Medical Supply Technician (Sterile Processing)
The Medical Supply Technician (MST) is responsible for the decontamination and processing of all Reusable Medical Equipment (RME). The primary purpose of this position is to independently perform the full range of duties required to decontaminate, clean, sterilize, process, prepare, store, and distribute medical supplies and equipment used in all areas of the hospital.
Medical equipment designed to be reused for multiple patients is considered RME. Full performance of the MST is to ensure the best possible product is delivered: the right item, at the right time, in the right condition, ready for use. Duties of the MST are primarily involved with the following functions pertaining to Reusable Medical Equipment: decontamination and disinfection, sterilization and preparation of equipment (assembly), and sterile storage and distribution. Decontamination and Disinfection: Determine proper methods and processes to follow per SOP's and manufacturer's instructions to decontaminate instruments and equipment. Remove gross contamination by soaking in appropriate detergent solutions, washing with a detergent blood solvent, scrubbing with a brush, rinsing in tap and then distilled water or washing in an ultrasonic unit and/or washer-sterilizer. Decontaminate all reusable supplies and equipment in a manner rendering all decontaminated items safe for handling. Remove items from washers and pass-through and determine type of tray or set to assemble based on recognition of key items and the operating room or clinic schedules. Sterilization and Assembly: Examine items to ensure that gross contamination has been removed; if items remain contaminated, send back to decontamination for complete reprocessing. When required, properly disassemble surgical instruments avoiding damage or unnecessary wear. Use seasoned judgment to ensure minimum potential for damage to equipment. Assemble sets and trays by selecting appropriate tray, lining it with a towel, and arranging instruments in the tray in the correct manner; ensuring a logically arranged package that will permit effective penetration of the sterilizing medium and ease of use by end user. Determine appropriate method of sterilization and attach chemical indicator tape to package. Sterilize items referencing SOP's, special parameters list and or STERIS V-Pro/ETO authorized list to determine that correct parameters (e.g. time, temperature, and pressure) are obtained. Monitor operation of sterilizer with prescribed tests. Visually examine items for damage, deterioration, or imperfections such as rust, pitting, and cracks. Operate medical equipment after reassembly to ensure proper function and send malfunctioning or damaged equipment to repair or salvage unit. Aerate gas-sterilized items for correct period and complete proper documentation. Sterile Storage and Distribution: Fill requests for items based on daily schedules of needs or on individual requisitions. Distribute items according to established requirements, special requests, or as requisitioned. Consult with the Operating Room staff and clinic customers on items in short supply or out of stock, recommending possible substitutions. Rotate stock in accordance with the FIFO (First In, First Out) system. Assist with inventory of supplies needed for production and end users. Attend training on procedures associated with set-up, use, reprocessing, and maintenance of new equipment prior to its initial use that leads to initial competency and validation of that competency on a recurring basis. Oversee the work of lower-grade employees. Work Schedule:
Monday - Friday, 1:00 pm - 9:30 pm Financial Disclosure Report: Not required.
Conditions of Employment
1. United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.
2. Experience and/or Education: (a) Experience. Six months of experience that demonstrates the applicant's ability to perform the work or provides an understanding of the work; or (b) Education. One year above high school that included at least 6 semester hours in health care related courses such as sterile processing, nursing assistant, hospital corpsman, and operating room and surgical technician courses or other courses related to the position; or (c) Experience/Education Combination. Equivalent combination of experience and education are qualifying for entry level for which both education and experience are acceptable. 3. Certification: None.
4. Grandfathering Provision: All MSTs that are employed in VHA in this occupation on the effective date of this qualification standard are considered to have met all qualification requirements for the title, series and grade held, that are part of the basic requirements of the occupation. 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: (a) Employees grandfathered into the GS-622 occupational series as MSTs may be reassigned, promoted up to and including the full performance (journeyman) level, or changed to lower grade within the occupation. (b) MSTs 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 the standard. (c) MSTs 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. English Language Proficiency: MSTs must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3j of VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G47. Specialized Experience:
1. Knowledge of universal precautions for safety and prevention of cross contamination.
2. Basic knowledge of medical terminology to facilitate assembly of specialty operating room/clinic instrument sets.
3. Ability to communicate both orally and in writing.
4. Basic knowledge of surgical instruments used in the operating room and clinic settings.
5. Basic knowledge of event-related packaging regarding sterility.
6. Knowledge of sterilization and cleaning equipment. Grade Determinations:
GS-03 (Entry Level) None beyond the basic requirements. GS-04 (Developmental Level) (a) Experience. Six months experience as a MST, operating room or surgical technician or other position that demonstrated knowledge of sterile processing in a clinical setting;
(b) Education. Two years of education above high school that included at least 12 semester hours in courses related to the occupation.
NOTE: Successful completion of a course for medical technicians, hospital corpsmen, medical service specialists, or nursing assistants obtained in a training program given by the Armed Forces, the U.S. Maritime Service, or hospitals under close medical and professional supervision, may be substituted on a month-for-month basis for up to 6 months of experience.
(c) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience or education above, the candidate must demonstrate the KSAs below:
1. Knowledge of universal precautions for safety and prevention of cross contamination.
2. Basic knowledge of medical terminology in order to assemble specialty operating room/clinic instrument sets.
3. Basic knowledge of sterilization and cleaning equipment.
4. Ability to communicate both orally and in writing. GS-05 (Developmental Level) (a) Experience. One year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade level;
(b) Education. Four academic years above high school leading to a Bachelor's degree with at least 12 semester hours in courses related to the occupation or a Bachelor's degree.
(c) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience or education above, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:
1. Basic knowledge of surgical instruments used in operating rooms and clinic settings.
2. Basic knowledge of event-related packaging in regards to sterility.
3. Knowledge of sterilization and cleaning equipment. GS-06 (Full Performance Level) (a) Experience. One year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade level.
(b) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:
1. Knowledge of surgical instruments used in operating rooms and clinic settings.
2. Knowledge of universal precautions for safety and prevention of cross contamination.
3. Working knowledge of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, microbiology, medical conditions and procedures.
4. Knowledge of sterility principles in regards to instrumentation.
5. Ability to read and interpret written instructions and procedures. References: VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G47. The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-6. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-3 to GS-6. Physical Requirements: This work is performed in various settings: decontamination, preparation, clean sterile supply (preparation) and in other services and departments throughout the medical facility/campus. The MST (Developmental Level) may be required to work in areas that are hot, cold, drafty and poorly lighted. The employee is subject to the possibility of falls, scrapes, cuts, bruises, and other injuries from material handling equipment. The work requires standing and walking during the entire workday and frequent bending and lifting of packages (occasionally weighing as much as 50 pounds). The work requires dexterity and visual acuity for manipulating, disassembly and assembly of instrumentation. Working Conditions: On a regular and recurring basis, the employee alternates between a contaminated environment and a carefully controlled clean environment. The employee wears special clothing, hair covers, personal protective equipment and shoe covers that can be uncomfortably warm. The employee uses insulated gloves to remove carts from sterilizers. The employee is subject to burns from accidentally touching hot items. The hazards of working around minute quantities of sterilizing gasses are unknown. The employee often works around body fluids, mucous, excretions and bits of tissue, some of which may be foul smelling. Strong, unpleasant odors are encountered while decontaminating bloody or grossly contaminated instrumentation or reusable medical equipment. The work area is noisy due to the clatter of metal instruments, rumbling of carts and operation of pre-sterilizing equipment.
IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education. 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-v....
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.