The Dental Hygienist provides direct patient care under the general supervision of the dentist and performs other clinical and clerical functions independently of direct supervision. It is expected that the hygienist provides direct patient care and receives guidance from higher-level or supervisory staff members for only the most complex patients.
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The dental hygienist is a direct patient care provider. Clinical duties include review of medical/dental history; examination of teeth and surrounding tissues; provision of oral prophylaxis, scaling and root planning, and denture care. Applies topical fluorides, desensitizing and sealant materials. Provides patient education based on the assessed needs of the patient to include oral hygiene care and tobacco counseling. Duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Setting up operatory for planned dental procedures and cleans dental unit for timely turnover.
- Provides routine oral prophylactic care to include application of fluoride solutions.
- Provides gross debridement, deep scaling, and curettage, deep scaling and root planning procedures.
- Manages dental recall system, referring patients to the doctor for additional care when needed.
- Applies desensitizing and sealant materials.
- Makes impressions for fluoride carrier trays.
- Provides patient education appropriate to the Veteran’s needs and oral condition.
- Demonstrates proper infection control procedures in setting up and cleaning up operatory.
- Instruments are properly prepared for sterilization by SPD standards and prepared in a manner that does not delay clinical care.
- Assists patients in scheduling appointments.
- Charts findings, treatment plans, and treatment provided in patient records.
- The selectee(s) may also perform all other duties as assigned, pertaining to this occupation, to meet the needs of the Agency, Department, Facility, and/or Service.
Work Schedule: Monday thru Friday; 8:00AM – 4:30PM
Telework Eligible: Not Eligible
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required
Conditions of Employment
- You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
- Designated and/or random drug testing may be required
- Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
- You may be required to serve a probationary period
- Subject to a background/security investigation
- Must be proficient in written and spoken English
- Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process
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.
- Citizenship: Must be a Citizen of the United States. Education. Associate Degree or higher in an accredited dental hygiene program. This program must be accredited by the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Licensure. Must be currently licensed to practice as a dental hygienist with a full, current, and unrestricted license in a State, Territory, or Commonwealth of the United States, or the District of Columbia.
- Certification. Public Law 97-35 requires that persons who administer radiologic procedures meet the credentialing standards in 42 CFR Part 75. Essentially, they must have successfully completed an educational program that meets or exceeds the standards described in that regulation, and is accredited by an organization recognized by the Department of Education, and be certified as radiographers in their field. Accredited dental hygiene programs contain curriculum addressing radiologic procedures which will meet the requirement for certification as dental radiographers.
Grandfathering Provision. All persons employed in VHA as a dental hygienist on the effective date of this qualification standard are considered to have met all qualification requirements for the title, series and grade held, including positive education and licensure/certification that are part of the basic requirements of the occupation. For employees who do not meet all the basic requirements 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 grandfathered into the GS-682 occupational series may be reassigned, promoted up to and including the full performance (journeyman) level, or changed to lower grade within the occupation, but may not be promoted beyond the journeyman level or placed in supervisory or managerial positions. 2) 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 the standard. 3) Employees initially grandfathered into this occupation, who subsequently obtain additional education and/or licensure/certification that meet all the basic requirements of this qualification standard must maintain the required credentials as a condition of employment in the occupation. 4) If an employee who was retained as a dental hygienist under this provision leaves the occupation, the employee loses protected status and must meet the full VA qualification standard requirements in effect at the time of reentry as a dental hygienist. Physical Requirements. Musthave the mental, emotional, and physical ability to satisfactorily perform the duties of the proposed assignment and pass the requisite laboratory and other screening as required by Federal regulatory agencies, and meet Physical Requirements listed below. English Language Proficiency. Must be proficient in spoken and written English
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).
Grade Determinations: GS-9 Dental Hygienist
a) Experience. At least 1 year of experience at the next lower grade level (GS-08)* that demonstrates the clinical competencies described at that level.
*Examples of assignments and knowledge, skills and abilities (ksa’s) at the GS-08 grade level include but are not limited to: Assignment: Patient assessments (e.g. risk assessments, oral health assessments), prevention recommendations, prophylaxis, periodontal treatment for mild to moderate disease (e.g. scaling and root planing, full mouth debridement), Periodontal Screening and Recording (PSR) radiograph/image capture, fluoride treatment application, topical anesthesia administration, management of stable medically compromised patients (including risk factors). KSA’S: Knowledge of state of the art preventive dentistry measures for patient instruction and training; Knowledge of anatomy and physiology in order to interpret the examination request accurately; to understand the functioning and interrelationship of the various anatomical structures appearing on the radiographic image and the various stages of the examination to judge the acceptability of the radiograph for diagnostic use; and to present for viewing; Skill in providing individual and group oral health care instructions to inpatients, outpatients, Nursing Home Care Unit patients, etc.; Knowledge of VA, The Joint Commission (TJC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and related regulations and guidelines pertaining to dental matters.
b) Assignments. Assignments at this level include but are not limited to: patient medical assessment (e.g. medical/dental history, social history, vital signs, full periodontal assessment and charting), disease and treatment management recommendations, denture care, scaling and root planing, radiographs/image interpretation, patient education (e.g. post-procedure, tobacco cessation, caries and perio-disease prevention), behavior management, management of stable medically compromised patients (including risk factors), instrument sharpening, inter-service communication.
c) Demonstrated KSA’s. In addition to meeting the KSAs for the GS-8 level, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: Ability to assess the patient’s medical, dental, anxiety/phobias, medications and comorbidities for safe patient care; Ability to assess the impact of patient’s medical and dental condition on maintaining oral health, recognize age-related changes in individual patients, adapt patient environment, and maximize patient’s physical comfort; Skill in detecting plaque and calculus, dental abnormalities/pathologies, assessing inflammation and providing safe instrumentation for each procedure; Knowledge to select appropriate available fluoride products and indications/limitations for safe and proper application; Knowledge of hygiene procedures in order to explain the process and indication, complications and expected treatment outcomes for each; Knowledge of proper usage of dental radiography equipment, radiation safety, assessment of proper image capture and interpretation of films; and Skill in educating patients and caregivers on periodontal disease, wellness, health maintenance, oral hygiene practices, parafunctional habits, and effects of illness, addictions, medications and tobacco on the oral cavity.
References: VA Handbook 5005, Appendix G37, Dated: 5/12/2014
The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-9. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-9.
Physical Requirements: The work requires some physical exertion such as long periods of standing, walking, stooping, stretching and lifting moderately heavy items. Work requires some physical exertion such as sitting and bending for long periods of time. Some patients may be confined to a stretcher or wheelchair and it may be necessary to treat them in an awkward position. Incumbent must use good ergonomic technique and safe work practices. Above average dexterity and fine motor skills are required to treat patients in an atraumatic fashion using sharp dental instruments in the proximity of nerves and blood vessels. Incumbent is regularly exposed to communicable diseases. He/she must use the personal protective equipment suitable for the specific dental procedure. Incumbent is also exposed to radiation and toxic material; he/she must again use practices which provide a safe environment for self, patients and staff.
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-visitus-forrecog.html .
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 .
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. Your application, résumé, C.V., and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect consideration for employment.
Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
Position sensitivity and risk
Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk
Trust determination process
Credentialing , Suitability/Fitness
To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:
The following documents are accepted, and may be required if applicable to your eligibility and/or qualifications for this position. Please use this checklist to ensure you have included all documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify), SF-50’s (current/former Federal employees), etc.
- Cover Letter
- DD-214/ Statement of Service
- Disability Letter (VA)
- VA Form – 10-2850C – Application – https://www.va.gov/vaforms/medical/pdf/vha-10-2850c-fill.pdf
- Performance Appraisal
- Professional Certification
- SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action
VA Form 10-2850c Application for Associated Health Occupations can be found at: https://www.va.gov/vaforms/medical/pdf/vha-10-2850c-fill.pdf .
Veterans’ Preference: When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference for 5pt (TP), 10pt (CP/CPS/XP), or for Sole Survivor Preference (SSP) in the questionnaire. You must provide a legible copy of your DD214(s) which shows dates and character of service (honorable, general, etc.). If you are currently serving on active duty and expect to be released or discharged within 120 days you must submit documentation related to your active duty service which reflects the dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), and dates of impending separation. Additionally, disabled veterans and others eligible for 10-point preference (such as widows or mothers of eligible Veterans) must also submit an SF-15 “Application for 10 Point Veteran Preference” with required proof as stated on the form. Documentation is required to award preference. For more information on Veterans’ Preference, please visit http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/vetpref/index.aspx .
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.