VA PUGET SOUND HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
AMERICAN LAKE DIVISION
MENTAL HEALTH SERVICE
FUNCTIONAL STATEMENT PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT - CHIEF GRADE
General Mental Health Care Line: Mental Health Clinic
A. EDUCATION. The candidate must meet one of the following:
1. A master's degree from a PA training program certified by the Committee on Allied
Health Education and Accreditation (CAHEA); or
2. A master's degree in a health care occupation or a health-related science and a
baccalaureate degree from a PA training program which is certified by CAHEA; or
3. A master's degree in a health care occupation or a health-related science and graduation
from a PA training program of at least 12 months duration which is certified by CAHEA
and bachelor's degree in a health care occupation or a health-related science; or.
4. A baccalaureate degree from a PA training program which is certified by CAHEA and
experience as a PA where the individual has an equivalent knowledge of the profession
and has successfully undertaken difficult or complex clinical, administrative, research
and/or educational assignments which have required an unusual degree of leadership and
5. Graduation from a PA training program of at least 12 months duration which is certified
by CAHEA and bachelor's degree in a health care occupation or a health-related science
and experience as a PA where the individual has an equivalent knowledge of the
profession and has successfully undertaken difficult or complex clinical, administrative,
research and/or educational assignments which have required an unusual degree of
leadership and competence.
B. CERTIFICATION. Current PA certification by the National Commission on Certification
of Physician's Assistants (NCCPA).
C. EXPERIENCE. Professional practice characterized by progressively more responsible
leadership assignments in clinical, administrative, educational and/or research areas. At least 8
years of experience as a PA. Practice must have consistently demonstrated all of the following
behaviors (if applicable to the assignment):
1. Establishes and maintains relationships within the service, with facility management and
other services that result in improved patient care.
2. Accepts substantial and continuing responsibility and accountability for planning
organizing, coordinating and controlling a complex integrated health care program.
3. Makes decisions which serve to enhance the distinctive and contributory role of PAs
with the local institution and the total health care system.
4. Participates in long range program planning and model development for effective
delivery of health services.
PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT - CHEIF GRADE
5. Facilitates the delivery of patient care in collaboration with health professionals, health
mangers and other health care personnel.
6. Assures implementation, maintenance and compliance with standard of professional
practice of all health care personnel within the program.
7. Works effectively with others on a consistent basis and establishes relationships with
professional and/or other health care related groups in the community.
8. Has made significant and sustained contributions to the PA profession which may
include publication or publishable works, membership on tasks forces, intramural or
extramural committees, consulting, development of educational media, scientific
inquiry, or use of creative approaches to enhance quality of patient care and productivity
9. Practice as a PA characterized by leadership and accomplishments in developing and
implementing programs to improve the delivery of patient care and by proficiency in
any of the following areas;
a) Systematically evaluates current clinical practice; initiates change in clinical
practice based on current concepts and findings from research and/or studies;
demonstrates such expertise in patient care that advice is sought by others.
Assesses, plans, implements and evaluates patient care programs.
b) Initiates changes in the system for delivering patient care based on current concepts
and findings from research and/or studies; uses sound judgement in making
decisions; manages staff; develops staff for patient care leadership assignments.
c) Assesses, plans, implements, coordinates and evaluates educational programs and
activities; initiates change in education programs based on current concepts and
findings from research and/or studies; teaches effectively and creatively; provides
guidance to others involved in the delivery of the education program.
d) Demonstrates grounding in research methodology; designs and conducts scientific
inquiry; promotes and assists others in research activity; contributes through
conduction of scientifically meritorious inquiry and publishable findings.
PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT - CHEIF GRADE
ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITY:
A. The Physician Assistant functions as an agent of his/her supervising physician with defined
levels of autonomy. The role requires decision making based on a broad knowledge base
and experience. The Mental Health Care Line patient population presents with multiple
mental health, physical health and social problems which requires competence in assessment
and management of acute and chronic problems. Patient treatment is directed toward a
stabilization or improvement in their mental, physical and psychosocial health. Guidelines
for practice are scope of practice, currently accepted mental health care treatment plans,
Mental Health Care Line, VA PSHCS and DVA policies and procedures.
B. The Physician Assistant is knowledgeable in: the evaluation and management of a broad
range of health problems; emergency measures; prescribing of medications and treatment,
their indications and potential side effects; the principles of certain procedures; patient
education; community, social and health resources.
C. She/he is competent to obtain a health history, examine the patient, order and interpret
diagnostic studies, establish an assessment utilizing the collected data, plan the care, and
consult with peers and consultants as appropriate.
D. The Physician Assistant's practice is characterized by leadership in improving patient care.
The Physician Assistant works effectively with others, participates in interdisciplinary
groups and establishes relationships with professionals and/or health related groups within
the community. She/he makes significant contributions to the medical profession through
publications, membership on task forces, intramural or extramural committees, consulting,
development of media, or scientific inquiry. Her/his practice is characterized by leadership
and accomplishments in developing and implementing programs to improve the delivery of
health care. The Physician Assistant systematically evaluates current clinical practice;
initiates change in clinical practice based on current concepts and findings from research
and/or clinical studies; acts as a consultant in clinical practice.
E. The Physician Assistant is responsible to the team leader of the Mental Health Clinic..
MENTAL HEALTH CLINIC SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES:
This position will provide psychiatric/medical care to male and female veterans who are
requesting or continuing care in the Mental Health Clinic at the American Lake Division of the
VA Puget Sound Health Care System. The position is under the operational/functional control
of the team leader of the Mental Health Clinic.
The incumbent performs initial evaluations of patients referred for diagnostic assessment,
particularly if medications are to be considered as part of the patient's treatment. This includes:
history and physical examination (as appropriate); mental status exams; treatment plans;
ordering and interpretation of laboratory, radiological and diagnostic tests; initiating
consultations; ordering of medications. The incumbent performs ongoing outpatient treatment to
include: mental status examination; monitoring medications to adjust for changes in symptoms
and/or side effects; providing supportive psychotherapy and/or case management services as
needed, including outreach activities, especially with the patient's support system; discharge of
PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT - CHEIF GRADE
veterans from the outpatient clinic from the mental health clinic under the supervision of a
physician. He/she evaluates physical/psychological work readiness and level of participation in
Adventure Therapy. The incumbent is an active member of the Mental Health Clinic Treatment
Team. He/she attends Mental Health Clinic treatment/clinical care planning conferences.
He/she may dictate intake summaries, progress notes, consultations and discharge summaries.
The incumbent is: responsible for screening for infectious diseases; education and counseling of
the patient and the patient's family in preventive care, medical/psychiatric conditions and the use
of prescribed treatments and drugs; on going follow-up of his/her outpatients to observe and
record patient's medical/psychiatric progress; updating and summarizing medical records;
changing orders when appropriate; completing appropriate disability paperwork. He/she may:
teach psycho-educational classes; conduct individual psychotherapy; conduct group
psychotherapy; supervise/teach students/interns (as appropriate); participate in program design
and outcome evaluation/ research; perform administrative duties as assigned. He/she may act as
a consultant to the Mental Health Service and other agencies providing care to veterans for
medical and psychiatric issues.
The incumbent duties are performed in the Mental Health Clinic, American Lake Division,
VAPSHCS and in the community.
Deputy Director Team Leader
Mental Health Care Line Mental Health Clinic