Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Certified or Registered Respiratory Therapist in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
2 vacancies in the following location:
  • San Juan, PR
Work Schedule is Full Time - Excepted Service Permanent

Opened Monday 7/25/2016 (90 day(s) ago)

** Closes Monday 1/2/2017 (71 day(s) away)

Job Overview

Vacancy Identification Number

Note: This is an Open and Continuous Vacancy Announcement. The First Cut Off will be on 8/15/2016 from there on will be perform as needed.

We accept applications for this occupation on an ongoing basis. Qualified applicants will be considered as vacancies become available.

OUR MISSION: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.

Want to live on an Enchanted Island? Come work for the VA Caribbean Healthcare System (VACHS) were we provide services to Veterans in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (St John, St Croix and St Thomas). The main hospital is located in San Juan, Puerto Rico with outpatient clinics across the island and in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Island life is just as you imagined, miles and miles of white sandy beaches that offer all sorts of water sports, an unbelievable rain forest, and beautiful terrain with panoramic views. Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are great tropical Islands that enjoy year round summer, with an average annual temperature of 80°F. You can experience authentic Latin and Virgin Island culture, diverse activities and 500 years of rich history. As a territory of the United States, Puerto Rico offers all the conveniences of the mainland and a trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands is only 30 minutes away. Join the VA Caribbean Healthcare Team and experience the wonders of working and living in paradise.

Note: The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-8. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-7 to GS-8. 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.

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.

Relocation Expenses:Relocation expenses are not authorized for this position.


Incumbent works as a certified or registered respiratory therapist in an intensive care unit or ward with the responsibility and duties to administer oxygen and aerosols containing prescribed medications involving the use of a variety of standard respiratory equipment, drawing and analyzing arterial blood samples from patients, facilitate the collection of sputum samples using various techniques as aerosol administration, tracheal suction, chest physical therapy; calibrating equipment such as oxygen analyzers, mechanical ventilators. Performs specific diagnostic studies to determine oxygen consumption/carbon dioxide production, measure respiratory compliance, tidal volume and inspiratory force. Places and assists physician in placing artificial airways into patients' trachea, calibrates complex respiratory equipment such as pressure and volume ventilators, CPAP/BI-PAP units, end tidal CO 2 monitors to assure accurate performance. He/She will assist physicians during diagnostic procedure such fiberoptic bronchoscopes with the administration of conscious sedation and the obtaining of bronchial washings, brushings and tissue biopsies. He/She will rotate through the Pulmonary Function Laboratory and calibrate equipment to perform the various diagnostic tests, such as flow volume loops, lung volumes, diffusion and exercise. Works under the supervision of the Technical Director/Supervisor Respiratory Care Services and Chief, Pulmonary & Critical Care Section. Display proficiency and performs at level of excellence in the Respiratory Care Unit.

Tour of Duty: Rotating work shifts are from 6:00am-2:30pm; 2:00pm - 10:30pm; and 10:00pm - 6:00am, to include all weekends and holidays. Other shifts may be considered as well.

Travel Required
  • Not Required
Relocation Authorized
  • No
Job Requirements
Key Requirements
  • Must pass pre-employment examination
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English
  • Designated and-or Random Drug Testing required
  • Subject to a Background/Suitability investigation.
  • Must be able to speak and comprehend the Spanish Language.
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.


  • Citizenship: Must be a citizen of the United States.
  • Certified Respiratory Therapist: Has been issued a certificate as a CRT by the NBRC (National Board for Respiratory Care) or a certificate from another body which the NBRC recognizes as its credentialing equivalent. This included certification based on either: (1) Having successfully completed a respiratory therapy technician (1 year) or respiratory therapy program accredited by the Joint Committee for Respiratory Therapy Education and having passed the entry level examination administered by the NBRC since 1983, or( 2) Having a certificate as a respiratory or inhalation therapy technician based on passing an entrance examination administered by the (1) National Board for Respiratory Therapy from 1975 through 1982; (2) Technician Certification Board of the American Association for Respiratory Therapy from 1972 through 1974; or (3) Technician Certification Board of the American Association for Inhalation Therapy from 1969 through 1971.

* OR*

Certified as Registered Respiratory Therapist: Has a certificate as an RRT from the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) 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: Certified and Registered Respiratory Therapist's 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). SELECTIVE PLACEMENT FACTOR:Must be able to speak and comprehend the Spanish language.PREFFERED ELEMENTS:1. Possess a current and active Basic Life Support (BLS) certification.2. Possess a current and active Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) certification.



GS-7: In addition to the basic requirements, candidates must have successfully completed at least one of the following:

  1. A 4-year or more accredited program of study leading to a bachelor’s or higher degree in respiratory therapy.

  2. In addition to meeting the requirements for the GS-6 level, an additional year of experience related to respiratory therapy at the GS-6 level or equivalent. Experience at this level is work which includes duties such as; setting up and monitoring complex respiratory equipment such as volume and pressure ventilators; performing airway care and maintenance on intensive care patients; performing specific diagnostic studies to determine oxygen consumption/carbon dioxide production, measure respiratory compliance, tidal volume and inspiratory force; drawing and interpreting results of blood gas analysis; providing oxygen and life support to patients during emergency resuscitations; assisting physicians in placing artificial airways into patient’s trachea; and calibrating complex respiratory equipment such as pressure and volume ventilators, oximeters, and mass spectrometers. This experience must have provided the candidate with knowledge of the full range of equipment, procedures, and techniques used in respiratory therapy including the operating characteristics, capabilities, and limitations of the complex equipment (e.g. volume ventilators) used in intensive respiratory care and emergency situations. The experience must have also provided the candidate with knowledge of anatomy and physiology of the respiratory system including in-depth understanding of how the structure and function of the lungs and bronchi relate to gas exchange and ventilation; and a knowledge of caring for a wide variety of acute and chronic respiratory disorders.

References: VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G10. CERTIFIED RESPIRATORY THERAPIST QUALIFICATION STANDARDS, dated April 2002.

GRADE DETERMINATION FOR A REGISTERED RESPIRATORY THERAPIST: GS-8: Candidates must have all of the following: 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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 Standards.

*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.

Physical Requirements: The work requires standing and walking for prolonged periods of time. The respiratory therapist must frequently bend, stoop, run, reach and stretch to set-up and disassemble respiratory therapy equipment, position and move patients, respond to emergencies and push/pull light to moderately heavy objects such as mechanical ventilators; Must have visual acuity and hand eye coordination necessary to perform intricate clinical tasks in confined areas and ability to perform auscultation to access breath and cardiac sounds.

Veterans' Preference: When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference on the Occupational Questionnaire in the section provided and provide a legible copy of your DD214(s) and/or documentation related to your active duty service which shows dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), or dates of impending separation.

Additionally, disabled veterans and others eligible for 10-point preference (such as widows or mothers of eligible Veterans) must also submit an SF-15 "Application for 10 Point Veterans Preference" with required proof as stated on the form. For more information, please review the information for disabled Veterans in the application checklist or visit

Security Clearance

Not Applicable

Additional Information
What To Expect Next

After we receive your complete application package (including any required documents), your qualifications will be reviewed to decide if you meet the basic requirements. You will be notified when this decision is made.


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

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.

Other Information


  • All technical, legal and regulatory requirements must be met on the closing date of the announcement.

  • Qualified candidates referred for consideration will be interviewed using the Performance Based Interview (PBI) Process. For information about PBI, you may access

  • 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 Certified/Registered Respiratory Therapist Professional Standards Board, and approval by the Center Director. VETPRO CREDENTIALING: Individual selected for positions that have patient care responsibilities are subject to undergoing and 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. VetPro credentialing must be successfully completed prior to entering on duty. The candidate selected will be provided further information. CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT:

  • Failure to comply may be grounds for withdrawal of an offer of employment, or dismissal after appointment.

  • Applicants must meet any physical, language, license or degree requirements.

  • Applicants must be citizens of theUnited States.

  • New appointees must provide proof of eligibility to work in the United States, by completing the I-9 form and supplying acceptable documentation.

  • If required for the position, the applicant must have a valid State licensure, registration or certification.

  • Applicants must not be listed on the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of Inspector General Sanctions database.

  • New appointees are subject to a probationary period, and to a background investigation to determine suitability.

  • Male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must certify at the time of appointment that they have registered with the Selective Service system or are exempt for having to do so under Selective Service law.

  • This agency provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities.

  • Currently the VHA queries the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) and/or the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank Practitioner (HIPDB), as applicable for all current and/or new employees to ensure no sanctions have been taken against them.

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

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

THE VA CARIBBEAN HEALTHCARE SYSTEM IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER: If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process please notify the Agency. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis. Actions to fill this position will not be based on discriminatory factors, which are prohibited by law.

Salary Range: $40,033.00 to $57,631.00 / Per Year

Series & Grade: GS-0651-00/00

Supervisory Status: No

Who May Apply: United States Citizens

Control Number: 444579300

Job Announcement Number: 672-16-CV-1751531-OCA