Dietitian
Department of Veterans Affairs - Lyons, NJ

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Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 784844

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?

These vacancies are advertised at the range of grades covered by the VA qualifications standard.

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.

NOTE:
The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-11. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-7 to GS-11. The Professional Standards Board (a peer-review group) will review the selected candidate’s education and experience and recommend the grade and step at which the candidate will be placed. The salary is based on the grade and step approved for the selected candidate.

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

KEY REQUIREMENTS

U. S. Citizenship

Must pass pre-employment examination

English Language Proficiency required

Designated and-or Random Drug Testing required

Background and-or Security Investigation required

Driving required

DUTIES:
The clinical dietitian is the medical nutrition expert responsible for independently planning, developing and directing all nutritional care activities for assigned clients, including those with complex medical and nutritional needs. He/she supports the Medical Center's mission and coordinates nutritional care with other health care providers, the client, the client's family and community. The increasing complexity and specialization in nutrition requires that the clinical dietitian have expertise in a wide range of disease entities, treatment modalities and drug/nutrient interactions.

The Clinical Dietitian will be involved in the professional practice ofdietetics in accordance with the guidance set forth in the Nutrition and Food Services policies and procedures, ambulatory care procedures and VA regulations governing the practice ofdietetics. The clinical dietitian may be scheduled and assigned to any nutrition practice area.

Relocation Expenses:
Relocation expenses

are not

authorized for this position.

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:
BASIC REQUIREMENTS:
  • US Citizenship Required
  • A bachelor’s degree from a U.S. regionally accredited college or university
  • Completed a didactic program in dietetics accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE).
  • Completed a CADE accredited supervised practice program.
  • Passed a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), the credentialing branch of the American Dietetic Association (ADA).
  • All applicants must be registered with the CDR.
Creditable Experience.

In order for experience to be creditable the following criteria must be met.

Knowledge of Current Professional Dietitian Practices.

To be creditable, the experience must have required the use of knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics associated with current professional dietetics practice. This may be evidenced by one or more of the following:

  • The equivalent of 1 year of active professional practice. Active professional practice means paid/non-paid employment as a registered dietitian.
  • Academic course work leading to an advanced graduate degree in nutrition or a related health care field.
Quality of Experience.

Experience is only creditable if it is post-registration experience as a registered dietitian directly related to the position to be filled, i.e., the clinical dietitian must have relevant clinical nutrition healthcare experience; the food service system dietitian must have relevant food service system management experience. Qualifying experience must also be at a level comparable to dietetic experience at the next lower level.

Part-Time Experience.

Part-time experience as a registered dietitian is credited according to its relationship to the full-time workweek. For example, a registered dietitian employed 20 hours per week, or on a half-time basis, would receive 1 full-time work week of credit for each 2 weeks of service.

Dietetic Internship Program (Supervised Practice Program).

Dietetic internship programs are post-baccalaureate degree programs that provide supervised practice experiences which meet the eligibility requirements and accreditation standards of the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education of the American Dietetic Association. Completion of a coordinated program in dietetics fulfills the requirements of a supervised practice program. Time spent in a dietetic internship or supervised practice program does not qualify as creditable experience.

Fellowship.

Fellowship programs are typically advanced training programs of varying length in a specialized area of clinical practice. Applicants for these programs usually possess a master’s degree.

Residency. The dietetic residency is an 18-month combined academic and professional program. The resident, assigned to a VA medical center, performs dietetic duties including activities relating to the area in which graduate study is being taken. In addition, the resident attends graduate classes to satisfy the requirements for a master’s degree in dietetics or an allied field.

GRADE DETERMINATIONS:
In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates.

GS-7

Experience or Education.

None beyond the basic requirements. In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:

Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Ability to provide nutrition counseling to patients, family members and/or caregivers considering psycho-social issues and age appropriate guidelines, and to communicate effectively with other health care professionals.
  • Ability to plan and organize work consisting of multi-tasks and priorities under general supervision.
  • Basic knowledge of computer operations; software, hardware, terminology, security requirements, and capabilities.
  • Ability to synthesize nutritional assessment components to evaluate nutritional status and utilize principles of medical nutrition therapy using established practice standards and guidelines to deliver nutritional care.
  • Knowledge of basic food production and service which incorporates principles of sanitation, safety, and menu planning within a healthcare environment.
  • Knowledge of educational concepts, methods, training materials, and resources and the ability to implement existing education and training activities for Nutrition & Food Service employees.
Assignments.

Employees at this grade are closely supervised and competency with progressively complex tasks is monitored by supervisor. Employees at this grade level serve in a career development position.

GS-9

Experience or Education.

At least 1 year of experience at the next lower level that demonstrates the core competencies described at that level, or education equivalent to 2 full years of progressively higher level graduate education, or master’s or equivalent graduate degree from an accredited university or college in the field of dietetics or closely related field. In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:

Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Ability to plan and organize work of considerable difficulty and responsibility under minimal supervision.
For Clinical Dietitian Positions, the following Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities must be demonstrated:

  • Ability to participate in research and performance improvement studies.
  • Knowledge of, and ability to, apply the basic principles of enteral and parenteral nutrition support.
  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of clinical dietetics and medical nutrition therapy in order to plan, develop, and independently coordinate medical nutrition therapy intervention, interdisciplinary care plans, and nutrition education activities.
For Food Service Systems Management Dietitian Positions, the following Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities must be demonstrated:

  • Knowledge of various food preparation and delivery systems.
  • Ability to conduct studies and document findings to evaluate staff, food, supplies, equipment, and service in order to improve the efficiency of the operation.
  • Knowledge of current food service systems management, principles, and practices within a healthcare environment.
  • Knowledge of educational concepts, methods, training materials, and resources and the ability to develop and conduct education and training programs for Nutrition & Food Service employees.
Assignments.

Employees at this grade level serve in either staff clinical or food service systems management dietitian positions. It is expected that they receive guidance from higher-level or supervisory staff members. Supervision is close for developmental assignments and more general in nature for assignments in which the individual has demonstrated competency.

GS-11

Experience or Education.

At least 1 year of experience at the next lower level that demonstrates the core competencies described at that level, or education equivalent to 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education, or a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree from an accredited university or college in the field of dietetics or closely related field. In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:

Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Knowledge of basic investigative processes and techniques in order to participate in the design of studies, collect data, interpret findings, and translate results into written and oral communication.
For Clinical Dietitian Positions, the following Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities must be demonstrated:

  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of clinical dietetics and medical nutrition therapy for patients with complex medical conditions in order to plan, develop, and coordinate medical nutrition therapy intervention, interdisciplinary care plans, and nutrition education activities.
  • Knowledge of complex areas of clinical nutrition including management of critically ill and malnourished patients, and ability to apply medical nutrition therapy to patients with multiple co-morbidities.
  • Ability to act as a mentor/consultant for health care providers including registered dietitians, dietetic interns, nurses, physicians, medical students, and allied health professionals.
For Food Service Systems Management Dietitian Positions, the following Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities must be demonstrated:

  • Ability to direct food service and production with focus on customer acceptance and budgetary guidelines to include principles of menu planning, food purchasing, delivery schedules, and ability to estimate food quantities.
  • Ability to develop and maintain a system of internal reviews and direct quality control and performance improvement studies to ensure that programs within the nutrition and food service operate at the optimum level of effectiveness and assure compliance with various accrediting, regulatory, and agency authorities.
  • Knowledge of computer software programs and problem solving techniques relative to food service systems management.
  • Knowledge of the principles of management required to establish program goals and objectives, to plan and administer a program, coordinate associated activities, evaluate program accomplishments, redefine priorities, and modify objectives.
For food service systems management supervisory positions, experience must also demonstrate the:

  • Ability to manage/supervise, i.e., plan, organize, delegate, direct, control, and review activities of groups of non-professional employees.
  • Knowledge of the principles of management and staff development required to establish goals and objectives, control, coordinate, motivate and evaluate training activities of the department, administer and monitor activities, evaluate outcomes/accomplishments, redefine priorities, modify goals/objectives and implement changes in processes/systems, as needed, in specified area of supervisory control.
  • Ability to assess competence, evaluate, and monitor the continuing education needs of non- professional staff.
Assignments.

Employees at this grade level serve as staff dietitians at the full performance level, and may or may not be in a food service systems management supervisory position.

IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE WILL NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE.

References :
VA HANDBOOK 5005/15 MARCH 17, 2006 PART II APPENDIX G21 II-G20-4

http://www.va.gov/ohrm/joblistings/VAQualStds.doc

(also available in the local Human Resources Office)

.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS:
See VA Directive and Handbook 5019.

Applicants Please

Note:
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:

http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/index.html

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

http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/veterans.aspx

.

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:
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.

BENEFITS:
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

http://www.va.gov/JOBS/Job_Benefits/benefits.asp

.

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

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

Receiving Service Credit for 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.

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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...