Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Physician Assistant in Tacoma, Washington

Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
1 vacancy in the following location:
  • Tacoma, WA
Work Schedule is Full Time - Permanent

Opened Monday 10/10/2016 (9 day(s) ago)

** Closes Saturday 9/30/2017 (346 day(s) away)

Job Overview

Vacancy Identification Number (VIN) 1820770

OUR MISSION: To fulfill President Lincoln's promise – "To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" – by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's Veterans.

As a VA professional, your opportunities are endless. Not only is it the largest, most technologically advanced integrated health care system in the Nation, but we also provide many other services to Veterans through the Benefits Administration and National Cemeteries. VA professionals feel good about their careers and their ability to balance work and home life. VA offers generous paid time off and a variety of predictable and flexible scheduling opportunities. For more information on the Department of Veterans Affairs, go to 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.**


The Physician Assistant (PA) provides direct patient general medical care and consultation to a broad spectrum of patients within the Mental Health Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program (MHRRTP) at the American Lake Division of the VA Puget Sound Health Care System (VAPSHCS). The PA applies professional diagnostic methods to a full range of general medical problems while patients are in treatment with the MHRRTP. The incumbent works under the clinical supervision of a Staff Psychiatrist assigned to the MHRRTP, with additional guidance on general medical issues from a supplementary supervising physician from the General Medicine Service. The PA provides medical services that include, but are not limited to:

  • Consultation with or arrangement of consultation visits to specialty providers and services

  • Screening of patients with acute medical complaints and triage to emergency or urgent care services when indicated

  • Collaborative coordination of patient care with medical and mental health providers

  • Documenting assessment and clinical care activities according to standards by mental health service

  • Ordering and interpretation of laboratory, radiological and diagnostic tests

  • Ordering of medications and monitoring medications to adjust for changes in symptoms and/or side effects

  • Comprehensive admission history and physicals examinations, admission orders, aftercare plans and discharge summaries.

  • Conducting prescreening reviews to determine patient's medical clearance to the MHRRTP.

  • Providing and coordinating medical care for assigned patients receiving care within the Mental Health Residential Rehabilitation and Recovery Treatment Program (MHRRTP), including establishing diagnoses, interpreting and analyzing medical data, formulating and implementing care plans, and recommending follow-up care upon discharge from the MHRRTP.

  • Providing consultation to health care providers (medical and/or non-medical staff) about assessment findings related to general medical conditions and treatment needs to be included in the overall treatment planning process to ensure that care is coordinated, collaborative, and integrated.

  • Admitting and discharging patients in consultation with, and on behalf of, the collaborating physician.

  • Analyzes ethical/care issues, applying appropriate theoretical principles and ensures application of institutional policy. Provides considerate care, respecting Veteran/family and staff personal values and belief systems.

  • Complies with all Service Line documentation requirements, including standards for timely completion of CPRS patient contact notes, use of required documentation templates, clinical reminders, treatment plans, and risk assessment protocols.

  • Assists the Program Manager and/or Section Director in the design, development, and implementation of clinical assessment and/or intervention programs.

  • Facilitates liaisons with other health care programs in order to effectively coordinate services.

  • Complies with national and local performance measures and facilitates organizational success on these measures at the team level.

  • Attends and participates in administrative and informational meetings held by the Program Manager, Section Director, Service Line Leader (or designee), Chief of Staff, and/or Facility Director.

Tour of Duty is M-F 8:00 – 4:30pm

Recruitment and Relocation Incentives are not authorized for this position.

Department of Veterans Affairs employees will receive first consideration.

Travel Required
  • Not Required
Relocation Authorized
  • No
Job Requirements
Key Requirements
  • Must pass pre-employment examination
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English
  • Designated and-or Random Drug Testing required
  • Background and-or Security Investigation required
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
  • This is a bargaining unit position.

Basic Requirements:

U.S. citizenship. Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.

Must be proficient in written and spoken English.


Hold a current and continuous certification by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) is required for employment in VHA.

Recent PA graduates who are eligible to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) may be employed by VA on a temporary basis (38 U.S.C. 7405), for a period NTE two years.

Education or Training

must meet the following:

Graduate of a PA training program, or of a surgical assistant program accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) or one of its predecessor organizations; and

A Bachelor's degree from an accredited PA training program or in another health sciences related field from an accredited college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education


In addition to the basic requirements stated in above, the following qualifications criteria must be met. Requirements for appointment or promotion to a specific grade are based on your ability to demonstrate the elements described.

* a. Full Grade.* In addition to meeting the basic requirements for this grade you must meet all the following:

(1) Experience / Education. None beyond the basic requirements of this standard.

(2) Clinical Competencies

(a) Clinical Proficiency

  1. Provides effective care to patients characterized by the use of sound judgment in assessing, planning, implementing, documenting, and evaluating patient care for assigned patients. This includes possessing the skill and competency to obtain thorough medical histories, perform comprehensive physical examinations, order appropriate diagnostic studies, interpret and analyze medical data, establish diagnoses, formulate and implement treatment plans, and modify treatment plans when appropriate.

  2. Works effectively and makes appropriate requests for assistance from the assigned physician and recognizes complex patient care situations where referral is appropriate.

  3. References quality improvement information and organizes patient care needs to assure safe, efficient and cost-effective care. 4. Initiates effective actions in emergencies.

(b) Professional Development

  1. Obtains additional knowledge and skills appropriate to the practice setting to improve performance.

  2. Provides patient education in an effective manner.

(c) Ethics. Safeguards patient privacy and confidentiality. Provides care in a nonjudgmental, non-discriminatory manner respecting the patient's values and beliefs.

(d) Interpersonal Skills. Works effectively with patients, families, caregivers, and other professional and support personnel.

(e) Research

  1. Demonstrates awareness of research application to practice.

  2. Researches medical literature and applies evidenced-based medicine to improve clinical practice

b. Intermediate Grade. In addition to meeting the basic requirements, you must meet all requirements described in this standard for Full Grade. For the Intermediate Grade you must demonstrate the ability to analyze and solve more complex medical problems and meet the following requirements:

(1) Experience/Education

(a) 1 year of professional practice as a PA; or

(b) Successful completion of a PA post-graduate residency program accredited by ARC-PA or by the U.S. Armed Forces; or

(c) A Master's degree from a PA training program certified by ARC-PA or in another health-related field from an accredited college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

(2) Clinical Competencies

(a) Clinical Proficiency

  1. Effectively treats patients with more complex medical problems requiring a higher degree of clinical skill and competency than that expected of the previous grade.

  2. Performs more complex diagnostic and therapeutic procedures requiring skills and competency, as applicable to the assignment, beyond that expected in the previous grade.

  3. Practices with a higher degree of autonomy and seeks guidance from the assigned physician less frequently than expected of the previous grade.

  4. Evaluates the delivery system of patient care within the area of assignment, presents findings and recommendations, and contributes to changes that enhance the quality and timeliness of care.

(b) Professional Development

  1. Acquires knowledge and skills to maintain expertise in area of practice.

  2. Shares medical literature research findings with colleagues to enhance patient care delivery.

  3. Participates in educational activities to improve clinical knowledge and enhance role performance.

  4. Serves as a clinical preceptor to healthcare students.

  5. Serves on service level committees or subcommittees when assigned. (

c) Ethics

  1. Identifies medical ethical issues and takes appropriate actions. 2. Supports and enhances patient self-determination.

(d) Interpersonal Skills. Collaborates effectively with other occupations and services to identify, analyze, and resolve patient care problems.

(e) Research 1. Shares medical literature research findings with colleagues to enhance patient care delivery. 2. Uses a body of research to validate or change group practice.

c. Senior Grade. In addition to meeting the basic requirements, you must meet all requirements described in this standard for Intermediate Grade. For the Senior Grade you must demonstrate the behaviors or responsibilities listed in one or more of the following categories: Clinical Proficiency, Education, Professional Development, Management/Administrative, and Research, as applicable to the assignment (1) Experience / Education (a) 3 years of professional practice as a PA; or (b) 2 years of professional practice as a PA and successful completion of a PA post-graduate residency program accredited by ARC-PA or by the U.S. Armed Forces; or (c) 2 years of professional practice as a PA and a Master's degree from a PA training program certified by ARC-PA or in another health-related field from an accredited college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education; or (d) A Doctoral degree in a health-related field from an accredited college or university recognized by the U. S. Department of Education. (2) Management/Administrative. One of the following responsibilities must be demonstrated: (a) Evaluates service level patient care delivery systems and validates or identifies barriers to safe, effective care. Presents findings and recommendations to appropriate management officials and participates in implementation of changes. (b) Manages patient quality management data bases such as the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) if assigned. (c) Serves on service or facility committees/task forces if applicable to the assignment. (d) Coordinates consult referrals within the service assigned. (e) Coordinates and facilitates inter-service agreements. (3) Clinical Competencies

(a) Clinical Proficiency 1. Manages patients with complex or multi-system medical problems. 2. Practices with a significant degree of autonomy and seeks guidance from assigned physicians with less frequency than expected at the previous grade. 3. Performs more complex diagnostic and therapeutic procedures beyond what is expected at the previous grade. 4. First or second assists in surgical procedures.

(b) Professional Development 1. Acts as a consultant/mentor to PAs in lower grades and other clinical and support staff. 2. Serves as a clinical preceptor for students or organizes and participates in facility clinical educational programs. 3. Makes sustained contribution to health care by sharing expertise within and/or outside the medical facility. (c) Ethics. Identifies and addresses ethical issues that impact patients and staff including participation in ethics consultations if appropriate to the area of assignment. (d) Interpersonal Skills 1. Communicates and collaborates effectively with other facility staff and outside institutions when applicable to the area of assignment. 2. Effectively promotes the physician assistant profession to health care staff, patients and other stakeholders at the local level. 3. Makes significant contributions which serve to enhance the distinctive role of PAs within the local institution and the health care system. (e) Research 1. Collaborates with others in research activities to improve patient care, or; 2. Authors, or collaborates with others, on a paper or study for publication. Reference: VA Handbook 5005/78, Part II, Appendix G8 PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT QUALIFICATION STANDARD

Physical Requirements:The physical requirements of this position include occasional lifting, prolonged standing and sitting, frequent bending, walking (distance), climbing, reaching (overhead, extensive/repetitive), repetitive motion, and stooping. The mental/sensory requirements include recall, reasoning, problem-solving, hearing, speaking clearly, writing legibly, reading, and logical thinking. The working pace can vary from steady to a sometimes fast pace requiring handling of multiple priorities, frequent, sometimes intense customer interactions, and the ability to adapt to frequent changes in a sometimes noisy environment. There may be an occasional need to use personal protective equipment to prevent exposure to disease, illness, and hazardous materials.

Security Clearance


Additional Information
What To Expect Next

After we receive application packages (including all required documents) and the vacancy announcement closes, we will review applications to ensure qualification and eligibility requirements are met. During our review, if your résumé and application package do not support your questionnaire answers, we will adjust your rating accordingly. After the review is complete, a referral certificate(s) is issued and applicants will be notified of their status by email (if provided); otherwise, applicants will receive a notification letter via the U.S. Postal Service. Referred applicants will be notified as such and may be contacted directly by the hiring office for an interview. All referred applicants receive a final notification once a selection decision has been made.

You may check the status of your application at any time by logging into your USAJOBS account and clicking on “Application Status.” For a more detailed update of your status, click on “more information.” Information regarding applicant notification pointscan be found in the USAJobs Resource Center.


VA offers a comprehensive benefits package. This link provides is an overview of the benefits currently offered:**

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.

Other Information

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.

This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status.

Salary Range: $38,517.00 to $98,702.00 / Per Year

Series & Grade: VN-0603-00/00

Supervisory Status: No

Who May Apply: United States Citizens

Control Number: 452854700

Job Announcement Number: 17-T38-MFW-1820770-MHS-BU