Occupational Therapy Assistant
Department of Veterans Affairs - San Juan, PR

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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?

Tour of Duty:
Monday thru Friday or Tuesday to Saturday from 7:30 am - 4:00 pm or 8:00 am - 4:30 pm, including rotation shifts, weekends and holidays.

In addition to the Annual Salary: 4.20% Cost of Living Allowance (COLA).

Relocation Expenses Authorized: No

Recruitment Incentive and Relocation Incentive Authorized: No

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 full performance level of this vacancy is



The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is

in the range of

GS-4 to GS-7. 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.


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

Spanish Language Spoken Proficiency required

Incumbent will serve as an Occupational Therapy Assistant with clinical, administrative and educational responsibilities at the VACHS-San Juan Medical Center. The primary responsibility of this assignment is the delivery of ethical, customer oriented, quality occupational therapy services to patients with acute, sub-acute or prolonged physical and/or psychosocial dysfunction. The Occupational Therapist assistant (OTA) performs a preliminary review/examination of patient data, compiles and organizes pertinent information, and develops/presents a patient profile to be used in assessing patient’s status and ascertaining the prevention, remediation, and rehabilitation of persons served with acute and chronic conditions. Carries out the appropriate therapy to teach new or compensating skills to optimize patient performance on his/her roles. Work is done under close supervision initially, and progressing to a routine supervision according to competence level.

•Citizen of the United States


Successful completion of an associate's degree in occupational therapy from a college or university accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).


Full, current, active and unrestricted license to practice occupational therapy assistant in a State, Territory, Commonwealth of the United States (PR), or the District of Columbia.


Physical Standards/Requirements:
Work requires lifting objects weighing 15-50 pounds, helping in patients' transfer, pulling, pushing, bending, reaching above shoulders, walking, prolonged standing and the use of hands, good vision and hearing. Works require driving a motor vehicle and providing OT treatment at the community. Wearing of a respirator may be required at times in the performance of the duties of this position. As a result, employees assigned to these duties cannot have facial hair or any condition that interferes with the face-to face piece seal or valve function of the respirator. See VA Directive and Handbook 5019.


English Language Proficiency:
OTA’s must be proficient in spoken and written English as required by 38 U.S.C. 7402(d) and 7407(d).

Candidate must be proficient in spoken Spanish.

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

At GS-4 Level:
Experience: None beyond the basic requirements. Must demonstrate the following Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: 1. Ability to review patient data and make a preliminary determination of their needs. 2. Ability to obtain subjective history. 3. Ability to interpret information gained through subjective history. 4. Ability to communicate with health care providers, patients, and staff for optimal patient care.

At GS-5 Level:
Experience: In addition to the basic requirements, 6 months of experience comparable to the next lower grade level. Experience may have been gained as an OTA, rehabilitation aide, technician, volunteer, or in the medical health services field. Must demonstrate the following Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: 1. Ability to assist in the development of treatment goals/objectives. 2. Ability to implement a patient care plan incorporating activity analysis theory. 3. Skill in written communication to document preliminary data, progress/change in status, discharge status, and patient or caregiver education. 4. Knowledge of basic group techniques and interpersonal communications. 5. Ability to assist in the use of standardized assessment tools to the area of practice assigned.

At GS-6 Level:
Experience: In addition to the basic requirements, 1 year of experience comparable to the next lower grade level. Must demonstrate the following Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: 1. Knowledge of a variety of standardized assessment tools in order to provide a more comprehensive intervention under the supervision of an occupational therapist. 2. Ability to use problem-solving skills when providing therapeutic interventions for patients who have a wide range of diagnoses and disabilities. 3. Ability to provide complex/multi-step instructions to patients, caregivers, and other health care professionals adapting instructions to meet the learning needs of the individual. 4. Ability to promote occupational therapy services effectively, providing training and interventions within the assigned areas.

At GS-7 Level:
Experience: In addition to the basic requirements, 1 year of experience comparable to the next lower grade level. Must demonstrate the following Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: 1. Ability to utilize more complex therapeutic techniques and interventions, utilizing problem-solving skills, to maximize patient’s functional status. 2. Ability to modify and adapt therapeutic interventions for simple and complex cases with a wide range of diagnoses and disabilities. 3. Ability to identify and recommend complex adaptive and assistive devices and durable medical equipment.


References :
VA Handbook 5005/15, Part II, Appendix G22, OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT QUALIFICATION STANDARD , dated March 2006, available at


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:


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 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.

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



  • Resume and Application must address the applicant's possession of the job's required knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA's), as well as possession of any required certification. Description of this knowledge, skills and abilities will be requested later in the selection process for the selected candidate.
  • Selected applicant/employee will be appointed or promoted at the grade and step for which they qualify based on the recommendation of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Professional Standards Board, and approval by the Center Director.
  • VetPro Credentialing: Individuals selected for positions that have patient care responsabilities are subject to undergoing an electronic credentialing process called VetPro. As part of this process, it will be necessary for you to submit complete information concerning your professional education, training, experience, licensure and certifications using VetPro. The candidate selected will be provided further information on how to use VetPro.
  • Qualified candidates referred for consideration may be interviewed using the Performance Based Interview (PBI) process. For information about PBI, you may access

  • All technical, legal and regulatory requirements must be met on the closing date of the announcement.
  • 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. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employees 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.

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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...