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Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Physical Therapist in Hot Springs, South Dakota


The primary function of the Physical Therapist is to provide direct patient care. The Physical Therapist will autonomously develop and implement a Physical Therapy treatment program utilizing judgement to modify the treatment due to changing medical conditions or because of a variety of severe physical and mental disabilities. Telework, if approved, will be on an Ad-Hoc basis only


Major duties include, but are not limited to: Reads and interprets the medical record to identify necessary elements and determine appropriateness of physical therapy assessment and treatment of patients. Practice physical therapy autonomously and refers clients to appropriate resources when the needs of the client can best be served by the expertise of other professionals or services. Educates current and potential referral sources about the scope of physical therapy services and the process of initiating physical therapy services. Elects screening methods appropriate to the client's performance context and communicates screening results and recommendations to the appropriate person, group or organization. Evaluates performance areas, performance components and performance context to establish a baseline level of functioning. Selects assessments to evaluate the client's level of function and follows defined protocols when standardized assessments are utilized. Educates clients and appropriate others about the purposes and procedures of the physical therapy evaluation. Develops and implements individualized physical therapy treatment programs for patients when clients may have a functional limitation or disability or may be at risk for a disabling condition. Documents evaluation results, treatment plans, patient response to treatment and education given in accordance with the rehabilitation work unit and Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organization (JCAHO) requirements, as well as the APTA guidelines. Initial evaluations will be completed in a timely manner. Demonstrates the knowledge and skills necessary when performing his/her duties in providing care appropriate to adult/geriatric clients. Must demonstrate knowledge of age associated changes, illness and potential disabilities in order to work with adult/geriatric client's status, to identify client's requirements in providing the care needed as described in policies and procedures and following sound practice. Involves the client family or significant other in decision making related to the client's plan of care when appropriate. Establish communication systems and operational practices that promote efficient and effective enterprise. There is evidence of team building, total quality improvement activities, employee issue resolution. Demonstrates active improvement in close coordination, collaboration and consultation with physicians, peers and other health care professionals in planning new or extended services appropriate for the medical center. Systematically assesses the efficiency and effectiveness of Physical Therapy services and designs and implements processes to support quality service delivery. Complies with medical record management policy and procedures, including documentation monitoring mechanism, qualitative and quantitative record reviews and problem identification and resolution. Allocate financial, space, equipment and human resources effectively in a manner which demonstrates commitment to quality health care delivery, improved productivity, technological advances, and cost effectiveness, resource shifts are timely and effectively made to meet changing priorities, facility initiatives and mission requirements and productivity goals. Operates effective section-level safety and occupational health program that meets VA and OSHA requirements. Establish an organizational structure and an operating system that ensures the effective, efficient and timely establishment of program goals and plans. Section management information systems and internal controls operate effectively and facilitate decision-making. There is minimal intervention or redirection required by higher-level management. Work Schedule: Mon-Friday 0730-1600

Financial Disclosure Report: Not required


Conditions of Employment


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:

(a) Citizenship. Citizen of the United States. (Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3g, this part.) (b) Education and Experience: The individual must meet at least one of the requirements below: Bachelor's degree in Physical Therapy AND five (5) years of progressively independent experience as a physical therapist. Master's degree in Physical Therapy AND two (2) years of progressively independent experience as a physical therapist. Doctorate degree in physical therapy. NOTE: Individuals must be a graduate of a Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) accredited college or university. The CAPTE is the only accreditation agency recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) to accredit entry-level physical therapy programs. Verification of accredited programs may be obtained from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) at (c) Licensure. Individuals must hold a full, current, and unrestricted license to practice physical therapy in a State, Territory or Commonwealth of the United States, or in the District of Columbia. Non-licensed PTs, who otherwise meet the basic requirements in this standard, may be given a temporary appointment as a graduate PT at the GS-11 grade level under the authority of 38 U.S.C. 7405 (a)(1)(D) for a period not-to-exceed two years from the date of employment on the condition that such PT provide care only under the supervision of a PT who is licensed. Failure to obtain licensure during that period is justification for termination of the temporary appointment. GS-11 (Entry Level) Grade Determinations: (a) Education, Experience, and Licensure. None beyond the basic requirements. (b) Assignment. PTs at this level are responsible for providing assessment and treatment intervention. PTs plan and modify treatment based on a patient's response to intervention and/or change in medical condition. PTs at this level may be given general assignments in any physical therapy program area where advanced specialized knowledge is not required or may serve as the sole PT such as in an outpatient clinic. Licensed PTs may provide oversight and delegate patient care responsibilities to a Physical Therapist Assistant, and/or delegate non-patient care duties to non-licensed staff. PTs that are not licensed must practice under the close supervision of a licensed PT. GS-12 (Full Performance Level) Grade Determinations: (a) Education, Experience and Licensure. In addition to the basic requirements, candidates must possess one year of experience equivalent to the GS-11 grade level, hold a valid unrestricted state license and demonstrate all the KSAs below: Ability to make autonomous clinical decisions in a Direct Access environment. This includes ability to independently evaluate and treat patients who seek physical therapy services. Skill in performing examinations and evaluations of individuals who have or may develop impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions related to conditions of the musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular, pulmonary, and/or integumentary systems while considering the effects attributable to unique psychosocial and environmental factors. Ability to interpret findings from examination and evaluation, select appropriate test and measures, and integrate findings into the physical therapy plan of care for the full range of patient populations. Ability to establish a diagnosis within the scope of physical therapy and identify the appropriate rehabilitation intervention, including referral to another provider for further consultation as clinically indicated. Ability to determine physical therapy prognosis by incorporating examination findings with the patient's preferences in order to set clinically appropriate treatment goals, optimize outcomes and maximize functional independence. Ability to independently provide clinical oversight of Physical Therapy Assistants as well as students on clinical affiliations who are in Doctoral PT Programs or PTA Programs. (b) Assignment. At the full performance level, PTs are responsible for independently providing assessment and treatment interventions to inpatients and outpatients received through healthcare provider referrals and patient self-referrals. Guided by differential and movement diagnoses, PTs perform examinations and evaluations of individuals who have or may develop impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions related to conditions of the musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular, pulmonary, and/or integumentary systems while considering the effects attributable to unique personal and environmental factors. PTs interpret findings from examination, diagnostic studies/medical tests and, during evaluation, select appropriate clinical tests and measures, and then integrate findings into the physical therapy plan of care for the full range of patient populations. PTs establish a diagnosis within the scope of physical therapy and identify the appropriate intervention to treat and/or refer to another provider for further consultation when needed. They determine physical therapy prognosis by incorporating examination findings with the patient's preferences for meaningful level of function in order to set clinically appropriate treatment goals and optimize outcomes. Physical therapists select appropriate equipment needed to substitute for loss of function or to substitute for limited function of individuals they treat. Staff PTs at this level practice autonomously, making recommendations and referrals to other medical specialties/services as clinically indicated during ongoing assessment of patients under their care. The staff PT may also develop and provide individualized clinical training experiences for physical therapy students in facilities with established clinical experience rotations. PTs at this level may be given general assignments in any/all areas where physical therapy services are deemed necessary, and/or may serve as the sole PT at a less complex facility. Individuals may perform ancillary assignments as deemed appropriate given the needs of a facility on an occasional basis, where the amount of work is not substantial (less than 25% of the duty time). References: VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G12The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-12. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is GS-11 and GS-12. Physical Requirements: Moderate lifting, Moderate Carrying, Straight pulling, Pushing, reaching above shoulder, both hands required, walking, standing, kneeling, repeated bending, climbing, both legs required, Near Vision Correctable at 13' to 15' to Jaeger 1 to 4, Far vision correctable in one eye to 20/20 and to 20/40 in the other. ability to distinguish basic colors, hearing (aid permitted), and twisting, simple grasp and fine manipulation.


IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application. 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: 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:

Additional Information

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.