The Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) works for the Physical Therapy Section of the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service (PM&RS) of the VA NJHCS. The PTA is responsible for providing the duties associated with the STRIDE program. In addition, the incumbent is responsible for assisting with administration of clinical rehabilitation treatments in various areas, including Acute Care, the Community Living Center (CLC), Domiciliary, Outpatient Clinics, and Wellness Center. 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 Citizenship. Citizen of the United States. Education. Applicants must have successfully completed an 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 (CAPTE) OR, 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. OR, 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. Exceptions for Non-Licensed Physical Therapy Assistant Non-licensed applicants who otherwise meet the minimum qualification requirements, but who do not possess state licensure, may be appointed, pending licensure, as a graduate PTA on a full-time temporary appointment under the authority of 38 U.S.C. § 7401(a)(1)(B) and not to exceed two years in accordance with the timeframe in 38 U.S.C. § 7405(c)(2)(B). Non-licensed individuals shall only provide care under the direct supervision of a licensed PTA or PT who meets all state regulatory requirements. Non-licensed individuals may only be appointed at the entry level and may not be promoted/converted until licensure is obtained Temporary appointments of non-licensed PTAs may not be extended beyond two years or converted to a new temporary appointment. English Language Proficiency. PTA candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with 38 U.S.C.7403(f). Grade Determinations GS-5: No requirements beyond the basic requirements listed above. GS-6: Applicants must have at least 1 year of experience comparable to the next lower grade level (GS-5). In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: Knowledge of evidence based physical therapy practice. Ability to perform physical therapy data collection and use of objective measures in order to carry out patient plan of care. Ability to modify treatment approaches, within the scope of the established treatment plans, to reflect patients' changing needs. Skill in promoting physical therapy services by providing training and interventions within the assigned areas. GS-7: Applicants must have at least 1 year of experience comparable to the next lower grade level (GS-6). In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: Ability to perform in depth chart review to implement treatment plans. Ability to independently use objective measures to assess progress, in accordance with the plan of care for complex patient cases, Knowledge of contemporary physical therapy practice. Ability to consult with the PT to assess progress, modify treatment and set discharge plan. GS-8: Applicants must have at least 1 year of experience comparable to the next lower grade level (GS-7). In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: Ability to independently implement treatment plan using knowledge of techniques related to the patient's disability and needs. 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.). 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. Ability to instruct patient on varied interventions to provide materials to enhance compliance with home programs. Ability to modify treatment techniques based on the learning needs and perceptions of the patient. Ability to identify critical changes (e.g. vital signs, pain, mobility and alertness) in patient conditions to determine their medical and functional status. 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. Preferred Experience: At least one year of experience as a Physical Therapy Assistant. Experience in inpatient acute care. References: VA Handbook 5005 Part II Appendix G-23, dated January 28, 2021. The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-8. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-7 to GS-8. Physical Requirements: Work is sedentary but also demands standing, walking, bending, twisting, and carrying light items. Heavy lifting, 45 pounds and over; use of fingers, both hands required; reaching above shoulders; walking (8 hours); standing (8hours); sitting/typing at computer workstation (4 hours); both legs required; far vision correctable in one eye to 20/20 and to 20/40 in the other; ability to distinguish basic colors; ability to distinguish shades of colors; hearing (aid permitted), and mental and emotional stability. See VA Directive and Handbook 5019. ["VA Careers - Physical Therapy: https://youtube.com/embed/Gi2hoFqIoqY Major duties and responsibilities include: The PTA is subject to rotating through various PM&RS rehabilitation clinics, and is responsible for administering highly specialized and diversified treatment for patients with varying levels of physical and mental disabilities as listed in incumbent's job specific competency, core competency checklist and high-performance development model. The incumbent communicates with professional personnel, such as physicians and nurses, the treatment plan and progress of patients in therapy. The incumbent administers non-complex active, active assistive and passive therapeutic exercises, strengthening exercises, and ADL activities. Instructs and assists patients in the learning and improving of functional activities such as pre-ambulation, transfer training, and ambulation training. Adjusts and trains in the use and care of orthotic devices, prostheses and supportive devices such as crutches, canes, walkers and splints. Adapts or makes changes in procedures and approaches under the supervision of the primary charge therapist. May measure patient's range of motion, length and girth of body parts and vital signs to determine effects of specific treatments or assist primary charge therapist with complex evaluations. The incumbent makes recommendations to the primary charge therapist/ physician for new treatment procedures in individual cases as indicated. Recommendations include change in patient's response to rehabilitation treatment and advising the supervising provider of patient progression/regression along with the treatment plan. Incumbent assists with modalities for whirlpool, moist heat, ice pack, cryotherapy, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, TENS, contrast baths, fluid therapy, paraffin, phonophoresis, application of external bandages. The incumbent will perform home evaluations and make recommendations for durable medical equipment, home modifications, and teach appropriate home exercise program and safety recommendations. The therapist assistant exercises independent judgment in interpreting findings of internal and external home environment structures, taking into consideration the patients' level of disability and functional impairments when developing recommendations to improve the patients' accessibility to their home. The incumbent is responsible for daily electronic encounter entries, current progress notes, daily patient scheduling/ attendance, assists with workload data; assists with daily/monthly/annual reports as required by the Program Supervisor. Other duties, as assigned. In addition, the Physical Therapy Assistant is responsible for performing the following clinical set up: Logging hydrocollator and freezer temperatures daily, monthly cleaning of hydrocollator and freezer. Monthly cleaning of hydrocollator and freezer. Faxing temperature logs to PM&RS office manager every Friday. Ensuring adequate linen supplies on a daily basis. Responsible for following policies and procedures, including notifying Chief of PT when temperatures are out of range or if there is equipment failure. Assignments: GS-7: This is a developmental level for PTAs. PTAs receive ongoing guidance from more experienced staff members and receive general direction by the treating PT. PTAs draw upon a broad base of practical and experiential knowledge to assist the PT in reaching pre-determined patient goals. PTAs work independently but still under the general direction of PTs. They observe patients' ability to perform specified tasks to provide ongoing assessment of information on patients' physical and functional status. PTAs work with the physical therapy staff to assess progress, modify treatment, and set discharge plan. They provide clinical direction for PTA students staff and other healthcare team members. GS-8: This is considered the journey level for PTAs. PTAs at this level collaborate with the primary PT then draw upon a broad base of practical knowledge and a well-developed treatment skill set in order to reach pre-determined patient goals by independently modifying techniques within the established plan of care. They implement the plan of care for patient cases, advance the program and continually review the patient's condition to determine their medical and functional status. They provide evidenced based skilled interventions including, but not limited to, therapeutic exercise, therapeutic activities, therapeutic modalities, gait training, transfer training, manual treatment, neuromuscular re-education, self-care and management training, education and group therapy. They evaluate and discuss patient information for planning, modifying and coordinating treatment programs and discharge planning. Work Schedule: Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM Telework: Not Available Virtual: This is not a virtual position Financial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
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