at least one of the requirements below: Associate degree from an accredited community college, junior college, college or university in a physical therapy assistant education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education Graduate of foreign physical therapy assistant degree programs that meet the educational requirement and have successfully passed the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) for PTAs. Graduate of military physical therapy assistant programs that meet the educational requirement and have successfully passed the NPTE for PTAs. Licensure: Current, full, active and unrestricted license as a PTA in a State, Territory or Commonwealth (i.e. Puerto Rico) of the United States, or District of Columbia. English Language Proficiency: PTA candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f). 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). 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) Employees 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 journey level or placed in supervisory or managerial positions. (2) Employees in an occupation requiring a licensure/certification/registration only at higher grade levels must meet the licensure/certification/registration requirement before they can be promoted to those higher-grade levels. (3) 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 this standard. (4) Employees 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 reentry to the occupation. (5) Employees initially grandfathered into this occupation, who subsequently obtain additional education and/or licensure/certification/registration that meet all the basic requirements of this qualification standard must maintain the required credentials as a condition of employment in the occupation. Preferred Experience: PTA Certificates Grade Determinations: GS-05: None beyond the basic requirements. GS-06: Experience: One year of creditable experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade, GS-05. AND Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: In addition to the basic requirements, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: (a) Knowledge of evidence based physical therapy practice. (b) Ability to perform physical therapy data collection and use of objective measures in order to carry out patient plan of care. (c) Ability to modify treatment approaches, within the scope of the established treatment plans, to reflect patients' changing needs. (d) Skill in promoting physical therapy services by providing training and interventions within the assigned areas. GS-07 Experience: One year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade, GS-06. AND Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: In addition to the basic requirements, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: (a) Ability to perform in depth chart review to implement treatment plans. (b) Ability to independently use objective measures to assess progress, in accordance with the plan of care for complex patient cases. (c) Knowledge of contemporary physical therapy practice. (d) Ability to consult with the PT to assess progress, modify treatment and set discharge plan. GS-08 Experience: One year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade, GS-07. AND Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: In addition to the basic requirements, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: (a) Ability to independently implement treatment plan using knowledge of techniques related to the patient's disability and needs. (b) Ability to independently provide varied and multifaceted physical therapy interventions based on the established care plan (e.g., therapeutic exercise, balance, body mechanics, flexibility, strength, gait training, neuromotor development, physical agents, functional training, etc.). (c) Knowledge of physical therapy data collection and assessment techniques in order to perform specific interventions and to monitor and capture progress of the patient/client. (d) Ability to instruct patient on varied interventions to provide materials to enhance compliance with home programs. (e) Ability to modify treatment techniques based on the learning needs and perceptions of the patient. (f) Ability to identify critical changes (e.g. vital signs, pain, mobility and alertness) in patient conditions to determine their medical and functional status. (g) Ability to work with PTs and other interdisciplinary healthcare team members to evaluate patient information for planning, modifying and coordinating treatment programs and discharge planning. References: VA Handbook 5005/139, PART II, APPENDIX G23 The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-08. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-05 to GS-08. Physical Requirements: Ability to walk, to get to other hospital locations on a daily basis, standing, repeated bending, reaching overhead, and pushing patients and objects for up to four hours per regular shift, prolonged sitting, moderate lifting and carrying of 15-44 pounds. Education IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application. 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.