Surgical Technicians

Lexington VA Medical Center   Lexington, KY   Full-time     Health Care Provider
Posted on November 20, 2022
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SURGICAL TECHNICIANS: New Competitive Salary Structure


The Surgical Technician (ST) is a surgical team member who assists the surgeon and other team members during surgical procedures. The ST functions as the primary scrub person responsible for handling instruments, supplies, specimens, and equipment during all surgical procedures, including but not limited to thoracic, major vascular, and endovascular surgery, neurosurgery, ophthalmologic surgery, colorectal and oncological surgery, robotics, and minimally invasive surgery.


This is an OPEN CONTINOUS ANNOUNCEMENT and will remain open until December 30, 2023. The initial cut-off date for referral of eligible applications will be November 4th, 2022, with subsequent dates every two weeks. Eligible applications will be referred at regular intervals until position is filled.

Functions as a primary scrub person responsible for handling instruments, supplies, specimens, and equipment during all surgical procedures such as but not limited to thoracic, major vascular, and endovascular vascular surgery, neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, ophthalmologic surgery, general, colorectal, and oncological surgery, robotics, complex head and neck surgery, and minimally invasive surgery.

Major duties consist of the following:

  • Sets up the sterile field with all required items for each procedure, such as robotic equipment, air-powered equipment, fiber optic equipment, laparoscopic equipment, microscopes, lasers, arthroscopy equipment, urologic equipment, recording devices, and other operating room supplies and equipment.
  • Plans and discusses each procedure with surgical professionals and ensures that all supplies and equipment are available before the surgical procedure.
  • Prepares, organizes, and maintains highly complex sterile surgical set-ups.
  • Observes and responds promptly to each stage of the surgical procedure and anticipates the needs of the surgeon by maintaining mental focus for extended periods.
  • Utilizes universal precautions and follows all infection control policies and procedures when handling specimens, supplies, and equipment.
  • Assists the team members with the care of the veteran, i.e., positioning, prepping, and obtaining supplies.
  • Handles all specimens appropriately.
  • In conjunction with the circulating Registered Nurse (RN), performs soft goods, sharps, and instrument counts to prevent retention of surgical items and verify accuracy. Responsible for the accountability of all surgical instruments and equipment during the surgical procedure.
  • Assists the surgeon by performing such procedures as preparing skin grafts, suctioning, holding retractors, and cutting sutures. Prepares prostheses and surgical devices during operations and calibrates instruments/equipment in the sterile field.
  • Assists in training residents, medical students, nursing students, operating room technology students, and new Operating Room (OR) staff in the operation of equipment, sterile technique, handling of instruments, and OR procedures, including the scrub role in surgical procedures.
  • Functions as a runner for complex surgical procedures under the direct supervision of an RN.
  • Assists circulating nurse with veteran care during each phase of perioperative interventions, such as gathering equipment and supplies, opening sterile items, setting up the surgical field, veteran transferring and positioning, providing comfort measures, monitoring and maintaining sterility pre- and intra-operatively, staying inside the OR from the time of sterile field set-up to the time of veteran transfer out of the OR to ensure the integrity of the sterile environment, and participating in veteran care activities related to induction of and emerging from anesthesia.
  • Functions as laser technician (operator) within the operating room environment monitoring compliance with the organization's policy and procedures, supervising usage and safety, documenting treatment parameters, and reporting any adverse outcomes to Nurse Manager and Laser Safety Officer.
  • Maintains Equipment and Work Areas
  • Performs non-technical maintenance of equipment to prevent malfunctions.
  • Maintains OR area.
  • Assesses equipment needs and maintains an adequate stock of supplies and materials.
  • Recognizes potentially hazardous situations (e.g., frayed cords and water on the floor) and takes corrective action.
  • Collaborates with engineering and biomedical services, promoting the use and maintenance of VA property safely that preserves the equipment.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Work Schedule: Rotating regular 8 hour shifts Monday - Friday between 0700-1830 weekdays; also includes weekday, weekend, and holiday on call requirements.
Telework: Not Available.
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Position Description Title/PD#: Surgical Technician/ PD31089A
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Authorized.
Physical Requirements: Duties regularly require providing manual assistance in lifting, positioning, and transporting veterans, the majority of whom will be at a different level of consciousness related to anesthesia. Duties regularly require lifting and/or moving instrument trays, equipment, medical devices, and supplies. There are extended periods of regular and recurring standing, walking, bending, lifting, pushing, reaching, and prolonged stretching to provide easy accessibility of instruments and supplies for the surgeon.


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this job
  • Subject to a background/suitability investigation
  • Designated and/or random drug testing may be required
  • May serve a probationary period
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
  • A complete application package; Resume, Transcripts, etc.
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process


  • 26 Days of Annual Leave
  • 11 Paid Holidays
  • 13 Sick Days
  • Student Loan Reimbursement
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Life Insurance
  • Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) Federal 401(k)
  • Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS)
  • FSAFEDS Flexible Spending Account
  • Paid Parental Leave (up to 12 weeks)
  • Guaranteed hours - no down staffing


To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

Individual Occupational Requirements
Specialized Experience: 
Positions in this series range widely in type and include support duties to medical or health personnel such as audiologists, speech pathologists, medical officers, and optometrists. Therefore, technician experience is experience that required application of the knowledge, methods, and techniques of the position to be filled.

GS-07 grade level: One year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-6 grade level in the federal service); experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA's) and other characteristics to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled, in the normal line of progression for the occupation in the organization. Specialized experience includes: utilizing knowledge of medical instruments, human anatomy, physiology, and aseptic technique to prepare and protect sterile field during surgery; exercising sterile technique to include sterilizer operations and tests to determine the effectiveness of sterilization, packaging, storage, and shelf life; handling medical instruments, supplies and equipment during all surgical procedures; performing proper cleaning techniques, as well as the proper handling and rotation of sterile supplies; handling contaminated items, quality control, and personal hygiene, using knowledge of universal precautions and implementing infection control policies and procedures, etc


Applicants may substitute education for the experience required for the GS-07 level. Applicants may substitute graduate education or an internship meets the specialized experience in those instances where it is directly related to the work of the position. One full year of graduate education meets the requirements for GS-7. Part-time graduate education is creditable in accordance with its relationship to a year of full-time study at the school attended.


Applicants may also combine education and experience to qualify at the GS-07 level. To calculate, first identify the percentage of required education you have earned (when substituting, you cannot use the first 60 semester hours that you earned). Then identify the percentage of required experience you possess. Add the two percentages. The total percentage must equal at least 100 percent to qualify at the GS-07. For example, an applicant who has 9 semester hours of graduate level education (i.e. 50% of graduate education required) and 6 months of creditable specialized experience (i.e. 50% of the required experience) would equal 100% of the required experience for the position A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Selective Placement Factors are a prerequisite to appointment and represent minimum requirements for a position. Applicants who do not meet it are ineligible for further consideration. The Selective Placement Factor for this position is: Experience in operating room scrubbing in ANY of the following surgical specialties: General Surgery, Orthopedics, Plastic Surgery, Cardio-Thoracic, Vascular, Ophthalmology, ENT, Urology, Neurosurgery, and Podiatry.


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.

Additional information

COVID-19 Pandemic Expanded Telework Program - Due to COVID-19, VA is currently in an expanded telework posture. If selected, you may be expected to temporarily telework, even if your home is located outside the local commuting area. Once employees are permitted to return to the office, you will be expected to report to the duty station listed on this announcement. Management officials will provide information about returning to the official, pre-pandemic worksite, when applicable. At that time, you may be eligible to request to continue to telework depending upon the terms of your organization's telework policy and the duties of the position.

The following will be communicated to applicants for VA employment in a testing designated position and will also be included in all VA vacancy announcements for such positions: All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in a testing designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drugs use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA.

The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provide eligible displaced VA competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. To be well-qualified, applicants must possess experience that exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors if applicable, and must be proficient in most of the requirements of the job. Information about ICTAP and CTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website which can be found 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. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employee's 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. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed.

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

If you are unable to apply online or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.



Required Documents

Documents Accepted:

  • Cover Letter
  • DD-214/ Statement of Service
  • Disability Letter (VA)
  • Resume
  • SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action
  • Transcript

Documents Required:
  • Resume
Please review the above list(s) to ensure you have included all necessary documents required for your application. Not every applicant will require the same documents, therefore it is the applicants responsibility to ensure that their application package includes all necessary documents to determine qualifications and eligibility for appointment, such as a copy of your SF-50, transcript, ICTAP/CTAP documentation (for displaced Federal employees).You will not be contacted for additional information. Applicants will be deemed ineligible if supporting documentation is not submitted.

Veterans' Preference: Since the Direct-Hire Recruitment Authority is being used, traditional Veterans' Preference rules do not apply. Qualified veterans will, however, be given full consideration for this position.

Applications are accepted online. Applying online will allow you to review and track the status of your application.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

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. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

How to Apply

All applicants are encouraged to apply online.

To apply for this position, you must complete the occupational questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section. The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on 12/30/2022 to receive consideration. To preview the questionnaire click

1. To begin, click Apply Online to create a USAJOBS account or log in to your existing account. Follow the prompts to select your USAJOBS resume and/or other supporting documents and complete the occupational questionnaire.

2. Click Submit My Answers to submit your application package.

NOTE: It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation is submitted prior to the closing date. To verify your application is complete, log into your USAJOBS account,, select the Application Status link and then select the More Information link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process.

To return to an incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete.