frustrating, demoralizing place to work at the entry level
Program Support Assistant (Former Employee) – Greater Los Angeles – October 28, 2012
...was my experience in the research service at Los Angeles. The job that I applied to, interviewed for, and accepted was not what I ended up doing. I was told I would get research support experience, and instead immediately got roped in to doing administrative dredge work like ordering supplies and arranging travel-not what I have a college degree for and not what I was promised. The people that interview and hire you are NOT the people you end up working with. There is no way to advance. Positions are 13 months, renewable up to 4 years with NO promotion potential. The only to move up is for them to post a higher GS position on USAjobs, then you go through the slow process, apply for it from the outside with everyone else, and hope you get selected. It is a slow process, but amazingly for some people, strings get pulled and the promotion process goes faster with some cronyism behind it. Entry level people are treated like slaves (especially in admin.) and they do not support employee education or development. They want you to stay a low level, low paid servant. Oh, and if you happen to be white, Hispanic, or Asian, prepare yourself for racism and discrimination. HR in Los Angeles is incompetent and racist and will do nothing for you if you are of an undesirable race or ethnicity. The VA wants a lot of education for what they pay.
great place to get some entry level experience right out of college, then move on
incompetent management, no advancement opportunities, entry level people treated poorly, cronyism
Clinical Pharmacist (Current Employee) – West Palm Beach, FL – September 22, 2012
The West Palm Beach VA Medical Center as part of the national managed heathcare organization of the Department of Veterans Affairs provides a very stimulating environment for the clinical pharmacist by employing some of the nation's top board certified clinical pharmacy specialists who strive to for excellence in providing quality medication management services to a very deserving patient population. Opportunities abound on a daily basis to be an integral part of a dynamic multidisciplinary team comprised of physicians, pharmacists, nurses, case managers and medical support services who provide healthcare and ancillary services in a safe and compassionate environment for our veterans who have served to protect our country and the freedoms that we enjoy every day. Utilization of an electronic medical record system enhances the clinicians' daily experience with documenting patient encounters and tracking outcomes data to guide quality assurance programs. Professional development is encouraged with time alloted in the weekly schedule to participate in various seminars and activities to further one's professional knowlege and skills, especially as it pertains to the unique veteran patient population. Clinical pharmacists are engaged as members and leaders in all levels of management throughout the institution and opportunities for leadership development are offered on a regular basis to those interested.
Great asset for combat veterans looking to get into federal service.
Readjustment Counseling Technician (Former Employee) – Lakewood, CO – May 4, 2015
• Provided a wide range of services to veterans in an effort to make a successful transition from military to civilian life. • Advised service members on appropriate means of utilizing the Veterans Affairs system as well as putting them in touch with the proper outlet concerning their problem. • Provided counseling on mental health/readjustment issues to members of the military, reserve, and National Guard returning from the Global War on Terrorism, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. • Train new employees on how to use internal VA records systems and to navigate different websites pertaining to veteran issues. • Be able to identify veteran experiencing suicidal and homicidal ideations and properly hand call off to the Veterans Crisis Line. • Responsible for providing veterans with appropriate referrals to the Veterans Counseling Centers via Microsoft Outlook. • Assisted veterans in finding help with disability and compensation claims as well as home loan benefits and burial arrangements. • Stayed up to date on the VA trainings for both mental and physical health through the Department of Veterans Affairs Talent Management System. • Gave guidance on usage of Ebenefits website and how to efficiently navigate and manage VA benefits. • Listen to veterans readjustment issues and provide peer support
Planning and Projects Industrial Eng (Current Employee) – Philadelphia, PA – August 25, 2014
Business Analysis & Management
• Analyzed and negotiated terms for the purchase and sale of services and products • Analyzed and verified US Office of Foreign Asset Control documentation for credit letter • Assisted in the creation of the User Handbook for Documentary Credit under UCP 600 - ICC • Reviewed and analyzed plans to verify compliance with federal regulations on exportation • Business and government agenda analysis, assisted in performance statistical analysis to develop economic models and financial strategies for measuring performance impact • Interacted daily with enrollment, claims, utilization/quality management, and customer service to resolve provider issues & management • Analyzed, interpreted, and resolved claims with authorization for dividend and overpayments payments • Managing existing revenue portfolio and growing the service portfolio with the client customer
Planning & Manufacturing
• Complete resource planning including lab & Non-lab Hour (Machinery) as per project scope using productivity, time study and line balance • Utilized Kaizen Implementation Model, Toyota Production System and Lean Six Sigma. Responsible for projects to include orders and client delivery, enforcing deadlines and minimizing processing costs • In-depth engineering analysis, design and application of complex working methods • Conducted capacity analysis & Implemented new layout
Performed work in support of the agency's cash processing operations, which involved the receipt, disbursement, examination, deposit, custody and other clerical or administrative tasks. Received and dispersed cash in accordance with the corresponding laws, rules and regulations for the particular transaction. Ensured the fulfillment of regulatory requirements associated with depository functions. Exercised responsibility for the direct support of agency cash, check, and electronic funds transfer processing functions involving the receipt, disbursement, examination, deposit, custody and other processing of cash. Utilized automated systems to record transactions. Processed cash-link deposits and e-payments in a timely manner. Examined and performed quality audits of deposits in order to ensure regulatory issues were met. Reconciled cash accountability and reviewed vouchers for completeness, accuracy, and propriety before making payment. Maintained an organized filing system for copies of all deposits, and electronic transactions. Served as a trusted liaison to transmit guidance regarding accounts between our Central Plains consolidated account center and all other consolidated account centers. Technical proficiencies in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook), VISTA, and SharePoint.
I trained them in how to use the CAD software their contractors were using, I cleaned their computer equipment so it would last longer. I advised them on what other equipment would increase productivity. I learned their computer software controlled the heating and cooking system for a 700 bed hospital and the company which sold the system to them was unresponsive when a critical issue occurred. I learned how to hack into the control software and allow them to establish the desired temperature settings for the patients. Management was helpful and provided the tools from training courses the employees had attended. With the notes from their training I was able to satisfy their needs. As a contractor, I really had no co-workers. The employees were my resource and my client. It was difficult to grasp the concept of Spend the budget in order to get at least the same budget next year, I enjoyed the personalities of the other workers. They made my work, which they did not understand, an opportunity to enlighten them with computer concepts which were unaddressed in their previous training. The contractor which sold the control system to them had set up a single hard drive system while naming the single drive as drive number two. The most enjoyable part of the job was being with the people I was there to help.
Steady set hours, no overtime. No deadline preassures. Helping Veterans.
Management and their flunkies will set you up for failure. They will talk behind your back. Management will Call their family members who also work with in the VA Hospital down stairs to talk about you. None of the management, nor their family members are veterans. They discriminate against veterans. They make fun of veterans. They do not want veterans working there. HR are the ones who are trying to get veterans in to work there. They will give you all the work they do not want to do. Such as signing in boxes: searching through the computer to see who the boxes belong to(who made the purchase), scanning in their old invoices, constantly covering the reception desk every time the receptionist calls off(which is a lot), and she comes to work everyday late, and take 40min breaks. They will pile purchase orders on you, the ones they do not want to do, such as(cpap,glasses,shoes, surgical implants). These are the purchases that get high call volume from veterans. They can work over time to catch up on their work, but not the new employees. You have to do so much other work, to where you can't get your purchasing work done. You don't have a chance to get your work done. The purchases can not exceed past 5days. Management is very petty. They will call for a phone interview. They will start you off as GS-5.5 $38000
A good company to try to start off with.
Management Very petty and discrimative against veterans, they will set you up for Failure.
Curatorial and Archival Assistant (Current Employee) – Brooklyn, NY – November 16, 2014
A typical day at the VA Hospital as an assistant to the Recreational Therapist is very eventful. The patients in the art therapy group enlist my help and assistance with their creative projects, such as collages, poetry, and portrait photography. We recently showcased over 100 works of the veterans art at the Staten Island Borough Hall as a retrospective of their accomplishments in the program and to honor Veterans Week. The therapist I am assisting, is truly an inspiring force. She is pioneering a movement that allows the veterans to have a venue where they can creatively and confidently express themselves through various mediums, and find a better understanding of themselves, their identities and their relationship with their environment. I have obtained new skills such as curatorial and archival skills, writing press releases, event invitations, planning, and designing banners. The hardest part of the job is tactfully selecting the best art work for the exhibitions. The most enjoyable part of the job is to engage with the artists and to watch their process in the art production.
good educational experience, moma admission discount, field trips to museums, art lectures, recognition as a contributor, utilizing my art skills, lunch voucher
long commute, cafeteria does not cater to my diet and nutrition
Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist55 (Current Employee) – Jamaica Plain, MA – January 16, 2014
Working in any aspect of Veterans' Services is emotionally rewarding work. To assist those who have served our country in military uniform area demographic that deserves all the assistance we as a nation can provide them (and their families) for having taken time out of their lives to stand between us and harm's way.
I have grown to learn that even the most destitute of the military veteran culture is not beyond rehabilitation, redemption and are capable of bringing a unique work ethic found only through military service. Wounds of war are visible, hidden, or at times both. It is equally true that the military members family members endure great sacrifice in the absence of their serving loved one(s)l
Being a veteran's service professional gives me pride and self esteem that cannot be found in any other profession. As an Air Force veteran myself, it gives me great emotional reward to help my brother and sister veteran any assistance I can provide, no matter how small or large the request. I consider it an honor to help those who have served in defense of these United States in this grand experiment we call democracy.
good benefits, many opportunities for advancement and serving the most deserving population in the world.
budgetary constraints, process oriented, and lack of goal focus
Focused and highly motivated professional with 10 + years of government experience. Utilizing my background as an Asst. Chief Accountant and formal Bu
Assistant Chief Operating Accountant (Former Employee) – San Francisco, CA – February 5, 2013
A typical day at work is on a daily basis my job consist of being responsible for getting my reports done, answering email requests and phone calls, assisting my employees and customers, attending meetings, and researching something for my Chief.
A creative endeavor that I can take ownership for was motivating and mentoring my staff. I found out when you listen to their concerns, work as a team, and give your employees the tools they need to do their job, you will get more accomplished.
I learned that employees who are part of a common process, department, division, etc. can work together in an efficient and effective fashion to achieve organization improvement goals that would not be possible for a single individual to achieve on their own.
Employees who are not self-confident depend excessively on the approval of others in order to feel good about themselves. They tend to avoid taking risks because they fear failure. They generally do not expect to be successful. They often put themselves down and tend to discount or ignore compliments paid to them.
The most enjoyable part was helping my staff and giving them the tools they needed to succeed.
Typical day as Staff RN caring for Veterans and various levels of care.
Staff Registered Nurse - Community Living Center (Current Employee) – Wilkes-Barre, PA – August 22, 2013
As a staff RN a typical day for me is performing the role as charge RN for the unit, which consists of Transitional Care Unit (TCU), Rehabilitation, LTC and Dementia Veterans. This includes assigning staff for the floor/shift. Conducting admissions and discharges nearly on a daily basis, reviewing and verifying Physician orders, charting, assessing, planning and implementing the plan of care for each veteran on the unit. In addition, I do a variety of multi-tasking including the following: administration all medication for TCU/Rehab Veterans, all IV medications for the floor, treatments, and addressing any acute emergencies as they arise. This includes stablizing the veteran by providing specific care per event, ensure safety, and notifying the Physician. I also am responsible to conduct monthly notes on 5-6 primary patients I am assigned ,and complete their individual MDS's when due. I work rotating tours and in addition to the above if I work dayshift I would also attend Inter-Disciplianary meetings and creating progess notes, editing and updating care plans for those particular Veterans twice weekly.
caring for the veterans, the ability to multi-task and work with inter-disciplanary teams.
Very caring co-workers, who work very hard to make all Veterans feel comfortable and supported. The system itself is broken.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (Former Employee) – Louisville, KY – July 18, 2013
Fear-based environment - involving management in anything is avoided if possible. Poor management - tend to avoid responsibility and shift responsibility to others. Poor communication. Poor training opportunities. Staff, in general, are not viewed as important- many staff not afforded basic requirements e.g. dedicated office space, computer, supplies etc, and the VA system is so complicated and involved it takes months to get a request answered, much less get the right people to take care of the request - more than 6 months is not unusual. Amount of paperwork is atrocious - serious repetition of information. There was no training for using the very complex computer system. Staff were apparently expected to learn on their own or ask others for assistance. Computer system is a dinosaur and IT support is nonresponsive, arrogant and condescending. The Union is useless because many of the Union reps are also employees. Co-workers were a very caring and supportive group. Veterans were great, and in keeping with the values and integrity that made them American heroes, take everything in stride with few complaints - and often with little choice.
Clinical Pharmacist/ Pharmacoeconomics (Former Employee) – Palo Alto, CA – July 25, 2013
My tenure at the Palo Alto VA intergrated my versatile pharmacy background in clinical, retail and public service into a single focus, namely pharmacoeconomics. This allowed a multi-faceted approach from ongoing review and analysis of clinical information to devising mechanisms to implement them for the most cost-effective and optimal care for our veterans, both locally but also in collaboration with national teams. In the interim, the input of other specialists through collaborative meetings were facilitated through pharmacy leadership. Pharmacy staff were educated on all developments. Non-clinical pharmacy functions (inventory management, expired drugs, hazardous waste handling...) were also constantly reviewed and addressed through policy development and reinforcement. In short, this position provided a dynamic opportunity to optimize all pharmacy operations and for the pharmacy department to assume a leadership role within the health system.
dynamic position intergrating all clinical and adminstrative pharmacy functions, great balance of benefit and career advancement with measurable positive impact on patients
inertia on part of some staff pharmacists within a federal emploment scenario
Chief of Police (Current Employee) – Montrose, NY – January 23, 2016
Responsible for the overall supervision/organization and day-to-day operation of Police Service which consists of a uniform patrol division, investigation section, communications section as well as numerous administrative staff.
Oversee the total operation, planning and ongoing security and crime prevention programs.
As the PCI/PIV manager, ensures the appropriate security Background Investigations are initiated/conducted on all current, new hire, contactors, volunteers and contractors.
Assists HRMS with the adjudication of unfavorable OPM/background results.
Ensures all vulnerability surveys including physical security surveys are conducted as required.
Well versed in Joint Commission relating to Security/Police related requirements.
Responsible to ensure the physical access control systems, CCTV, all panic intrusion alarms remain operational to include appropriate and timely testing to document the results and effective follow-up action.
Responsible for advancing the police skills of members of service in all areas of knowledge including unarmed defense training and the use of all approved duty weapons.
Prepare and regulate policies and regulations pertaining to security and law enforcement.
Veterans Service Respresentative (Former Employee) – Muskogee Oklahoma Regional Office – June 9, 2012
At this Regional Office, it seemed to be one really big big family. Someone knew someone else to get their job.
You come into work and just dive right into Veteran files trying to make the best determination of what they qualified for in Veteran benefits. The entire process was very complex because of many qualifiers depending on what wars they were involved with or if their unit actually met the requirements. On top of that, those standards would often be revised.
Some managers you could obviously tell that they were "family"; getting promoted because daddy was in charge of this or that department. Not the most effective management protocol.
My co-workers were nice and caring people wanting to do the best job that they could. They were in the same shoes as I and most of them were not 'part of the family' and stressed about performing at the acceptable standard.
The hardest part of the job was keeping up with all the changes that took place, knowing who to listen to (trainers and coaches), and keeping up with the production and quality standards.
The most enjoyable part of the job was knowing that you were helping a deserving Veteran get compensated for his dedication to protecting our country!
Management Analyst (Former Employee) – Washington, DC – June 10, 2013
As a Management Analyst, my responsibilities included the following:
- Developing and analyzing program policies, procedures, handbooks, directives, business practice guidelines, and related policy materials - Managing all correspondence activities, including drafting or editing all outgoing correspondence to ensure accuracy and conciseness and tailoring correspondence to the intended audience - Reviewing programs and services to identify and implement best practice opportunities - Acting as primary point-of-contact for the drafting and editing of all PSAS regulations and responsible for ensuring the program office has authority or regulations to support current or proposed activities - Acting as PSAS liaison to the Office of General Counsel, including drafting all requests for opinion - Evaluating new or modified legislation for projected impact upon program and its resources - Analyzing and evaluating, on a quantitative/qualitative basis, the effectiveness of program operations in meeting established goals and objectives - Providing expert advice and guidance to management on the full range of office and program matters - Conceptualizing, organizing, and implementing quality improvement initiatives
Former Police Officer (Former Employee) – Seattle Washington – February 7, 2014
I worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs Police in Seattle. It was the worst experience I have ever had. The training is terrible, officers are treated like security guards, and overall it was a miserable experience. Coming from a civilian police department it was not even a comparable experience. I am a military war veteran myself and was shocked and disappointed how badly the police were treated by the veterans. Many of the police were retired combat vets and deserved better. The politics inside the VA make it impossible for officers to enforce the law and do their job. The management is woefull and they do not reward officers for doing their job right. They also keep officers that would never cut it in a civilian police agency. Many members of police management have no civilian experience and came from the military police ranks. You could tell they had no clue about civilian law enforcement. My recommendation for anyone trying to enter law enforcement via the VA is to walk away. Your better off working security.
cannot get fired even if you are incompetent, might actually get you promoted, ie kiki
no field training, bad conditions, poor pay compared to other police agencies, and poor management
Interior Designer. (Former Employee) – Seattle, Washington – November 5, 2014
The VA was a harrowing experience for me. i worked hard due to the private-sector standards I was trained on. But the management here just takes advantage of your talent/compassion and willingness to go the extra mile. Nationally, my position was classified as a GS-12 to 14. Regionally in Seattle, I was classified as a GS-9. Should have been a GS-12 which was a considerable amount of a pay increase for me. Do the math, I got paid almost minimum wage for the hours I was putting in. I petitioned in a professional manner for a GS 12 status, recommended by the National Director who had become my mentor. It was actually ignored. When I asked my NW Director why hadn't I heard about my request (after 6 mos.) he said, and I quote,: " Well, if I give you that rank, I will have to give everyone else in the facilities department an upgrade to their salary, so I can't give this to you".
Needless to say, I resigned the next day and luckily, had another job to step into. It was the same position with another Institution at a 30% increase plus better benefits.
Duhhhh, pay your employees what they are worth and for the value they bring to your organization. Otherwise they will leave, wasting your time and theirs.
Rewarding work with the veterans that do whatever they are told to protect our country
Staff Nurse (Former Employee) – Bay Pines VA – September 10, 2013
Worked in many different areas as a RN there, my co-workers were very versatile, flexible, and easy to work, my family became my family and good friends.
Beginning on a med-surg floor, was chosen to open a post surgical unit, worked in all the clinics, Primary Care on Speciality Clinics, went on to be Orthopedic CN, then to telephone triage/ case management.
The most difficult times were in my spot on the Haz/Mat team, in which I went to take care of Hurricane Charlie victims, and then sent to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. I work 7p to 7a shifts for 2 weeks taking care of the victims. We were recognized by the Dept of Veterans Affairs director for our work and service.
Management changed about 2 years ago, and the moral of the nurses plunged.
Absenteeism became a problem, outside nurses would have to be brought in to take care of the patients. As co chair of the Nursing Professional Development Council, tried to rally the nurses with projects and doing video's to encourage them.
good benefits, good nurses, loved taking care of the returning veterans.
management doesn't communicate with staff nurses, changed policy and questionable actions
Great Management interaction and involvement with lower level staff.
Information Ambassador (Former Employee) – Saginaw, MI – March 19, 2015
In a typical day at work, I would encounter 50+ veterans. I would be responsible for escorting at least 5 patients somewhere they were needing to go with in the medical center. I learned how to interact and be present with people when they needed help. My co-workers were great to work with, at the end of my work there I felt like I had a new family to lean on. My management was the best I've ever had before, it felt like they really cared about my life and what I was going through. They made extra effort to accommodate any time off I needed for medical, family, or any personal reasons. The hardest part of my job was trying to help the veterans who were in crisis. I loved being able to just be with them and calm their worries, or even just to distract them from whatever might be going on in their minds. The most enjoyable part of my job was being around my veteran family. It's really a great feeling to be able to help those who served their country before or even at the same time as you did. It's a bonding cause, and it really made me care even more about them as patients.
great staff, construction projects to improve the medical center