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Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Registered Respiratory Therapist in Columbia, South Carolina


The Columbia VA Health Care System is seeking an experienced Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT). The RRT may be called upon to perform highly skilled respiratory care assignments in critical care and emergency areas using skill, knowledge, training and experience to manage the acutely and critically ill without direct supervision


The incumbent serves as a Registered Respiratory Therapist in the Respiratory Therapy Section, Medicine Service. In this capacity, the Registered Respiratory Therapist may be called upon to perform highly skilled respiratory care assignments in critical care and emergency areas using skill, knowledge, training and experience to manage the acutely and critically ill without direct supervision. He/she will institute and administer oxygen, air and other compressed gases to patients with both acute and chronic respiratory deficiencies on a recurring basis, advising the appropriate modality to the physician. The incumbent will act decisively to adjust the therapy to the patient's tolerance, selecting both the appropriate device and the route of administration. The incumbent will frequently be called upon by the physician, to recommend or make suggestions relative to the course of therapy and provide in-service training to others in various specialized areas of respiratory care. He/she will instruct patients and their families in the proper techniques of cough therapy, breathing exercises and postural drainage. Will perform chest physiotherapy by percussing and vibration techniques. On a regular basis will perform procedures of unusual complexity, which require extensive training, knowledge, skill and experience involving mechanical ventilation of patient in respiratory failure. This includes such procedures as intermittent positive pressure breathing (IPPB), positive and expiratory pressure (PEEP), continuous positive airway pressure (CP AP), intermittent mandatory ventilation (IMV), and assist or control ventilation and pressure support ventilation. And will be educated on all new modes of ventilation as they become available. The incumbent will monitor ventilatory status and aid physician in weaning patients from ventilators. In an emergency situation, he/she will react decisively, exercising judgment with respect to arterial blood gas evaluation and ventilator parameters. Will assume responsibility for the adjustment of the respiratory controls to achieve the therapeutic effect desired by the physician and frequently will be called upon to advise the physician of adjustments necessary to maintain the patient's acid-base balance and respiratory integrity. The incumbent will regularly perform tracheal suctioning of patients by oral, nasal, and tracheotomy or endotracheal tube route. Will complete all requirements where applied to the Out of OR Airway Management(OOORAM) certification. On a regular basis will perform arterial punctures to obtain blood for arterial blood gas analysis and co-oximetry. After receiving the results, will consult and/or advise appropriate changes in ventilator settings or other modality of therapy to compensate irregularities. The incumbent will assist in extubation of patients.Other duties include, but are not limited to... Routinely administer medications by nebulization, monitoring the patient's vital signs and reaction of therapy. In the event that an adverse reaction occurs, the incumbent will be capable of taking appropriate measure to correct the adverse condition. Utilize various oxygen analyzers available to verify questionable oxygen concentrations, calibrating and adjusting the analyzer to provide accurate results. Provide treatment based on orders from physicians or licensed independent practitioners. Responsible for the assessment and treatment of the patients for whom therapy is ordered. All charting of therapy will be completed by the end of their tour. Performs other duties as assigned by management. Work Schedule: Rotating Days 7:00 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. with one 8 hour tour of 7 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Alternating weekends and holidays. Tour of duty subject to change based on agency needs.

Financial Disclosure Report: Not required


Conditions of Employment


Basic Requirements: United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy. Registered Respiratory Therapist. Has a certificate as an RRT from the NBRC (National Board for Respiratory Care) and a registry number, or a certificate from another body which the NBRC recognizes as its credentialing equivalent. This includes registration based on either: (1) Having fulfilled the requirements and passed the registry examination administered by the NBRC since 1983, OR (2) Having fulfilled the requirements and passed the registry examination for a registered inhalation or respiratory therapist administered by the (1) National Board for Respiratory Therapy from July 1974 through 1982 or (2) American Registry of Inhalation Therapists from 1961 through June 1974. English Language Proficiency. RRTs appointed to direct patient-care positions must be proficient in spoken and written English as required by 38 U.S.C. 7402(d), and 7407(d). May qualify based on being covered by the Grandfathering Provision as described in the VA Qualification Standard for this occupation (only applicable to current VHA employees who are in this occupation and meet the criteria). Preferred Experience: 1 year of experience as a Registered Respiratory Therapist. Grade Determinations: GS-08. (1) At least 1 year of successful experience related to respiratory therapy at the GS-7 level or equivalent. Qualifying experience at this level is work which includes duties such as: administering assisted and controlled ventilation to patients with tracheotomies and other complex medical problems requiring frequent adjustments in ventilator parameters; administering and monitoring advanced ventilator techniques such as positive end expiratory pressure and continuous positive airway pressure; developing plans for weaning patients from ventilators; assessing the respiratory status of patients using data acquired through physical observation and clinical analysis of blood gas data, chest x-rays, and electrocardiogram to determine the effectiveness of therapy being administered and to make recommendations to physicians regarding changes in treatment; performing the most difficult respiratory therapy procedures to maintain ventilation, including endotracheal intubation, tracheal lavage, and tracheotomy care; and providing in-service training to others in various specialized areas of respiratory care. (2) Demonstrated knowledge and ability needed to perform complex respiratory procedures with minimal supervision. Is able to participate with physicians and nurses and other staff in planning respiratory treatment, with great reliance on the individual's knowledge of the equipment. (3) Demonstrated knowledge and ability to provide emergency or critical respiratory care; service as a shift leader or supervisor or sole responsible respiratory therapist on a shift; and to plan and conduct training sessions with respiratory therapy students, hospital staff, patients, and family members. References: VA HANDBOOK 5005 PART II APPENDIX G11, Registered Respiratory Therapist Qualification Standard The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-08. Physical Requirements: Heavy Lifting (45 lbs and over); Heavy Carrying (45 lbs and over); Straight Pulling (up to 1 hour); Pushing (1 - 2 hours); Reaching above shoulder; Use of fingers; Both hands required; Walking (up to 4 hours); Standing (up to 4 hours); Repeated bending (up to 2 hours); Both legs requires; Ability for rapid mental and muscular coordination simultaneously; Near vision correctable at 13" to 16"; Far vision correctable in one eye to 20/20 and to 20/40 in the other; Specific visual requirement (good); Depth perception, Ability to distinguish basic colors; Hearing (aid permitted); Mental & emotional stability required


IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education. 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

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.