Medical Support Assistant (Ward Clerk)
Department of Veterans Affairs - Martinez, CA

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Vacancy Identification Number (VIN):

To fulfill President Lincoln's promise - "To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" - by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's Veterans.

How would you like to become a part of a team providing compassionate care to Veterans?

As a VA professional, your opportunities are endless. With many openings in the multiple functions of VA, you will have a wide range of opportunities at your fingertips. Not only is it the largest, most technologically advanced integrated health care system in the nation, but we also provide many other services to Veterans through the Benefits Administration and National Cemeteries.

The Professional Standards Board (a peer-review group) will review the selected candidate’s education and experience and recommend the step at which the candidate will be placed

in that specific grade

. The salary is based on the grade and step approved for the selected candidate.

Special Employment Consideration:
VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply.

For positions covered by the Bargaining Unit:
First consideration will be given to employees of this facility.



DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS NORTHERN CALIFORNIA HEALTH CARE SYSTEM EMPLOYEES: You must submit ALL required documents as indicated under “How to Apply” and “Required Documents.” Failure to provide all required documents/information will result in loss of consideration or a lower evaluation in rating and/or selection consideration. Applicants will not be contacted for additional information if their applications are incomplete or inadequate.

This is a TEMPORARY appointment (not expected to exceed 1 year + 1 Day).

Temporary appointments do not give the employee competitive status or reinstatement eligibility. Typically temporary appointments are used to fill a short-term position that is not expected to last more than one year; or, meet an employment need that is scheduled to be terminated within one or two years.

A temporary employee does not serve a probationary period and is not eligible for promotion, reassignment, or transfer to other jobs. Temporary appointments may be extended up to a maximum of one additional year.

On-Call: No

Rotating Shifts: No

Required to work Holidays and/or weekends: May be required to work Weekends and Holidays

Work Schedule: Monday thru Friday, Hours Negotiable

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Status: Non-Exempt

Bargaining Unit Position: Yes


U. S. Citizenship

Must pass pre-employment examination

English Language Proficiency required

Designated and-or Random Drug Testing may be required

Background and-or Security Investigation required

Comprehensive knowledge of all health & medical admin programs.

Serves as a Medical Support Assistant and provides clerical and administrative support for inpatients on Wards at various locations within the VA Northern California Health Care System (VA NCHCS). Monitors the status and progress of work, and makes day-to-day adjustments in accordance with established priorities, obtaining assistance from the supervisor on problems that may arise. Provides on-the-job training to new employees in accordance with established procedures and practices. Provides information via telephone and in person to the general public, members of the professional staff, civilian, and military personnel in response to inquiries regarding appointments. Enters, manipulates, and retrieves information and data from the VistA and other clinical information systems as appropriate to area assigned. Completes mini registration and chart compilation. Completes request forms, manually or using automated systems, for individual patient orders for blood work, X-rays, radiation therapy, respiratory or ventilated care consults and other requests as required. Schedules and coordinates appointments for patients with various Clinics, ensuring all treatment requested by the physician has been scheduled, and rescheduling appointments when necessary. Coordinates scheduling to avoid conflicts in different Clinic schedules. Ensures appointments are timely and in accordance with physician's requests. Explains necessary test preparations to patients. Receives telephone requests for information and transmits requests to the appropriate physician. Assists Clinic administrator and other personnel with workload accountability information. Obtains and reviews medical records of patients prior to scheduled appointments. Records a variety of physicians' orders on a timely basis to various charts, identifying various chemical compounds, symbols, and abbreviations comprising medication orders. Assures proper completion and filing of original medical documentation and forms in records prior to forwarding to medical records room. Ensures patient completes all necessary forms prior to being seen by the provider. Responsible for ensuring calls received or made by staff are professional, courteous, and tactful in nature, and that responses given are appropriate. Ensures staff is knowledgeable of the services provided and are prepared to furnish information such as telephone numbers, locations of offices and personnel and Clinic hours of operation. Receives patients via telephone calls and visitors to Clinics, ascertaining the nature of the call or visit, obtaining identifying information, and determining the nature and urgency of the patients request. Refers patient to appropriate staff member. Verifies patients eligibility for treatment. Responsible for the clerical duties inherent in the admission, care and discharge of inpatients or the in-processing, care, and out-processing of outpatients and guests. Reconciles end-of-shift/end-of-day processing and reports. May be required to perform various duties in making arrangements for travel, copying all travel documents, to include travel vouchers, and leave forms. Maintains all patients' records, either electronic or paper, according to regulation ensuring each entry contains proper patient and health care identification. Correctly files original medical documentation in the patient record and copies of medical documentation into research files as necessary.

Relocation Expenses:
Relocation expenses are not

authorized for this position.




: Must be a Citizen of the United States.


: Six months experience of clerical, office or other work that indicates the ability to acquire the particular knowledge and skills needed to perform the duties of the position;



: One year above high school;


Experience/Education Combination

: Equivalent combination of experience and education are qualifying for entry level for which both education and experience are acceptable.


: None required.

Foreign Education

: To be creditable, education completed outside the U.S. must have been submitted to a private organization that specializes in the interpretation of foreign educational credentials, and such education must have been deemed at least equivalent to that gained in conventional U.S. programs.

Physical Requirements

: See VA Directive and Handbook 5019. The duties and responsibilities of the position require some mobility between various Clinic areas in separate building location sites, but generally the job is sedentary with some standing, stooping, reaching, and lifting up to 20 pounds. Incumbent is required to work with computer equipment at least 75% of the time which impacts hand and wrist motions.

English Language Proficiency

: Must be proficient in spoken and written English.

Creditable Experience -

(1) Knowledge of Current Medical Support Assistant (MSA) Practices.

To be creditable, the experience must have demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) associated with current MSA responsibilities. Experience satisfying this requirement may be paid/non-paid employment as a MSA.

(2) Quality of Experience.

Qualifying experience must be at a level comparable to MSA experience at the next lower grade level (GS-4). For all assignments above the full performance level, the higher level duties must consist of significant scope, administrative independence, complexity (difficulty) and range of variety as described in this standard at the specified grade level and be performed by the incumbent at least 25% of the time.

(3) Part-Time Experience.

Part-time experience as a MSA is creditable according to its relationship to the full-time workweek. For example, a MSA employed 20 hours a week, or on a 1/2-time basis, would receive 1 full-time workweek of credit for each 2 weeks of service.



The following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates:

Experience or Education.

One year of experience equivalent to the next lower grade level (GS-4)


4 years of education above high school (bachelor's degree).


. This is the full performance level for MSAs. At this level, the MSA performs a full range of duties. The MSA is responsible for scheduling appointments, including interpreting and verifying provider orders in accordance with VHA national scheduling guidelines. Assignments at this level include, but are not limited to: scheduling, canceling, re-scheduling patient's appointments and/or consults; entering no-show information; monitoring the electronic wait list; preparing for clinic visits; monitoring both inpatient and outpatient appointments for areas of responsibility; ensuring encounter forms are completed in order to obtain appropriate workload credit; verifying and updating demographics and insurance information; processing all emergency and non-emergency transfers to other VA facilities or private hospitals; performing basic eligibility, co-pays and pre authorization requirements for specific coverage (i.e., TRICARE, sharing agreements, etc).


VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G45, Medical Support Assistant Qualification Standard, available in the local Human Resources Office.

Substitution of Education for Experience:
Successful completion of 4 years above high school level, Bachelor's degree.


: 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 (particularly positions with a positive education requirement.) Therefore, applicants must report only attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website:

All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointing agency accordingly. 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.

Veterans' Preference:
When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference on their application or résumé. Applicants claiming preference based on service-connected disability, or based on being the spouse or mother of a disabled or deceased Veteran, must complete an SF 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference. Veterans who are still in the service may be granted tentative preference on the basis of information contained in their applications, but they must produce a DD Form 214 or other proof prior to appointment to document entitlement to preference. For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit


Your résumé and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating or consideration for employment.

Management may interview candidates for this position and use the Performance Based Interviewing (PBI) process. If PBI is used, questions will be job-related, reasonably consistent and fair to all candidates. You can visit the following two web sites (1)


to learn more about PBI, frequently asked questions and aids to prepare for an interview. Additionally, printed reference material is available at each Human Resources Office.

Applicant's Responsibility:
It is the applicant's responsibility to submit documentation to support his/her application for this position. Applicant is responsible for ensuring that all experience, education, formal training, award recognition, etc. are documented in the application package. Experience may include voluntary or other non-paid experience in the appropriate field. If you feel that your training record contains information pertinent to your qualifications, then you must submit a printed copy of your training record with your application package. Your training record will become a part of the specific vacancy file and will not be filed in Official Personnel Folder.

This announcement is not intended to cover all aspects of the duties, responsibilities or qualifications of this position. Request for copies, return of forms or transfer of consideration to another announcement will not be honored.

Employees must meet qualification standards and other regulatory requirements by the closing date of the announcement.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, national origin, sex, lawful political affiliation, marital status, disability or membership or non-membership in a labor union.


will receive an ineligible rating due to missing form(s). Requests for reconsideration of ratings will not be considered for applicants who fail to submit a complete application package.

We cannot be held responsible for incompatible software, and fax transmissions, etc.

Only send documentation as requested/required by this announcement and that directly supports your qualifications for this position.

Reasonable Accommodation:
This Agency provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, you must notify the agency. This decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Your application, résumé and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect consideration for employment. You may also be evaluated based upon the question responses you provide during a structured interview. In responding to structured interview questions you should be sure to cite specific examples of experience, explain exactly what you did, and the outcome.

You will be evaluated on the following Knowledge, Skills and Abilities and Other characteristics (KSAO's). Applicants who meet the qualification and basic requirements

will be further evaluated by the Professional Standards Board

for this occupation to determine the extent to which their work or related experience, education, training, awards, outside activities, and supervisory appraisal, etc., indicate they possess the KSAOs listed below. All applicants should provide clear, concise examples that show the level of accomplishment or degree to which they possess the KSAO in their CV or resume. Incomplete, vague or contradictory information may affect the rating.

Please review carefully before making an online response selection. Your application, resume and supporting documents will be used to verify your response.

1. Ability to operate computerized programs and databases in order to enter, modify and retrieve sensitive information/data into or from electronic medical records, scheduling systems and/or reports.

2. Knowledge of basic medical terminology.

3. Ability to make appointments in a clinical setting.

4. Ability to work independently in the accomplishment of a wide variety of duties, including setting priorities and coordinating work.

5. Ability to communicate effectively and professionally with employees at varying grade levels.

6. Ability to identify customer's concerns, perform the tasks required to resolve the issue accurately and timely, and follow-up as necessary to ensure a satisfactory resolution.

Working for the Department of Veterans Affairs offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, life insurance, health benefits, thrift savings plan, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. In addition to traditional "dollars and cents" benefits, we offer a range of benefits to help balance work and life. For more information please visit us at


Temporary employees are eligible to earn leave and are covered by Social Security and unemployment compensation, but do not receive the other fringe benefits provided to career civil service employees. Current law allows temporary employees to purchase health insurance after they have one year of temporary service, but the employee must pay the full cost with no Government contribution. Employees are not eligible for coverage under the Federal Government Life Insurance program or the Federal Employees Retirement System.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status.

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The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a government-run military veteran benefit system with Cabinet-level status. It is...