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English Language Proficiency. Orthotists, prosthetists, or orthotist/prosthetists must be proficient in spoken and written as required by 38 U.S.C. 7402(d). Education
(1) A bachelor's degree or higher in orthotics and prosthetics from a Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accredited program.
(2) A bachelor's degree or higher in any major along with a post-graduate orthotics or prosthetics certificate from a CAAHEP accredited program. Foreign Graduates. Graduates of foreign degree programs must have proof of a minimum of a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university (or foreign equivalent, as verified through an independent credential evaluation company), with a specialization in orthotics and prosthetics. Board Certification. Candidates must be board certified by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics (ABC) or the Board for Orthotist/Prosthetist Certification (BOC) as an orthotist, prosthetist, or orthotist/prosthetist. The board certificate must be current and the applicant must abide by the certifying body's requirements for continuing education. Certification as a technician, pedorthist, assistant or fitter does not meet this requirement. Grade Requirements (GS-5, Entry Level)
Experience. None beyond the basic requirements. Assignment. Assignments at this grade level are entry level trainee in nature where the individual receives developmental assignments designed to build upon the base knowledge, skills, and abilities. The orthotist/prosthetist at this level receives training and instruction to develop proficiency in essential occupational tasks such as taking measurements, patient communication, and fabrication and fitting of simple appliances. The work is performed under close supervision. Grade Requirements (GS-7, Developmental Level)
Experience. One year of creditable experience as an orthotist/prosthetist equivalent to the next lower
grade level. Assignment. Assignments at this grade level represent a developmental level where the individual continues developing the more complex knowledge, skills, and abilities to prepare for substantially independent functioning at the GS-9 grade level. The work includes consultation with the physician, therapist, and/or senior orthotist/prosthetist staff members to obtain and understand the prescription; taking measurements for fabrication and fitting for common disability levels including orthoses for the trunk and cervical spine, leg braces, and prostheses for short or long stumps; and fabrication and fitting of those appliances. Supervision is close for developmental assignments and more general in nature for assignments for which the individual has demonstrated competency. The supervisor is present at final fittings. Grade Requirements (GS-9, Developmental Level)
Education. Education equivalent to 2 full years of progressively higher-level graduate education or master's or equivalent graduate degree in orthotics and/or prosthetics, provided the applicant's total background demonstrates the core competencies for GS-9 level assignment.
Experience. Completion of 1 year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade level which demonstrates possession of the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to provide orthotic/prosthetic services in a hospital setting. Assignments. Employees at this level perform a broad range of orthotic and prosthetic services designing custom devices using standard components to optimize patient performance for difficult and complex but typical conditions. Assignments include clinic attendance to provide information on standard and stock items which are readily available. The work involves identification of the biomechanical condition; explaining procedures to patients to reduce anxiety and gain support and cooperation; detailed patient assessment including conducting gait analysis, range of motion, coordination and balance, and motor skills; interviewing patients for lifestyle assessments; taking necessary measurements, casts, or scans to develop positive molds; recognizing physical abnormalities, deviations, and complicating conditions; fabricating, fitting, and evaluating these custom devices; and maintenance of the patient's record. The work may include use of Computer Assisted Design/Computer Assisted Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) systems. Grade Requirements (GS-11, Full Performance Level)
Experience. Completion of 1 year of experience as an orthotist/prosthetist equivalent to the next lower grade level that demonstrates possession of the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to provide orthotic/prosthetic services in a hospital setting. Assignments. This is considered to be the full performance level. The orthotist/prosthetist communicates and interacts with physicians, allied health professionals, patients, and caregivers in various interdisciplinary clinical settings, rehabilitation medicine, orthopedics, neurosurgery, vascular care, podiatry, oncology, etc., as a subject matter expert to develop the orthotic and/or prosthetic treatment plan. The work includes complex patient analyses in accordance with established procedures for patients with unusual conditions, multiple complex conditions, interrelated conditions, etc.; assessment of the patient for indications/contra-indications and discussion of the assessment with the physician/requesting provider for the purpose of developing the overall treatment plan with considerable influence in the development of that plan; consideration of new and emerging technologies in designing unique or innovative devices to accommodate or treat a wide range of complex medical conditions which include unusual problems or complications. The orthotist/prosthetist at this level is expected to recognize physical abnormalities, deviations, and complicating conditions with potentially life-threatening implications. The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-11. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy will be GS-11. 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 including their physical, mental and emotional capacities, without endangering their health or the health of their co-workers. See VA Directive and Handbook 5019.
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