Regional Medical Laboratory Scientist (RMLS)

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VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT
United States Department of State

An Equal Opportunity Employer
How to Apply

Announcement No: RMLS-2013-0003
Position Title: Foreign Service Regional Medical Laboratory Scientist (RMLS) - (Formerly Regional Medical Technologist)
Open Period: Open 09/25/2013 to NEW DEADLINE 10/31/2013
Series/Grade: FP – 0644 - 05
Salary: $42,948 - $63,071
Promotion Potential: FP-02
Duty Locations: MANY vacancies throughout the world
For more information: Medical Services Office, 202-663-1084, medhr@state.gov

Who May Apply

All potential applicants are strongly urged to read this entire Vacancy Announcement to ensure that they meet all of the requirements for this position before applying.

Applicants must be American citizens and at least 20 years old to apply. They must be at least 21 years of age to be appointed. By law, all career candidates must be appointed to the Foreign Service prior to the month in which they reach age 60.

Applicants are not eligible to reapply until one year after the application date of prior announcements, provided there is a new open Vacancy Announcement at that time.

Duration Appointment

Permanent

Marketing Statement

The Department of State is developing a rank-order List of Eligible Hires to fill a limited number of Foreign Service Regional Medical Laboratory Scientist vacancies. The specific number to be hired will depend on the needs of the Foreign Service.

Grade and Starting Salary Range: FP-05, $42,948 - $63,071

Summary

Foreign Service Regional Medical Laboratory Scientist Career

The U.S. Department of State is the lead foreign affairs agency formulating and implementing the President’s foreign policy and representing U.S. interests throughout the world. Regional Medical Laboratory Scientists are presently serving in Addis Ababa, Beijing, Cairo, Dakar, Frankfurt, Jakarta, Lagos, Mexico City, Moscow, New Delhi, and Washington, D.C.

While the preference of an applicant for a particular post or area of assignment is given every possible consideration, assignments are dictated by the "needs of the Service."

The Foreign Service is more than a job – it’s a career. As a member of a diplomatic team, you will not only help to accomplish the mission of the Department of State, but also will be a representative of your country to the people of other nations. A Foreign Service career involves uncommon commitments and occasional hardships, as well as unique rewards and opportunities. A decision to enter this career should be based on extraordinary motivation and a firm dedication to public service.

Many overseas posts are in small or remote countries where harsh climates, health hazards, and other discomforts exist and where American-style amenities and the latest in technological advances often are unavailable. Personal security frequently becomes an area of concern in countries where there is political unrest or terrorist activity. However, careers in the Foreign Service offer special rewards, including the pride and satisfaction of representing the United States and protecting U.S. interests abroad.

The Office of Medical Services in the Department of State maintains and promotes the health of employees and their accompanying family members who represent United States Government agencies abroad. The Department assigns Foreign Service Regional Medical Laboratory Scientist/RMLS, Medical Officers, Medical Officers/Psychiatrists, and Health Practitioners to select posts overseas. Many of these posts have significant health risks and local medical care that is inadequate by U.S. standards. The Foreign Service Regional Medical Laboratory Scientist/RMLS performs a wide variety of unusual and specialized tests and procedures ranging from difficult to more complex in nature in a variety of fields, such as Parasitology, Microbiology, Mycology, Chemistry, Hematology, Blood Banking and Urinalysis. Duties also include training Medical Technologists and developing quality control standards.

Key Requirements

All applicants, in order to be considered for selection, must:

  • Be U.S. citizens.
  • Be at least 20 years old to apply and at least 21 years of age to be appointed. By law (Foreign Service Act of 1980), all career candidates must be appointed to the Foreign Service prior to the month in which they reach age 60 (except for preference-eligible veterans).
  • Be available for worldwide service.
  • Be able to obtain a Top Secret Clearance.
  • Be able to obtain an appropriate medical clearance for Foreign Service work.
  • Be able to obtain a Suitability Clearance following a review by a Final Review Panel of the candidate's record for conduct in accordance with suitability standards defined in Chapter 3 of the Foreign Affairs Manual. For more details see http://careers.state.gov/specialist/selection-process or http://www.state.gov/m/a/dir/regs/fam.

If you are 59 1/2 years of age or over and claiming a 5 point veteran's preference, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 with your application. If you are claiming a 10 point veteran’s preference, in addition to the DD-214, you must submit your VA letter and SF-15 with your application. (This is required if you are preference eligible.)

Major Duties

DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Serving as a Regional Medical Laboratory Scientist (RMLS) in support of the employees of the United States Government and their eligible family members, a medical laboratory scientist works in conjunction with other Foreign Service medical personnel. Regional Medical Laboratory Scientist duties include implementing the following responsibilities at each post assigned:

  • Supervising instrument management and procedures: Manages laboratory, performs testing, collects blood, oversees send-out testing, updates technology, performs cost analysis, implements MED polices, performs on-call duty, etc.


  • Training and supervising: Instructs how to perform tests, communicates information, instructs on sanitation inspections, presents food safety classes, instructs on specimen collection, writes safety plan, supervises laboratory staff, provides evaluation input, etc.


  • Assuring quality: Monitors quality control programs, uses computer programs, maintains U.S. standards, reviews proficiency testing program, assesses competency of health unit staff, updates skills, maintains ServSafe® manager certification, liaises for health unit with local laboratories, advises local laboratory professionals.


  • Performing regional duties: Makes travel arrangements, visits regional posts, assesses local diagnostic testing facilities and blood banks, communicates with regional posts, assists with hiring, conducts sanitation inspections, submits reports, searches for means of reliable testing, collaborates with other organizations, designates laboratories for testing biological hazards, collaborates with the Center for Disease Control, arranges for continuing education, etc.


  • Addressing environmental issues: Determines corrective action, tests water for bacteria, addresses other environmental issues, etc.

Foreign Service Regional Medical Laboratory Scientists are considered essential personnel and are on call to provide services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

DESCRIPTION OF FUNCTIONAL DUTIES

Foreign Service Medical Providers (RMOs, RMO/Ps, FSHPs, and RMLSs) are responsible for Department of State medical and safety policies, provision of a range of medical services, management of Health Unit operations, supervision of subordinate staff, and the actual performance of all of the following essential functions in addition to routine family care:

  • Inspect and assess the care and capability of local clinics, hospitals, laboratories, and private practices in possibly hazardous environments, and/or where there are no special access accommodations.


  • Provide patient care that may include heavy lifting, pulling, stooping and twisting in adverse settings.


  • Travel independently to regional constituent posts (if applicable) utilizing air carriers and transportation facilities that may not have special access accommodations.

Education

EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE AND CERTIFICATION

Applicant must have a minimum of:

  1. a bachelor's degree in medical technology, clinical laboratory science, chemistry, or biological science that must include 16 semester hours (24 quarter hours) of biological science (with one semester in microbiology), 16 semester hours or (24 quarter hours) in chemistry (with one semester in organic or biochemistry), one semester/quarter of mathematics from a regionally accredited university or college; and,


  2. completion of a National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) /Commission of Accreditation of Allied Health Education (CAAHEP) medical technology/CLS program OR five years of fulltime clinical laboratory experience in blood banking, chemistry, hematology, microbiology, immunology and clinical microscopy in the U.S./Canada or a CAP/Joint Commission/AABB/CMS approved accredited laboratory within the last ten years. At least two years of the clinical laboratory experience must be under the supervision of a pathologist (certified by the American Board of Pathology) or a board certified medical scientist and a certified medical technologist /scientist; and,,


  3. a passing score on a national certification examination; and,


  4. at least four years of laboratory experience as a Generalist Medical Laboratory Scientist/Medical Technologist in a clinical laboratory after certification. The four years of experience must be within the last five years; and,


  5. a current registration as a Medical Laboratory Scientist or Medical Technologist.

Applications will not be accepted from Medical Laboratory Scientists/ Medical Technologists who do not meet the criteria outlined above.

Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet Federal job requirements for this position if the applicant can show that foreign education is comparable to education received in the United States. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide such evidence when applying for Federal jobs. To view how foreign education is evaluated for federal jobs, please visit http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/policy/ApplicationOfStds-04.asp.

Requirements

SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS

Applicant must have at least four years of laboratory experience as a generalist in the Clinical Laboratory and include work in Chemistry, Hematology, Blood Banking, Urinalysis, Microbiology, Parasitology, and Serology, with progressively responsible experience as a Medical Technologist/Medical Laboratory Scientist.

Applicant must have demonstrated skill in performing tests with detail and accuracy and providing information to appropriate individuals as necessary. The work involves exercising a high degree of laboratory management expertise.

Applicant must have knowledge of the following: Laboratory Science, General Anatomy, Medical Terminology and; Quality Control procedures and Quality Assurance plans; laboratory equipment used in performing a variety of laboratory tests; skill in performing preventive maintenance and troubleshooting on laboratory equipment; ability to train other medical professionals in laboratory techniques is required.

The patient population covered is unique because of background and lifestyle as part of a diplomatic community overseas. This population also differs in terms of clinical and administrative needs and the national security concerns inherent in their employment.

Applicant must be a skilled and experienced Medical Laboratory Scientist who recognizes and understands the problems of delivering laboratory services to a large group of Americans posted in widely scattered groups of varying size most often where local medical resources are limited or non-existent. Experience in providing laboratory results and assistance via electronic communication such as fax, telephone, telegram and e-mail is preferable. Experience in performing laboratory techniques to diagnose infectious and tropical diseases is required.

Applicant must have the ability to develop, coordinate, and administer health care programs and procedures, including individual and community health promotion and disease prevention programs. Applicant must have the ability to organize and supervise a diverse group of technologists/medical scientists who have varying degrees of expertise, education and command of the English language. Understanding the unique cultural differences related to health care delivery in varied countries and the ability to deal with the differences in a positive manner is a necessity.

Candidates must have the capacity to gain the cooperation and confidence of patients, co-workers, supervisors, and subordinates. Individuals must have experience in working in a multidisciplinary practice as well as experience in team building. Effective written and oral communication skills, and the ability to present laboratory findings in a clear and concise manner to medical and non-medical personnel are essential. The demonstrated ability to teach or lecture to groups on laboratory issues is preferred.

General computer and Microsoft Office skills are required.

Evaluations

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, ABILITIES, AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS

The education, work experience and other qualifications are evaluated for evidence of the following knowledge, skills, abilities and other requirements that have been identified as important to successful job performance as a Regional Medical Laboratory Scientist/RMLS based on extensive job analysis research.

Not all of these attributes need to be met by a candidate; the attributes will be used as a set to evaluate candidates.

  1. Knowledge of medical laboratory equipment, the Federal Regulations governing clinical laboratories and testing to include: CLIA 88, OSHA requirements for safety in the clinical laboratories and health clinics, US accreditation requirements, phlebotomy, computers and Microsoft Office, Quality System Essentials (QSEs) and Quality Management guidelines, International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations, medical laboratory tests, laboratory management, food safety guidelines, water testing methods and standards, and, Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) guidelines for all testing.


  2. Specialized skills in performing laboratory tests, performing phlebotomy, analyzing, observing, interviewing, public speaking, organizing, supervising, networking, customer service.


  3. General skills in operations monitoring, systems analysis, systems evaluation, quality control analysis, equipment maintenance, equipment selection, science, reading comprehension, active learning, coordination, time management, critical thinking, complex problem solving, judgment and decision making, service orientation, instructing, persuasion, social perceptiveness, mathematics, active listening, writing, speaking.


  4. Other attributes including tolerance of travel, worldwide available, tolerance of living overseas, tolerance of living away from family, teamwork and cooperation, empathetic personality, self motivated/sufficient, physical endurance, etc.

Qualifications

EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS

In addition to the general requirements for employment in the Foreign Service, an applicant must have a bachelor's degree, be certified by a national certification agency, and have the specified experience as outlined below. In addition, the applicant must be able to pass a writing skills assessment that may be conducted following successful completion of the initial review stage and qualifications review panel. The panel will recommend the most competitive candidates be invited to participate in an oral assessment, and at that time, the candidate will draft an essay, which will evaluate command of English grammar, spelling, punctuation, and thought content. This is explained further in our website, careers.state.gov, under Selection Process.

SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTIONNAIRE

Purpose: To allow an opportunity to describe your experiences that relate to the personal and professional skills required to accomplish the work of the Foreign Service Regional Medical Laboratory Scientist.

Instructions: During the application process, you will be asked to individually address each of the numbered items listed below, limiting responses to 2,000 characters or less for each item. Examples can be drawn from any part of your experience, but must reflect personal accomplishments. You should compose your replies carefully as one of the skills required of an experienced Regional Medical Laboratory Scientist is the ability to write clearly and concisely.

  1. Laboratory Skills: Describe a specific complex laboratory case, which you have encountered that demonstrates your laboratory skills in identifying and investigating an unexpected laboratory result.


  2. Technology Skills: Describe your skill in managing laboratory instruments and technology, including conducting complex procedures and maintaining or troubleshooting equipment.


  3. Organizational Abilities: Describe a specific achievement demonstrating your planning and organizational skills in the setting of a multidisciplinary clinical team or practice.


  4. Problem Solving and Troubleshooting: Use specific examples to describe your troubleshooting skills involving laboratory instrumentation and procedures.


  5. Teamwork Abilities: Discuss your abilities to participate as a team member working toward a common goal, as well as examples of your ability to assist a team in the accomplishment of a goal.


  6. Public Speaking and Teaching Ability: Describe specific examples demonstrating your public speaking and teaching abilities as part of an assignment or work-related task.

Evaluations

How Candidates Will Be Evaluated:

Candidates will be evaluated on their total background including experience, education, awards, training, and self-development as it relates to the position. Selection for this position will be made only from among candidates possessing the best qualifications. Part-time work experience will be prorated.

MEDICAL CREDENTIALING & INDEMNIFICATION

Applicants are subject to a medical credentialing process conducted by the Quality Improvement Staff of the Office of Medical Services. Once hired, medical personnel are indemnified for official duties only through the U.S. Federal Tort Claims Act.

How to Apply

We are not currently accepting applications for this position. Please subscribe to receive email updates regarding this vacancy.

To apply, applicants must first register on USAJOBS at www.usajobs.gov and create an online federal resume. Your online resume must be typed or you may cut and paste an existing resume into the space provided. Once you have completed the registration process, select the "Apply Online" button to the right of the vacancy. That button will transfer you to Gateway to State. Please note that the new deadline to submit completed applications is October 31, 2013.

Follow the "Apply Online" instructions at Gateway to State by answering self-assessment questions for the specific job to which you are applying. When completed, the information you provided at USAJOBS and the answers to the Gateway to State questions will become your application. Your registration, resume, and responses to questions will be used to evaluate your qualifications for this job. In addition, you may need to fax or upload some information to complete your application package.

Please note: Your application is automatically saved as you proceed through it. You may interrupt your application process and return to it until you submit it.

You have until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on the closing date of this announcement to complete the application process and supply the required documentation outlined in this vacancy announcement. Application packages MUST be complete and received by the closing date to receive consideration.

Due to the volume of applications, fax lines can become jammed and documents may not successfully attach to your application on the final days/hours of the application announcement. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CANDIDATE TO VERIFY THAT REQUIRED DOCUMENTS HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFULLY ATTACHED TO THE APPLICATION PRIOR TO THE CLOSING DATE. Applicants can do so by going back into your application and verifying that documents have been attached. Applications received without required documents will be deemed ineligible. You are encouraged to submit your application early, and to go back into your application to confirm that your documents have been attached.

If you are having technical difficulty with the application process, please contact the helpdesk by calling 1-866-656-6830 or by emailing mgshelp@monster.com.

Required Documents

As part of the online application, applicants will be asked to submit the following required documents:

  1. A Completed Online Questionnaire (Gateway to State Online Application via USAJobs).
  2. Official transcripts, plus any other documentation which includes all courses taken, grades, semester or quarter hours earned, cumulative grade point averages for all courses taken, class standing/s, major (copy of Bachelor Degree).
  3. Proof of a passing score on a national certification examination.
  4. Copy of current registration as a medical technologist/medical laboratory scientist with a national certification agency.
  5. Copy of current registration as a medical technologist/medical laboratory scientist with a national certification agency.
  6. Proof of successful completion of a NACCLS/CAAHEP medical technology/clinical laboratory science program or documented 5 years of equivalent qualifying experience.
  7. Application Form, VA-10-2850 (Complete Page 1, items 1 through 17 and Page 3, items 31 through 40). This form can be found on the Department of Veterans Affairs website: Application Form, VA-10-2850. Upon completion of Page 3 items 33 through 40 you will need to save a copy to upload or print out and fax with the appropriate system generated fax sheet. (All documentation submitted under this vacancy announcement on the Veterans Affairs forms will be reviewed and verified by Department of State personnel ONLY.)

Once you have completed the online questionnaire, you will be prompted to either upload your documents or to print out cover sheets generated within the application that must be used to fax the above required documents.

If faxing, it is extremely important that only these system-generated cover sheets, and the phone number included on them, be used for faxing these documents. The cover sheets are coded to insure that your documents are automatically attached to your online application. Please ensure that each document is faxed separately with the appropriate cover sheet.

You have until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, on the closing date of this announcement to complete the application process and supply the required documentation outlined in this vacancy announcement. Application packages MUST be complete and received by the closing date to receive consideration.

What to Expect Next

Applications will be considered as their completed package arrives in the Department. The Department of State will be hiring a number of candidates. Please note that the average processing time for an application is 7-9 months, including the completion of the credentialing, medical, security and suitability clearances.

Orientation/Training/Assignment:

Newly hired Medical Laboratory Scientist career candidates are initially assigned to Washington, D.C., for a three-week orientation followed by an onward training after the orientation, including a two-day security seminar. Additional training may include language training (depending on the requirements of the first overseas post), area studies (an intensive study of the region of assignment), etc.

Location: Individuals must be willing to serve worldwide. Generally, following a brief orientation period at the Department of State in Washington, D.C., newly hired Foreign Service Regional Medical Laboratory Scientist (RMLS) will serve an initial two year tour at a Foreign Service post overseas, and will usually spend an average of 60 percent of their careers stationed broad, moving at two-to-four year intervals. The remainder of their time will be spent at the Department of State in Washington, D.C.

Benefits

Health and medical coverage, federal retirement benefits, generous paid leave, and an unprecedented chance to see the world and experience different cultures. Overseas benefits include paid housing or a housing allowance and paid education for dependent children between K-12.

Additional Benefits: Tax free housing overseas, tax free educational allowance, etc. (See Benefits in our website, careers.state.gov/specialist/benefits, for more information.)

Initial Salary, Salary Increases and Tenure:

The starting salary range for Regional Medical Laboratory Scientist/RMLS is FP-05, Step 1 through 14. The salary is dependent upon such factors as graduate level education and directly related specialized experience not used to satisfy qualifications criteria. Salary level will be determined at the time of a conditional offer of employment. To be creditable, such education and specialized experience must be in excess of that which is required to qualify as described under Education and Specialized Experience Requirements. Individuals already working in government positions may be appointed based on highest previous rate as a Federal employee.

While the hiring of all medical professionals will start at Step 1, additional steps may be granted based on the following criteria:

EDUCATION
  • One in-grade step increase may be given for the first (and only the first) graduate degree below the doctoral level in a work-related field, awarded before the date of appointment.
  • Two additional steps may be given for a doctoral degree in a work-related field, awarded before the date of the appointment.
  • One step for a masters degree from an accredited college or university in Public Health, Clinical Laboratory Science, and Laboratory Management.
EXPERIENCE
  • One step for 3 to 4 years of closely related experience
  • Two steps for 5 to 6 years of closely related experience
  • Three steps for 7 or more years of closely related experience

In addition, the Regional Medical Laboratory Scientist receives at least 12 hours of Category 1 CME credit through an annual State Department-sponsored Continuing Medical Education program.

Regional Medical Laboratory Scientist/RMLS are administratively promoted from FP-05 to level FP-04 level after 18 months of satisfactory performance. Beyond the FP-04 level, Regional Medical Laboratory Scientist/RMLS are considered for promotion annually in competition with others in their specialty. Foreign Service career candidates are considered for tenure by a Tenuring Board after they acquire a minimum of three years experience in the Foreign Service as a specialist career candidate.

Other Information

Executive Branch agencies are barred by 5 US Code 3303 as amended from accepting or considering prohibited political recommendations and are required to return any prohibited political recommendations to sender. In addition, as mandated by 5 US Code 3110, relatives of federal employees may not be granted preference in competing for these employment opportunities.

It is the policy of the Federal Government to treat all of its employees with dignity and respect and to provide a workplace that is free from discrimination whether that discrimination is based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity or pregnancy), national origin, disability, political affiliation, marital status, membership in an employee organization, age, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors.

The Department of State provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodations for any part of the application or hiring process should so advise the Department of State at ReasonableAccommodations@state.gov within one week of receiving their invitation. Decisions for granting reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.

All potential applicants are strongly urged to read this entire Vacancy Information to ensure that they meet all of the requirements for this position before applying.