Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Pharmacy Technician (Inpatient) in Palo Alto, California

Job Overview

Job Overview

Vacancy Identification Number (VIN) 1852609

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.

The VA Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) consists of three inpatient facilities located at Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and Livermore, plus seven outpatient clinics in San Jose, Fremont, Capitola, Monterey, Stockton, Modesto, and Sonora. These facilities provide some of the world's finest medical care and cutting-edge technology.

VAPAHCS is a teaching hospital with an affiliation with the Stanford University School of Medicine which provides a rich academic environment including medical training for physicians in virtually all specialties and subspecialties. Our Health Care System operates over 800 beds, including three nursing homes and a 100-bed homeless domiciliary - all to serve more than 67,000 enrolled Veterans.

You can learn more about VAPAHCS by visiting

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.

If you are not an internal employee (i.e., VA applicant located at the facility and/or Community Based Outpatient applicant) or VA Agency Wide employee, or current Federal employee, you should apply under the announcement VK-17-SF-1853263-BU-OCA-R.

Current VA and/or Federal employees must submit SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, at time of application.

NOTE: Declining to be interviews, failure to respond/accept interview attempts, or failure to report for a scheduled interview will be considered as a declination for further consideration for employment against this vacancy.



  • The initial cut-off date is December 13, 2016.

  • Applications will be referred every two weeks thereafter.

  • Applications will remain on file for 3 months.

Work Schedule:Multiple shifts based on assignment including holiday/weekend rotations.

Functional Statement Title/#:Pharmacy Technician (Inpatient)/000000


VA Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) has immediate openings for MULTIPLE Inpatient Pharmacy Technicians at the Palo Alto Division. These technicians will work various shifts depending upon the scheduled shift assignment.

This Pharmacy provides pharmaceutical care services to our 300-bed acute care hospital division (Intensive Care Units, OR/Recovery Room, Medicine, Surgery, Sub-Acute Medicine/Long Term Care, Hospice, Spinal Cord Injury, Polytrauma, Psychiatry, Emergency Department) with centralized operation for Unit Dose, Ward Stocking and Sterile Compounding medication preparation and dispensing. We have a fully integrated computer system including online provider order entry, documentation of medication administration using barcode technology, and automation of the unit dose distribution system. These technicians will assist in providing distributive pharmacy services to patients at the Palo Alto Acute Care Division.

Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

a) Unit Dose Responsibilities: filling and delivering new, STAT or missing medication orders; restocking point of care machines; performing cart-fills and cart exchange; replenishing crash cart medications and emergency kits; repackaging bulk items (oral solids and liquids); filling orders using pharmacy automation (Robot Rx, Med Carousel, PacMed); performing optimization of automation; and conducting monthly ward/clinic inspections.

b) Sterile Compounding Responsibilities: preparing IV admixtures, piggybacks, syringes, TPN, and chemotherapy doses based on patient specific orders using sterile technique in the laminar flow hood in accordance with USP 797; performing all necessary pharmaceutical calculations; and cleaning and restocking the IV room.

c) Controlled Substance Responsibilities: selecting controlled substance medications, counting the correct number of drugs, and loading into the assigned point of care machine on wards and clinics. This also includes conducting required daily inventory, maintaining perpetual inventory of all controlled substances, and receiving inventory into the computerized system with an Accountable Officer.

Supervisory Status


Travel Required
  • Not Required
Relocation Authorized
  • No
Who May Apply
This job is open to…

Current VA employees and current employees of other federal agencies

Questions? This job is open to 2 groups.

Job Requirements

Job Requirements
Key Requirements
  • Must pass pre-employment examination
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English
  • Designated and-or Random Drug Testing required
  • Background and-or Security Investigation required
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.

U.S. Citizenship. Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.

Education or Experience. A high school diploma or equivalent; or at least 3 months experience.

Certification.Certification by the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) is required at this grade level. [COPY OF CERTIFICATION MUST BE SUBMITTED WITH APPLICATION].

Grandfathering Provision. All persons employed in VHA in this occupation on the effective date of this qualification standard are considered to have met all qualification requirements for the title, series and grade held, including positive education and licensure/certification/registration that are part of the basic requirements of the occupation.

English Language Proficiency.Pharmacy technicians appointed to direct patient care positions must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance 38 U.S.C. 7402(d) and 7407(d).

Preferred Experience: Experience working in a large, complex multi-disciplinary health care pharmacy providing inpatient pharmacy technician services.

QUALITY RANKING FACTOR:This position includes a Quality Ranking Factor which is a skill, knowledge, ability or other worker characteristic which could be expected to result in superior performance on the job. Quality ranking factors will not be used for screening, but may be used as ranking criteria. Applicants with higher proficiency levels may rank above those with lower proficiency levels on a quality ranking factor.

The Quality Ranking Factor is experience working as an Intravenous Room Technician (i.e., making IVs, TPN, and Chemotherapy or Controlled Substance Technician (receiving, filling and performing inventory of all controlled substances.

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.

Grade Determinations: In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates:


(a) Experience: One year experience at the next lower level and must fully meet the KSAs at the next lower level. In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following technical KSAs and the potential to acquire the assignment specific Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities designated by an asterisk (*):

(b) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

KSA 1 - Ability to solve problems and make recommendations, e.g., troubleshoot operational problems and refer for appropriate action.

KSA 2 - Knowledge of the operation and care of automated equipment. KSA 3 - Knowledge of, and ability to follow, written instructions for compounding with aseptic technique for hazardous materials such as oncology agents.

KSA 4 – Knowledge and ability to perform compounding with aseptic technique for routine sterile products.

KSA 5 - Knowledge of policies and procedures for inventory management in specialized areas such as emergency carts.

KSA 6 - Knowledge of the computerized prescription process demonstrated by the ability to input prescriptions and medication orders.

(c) Assignments.Pharmacy technicians may be assigned to any area of the pharmacy including expanded distributive function assignments; for example assignment as team leaders for specific process improvement teams involving technical areas or performing more highly complex duties including preparation of oncology agents for clinical pharmacy specialists. For all assignments above the full performance level, the higher-level duties must consist of significant scope, complexity (difficulty), and range of variety, and be performed by the incumbent at least 25% of the time.

References: VA Handbook 5005 Part II, Appendix G428 (P. II-G28-4) dated 17 March 2006. This can be found in the local Human Resources Office.

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.**

*Drug Testing: *All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in a drug testing designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with the VA. In addition, any offer of employment will be rescinded with a verified positive drug test. VA employees in drug testing designated positions are also subject to post appointment random drug testing.

Physical Requirements:The functional requirements for this position are moderate lifting and carrying (15-44 pounds); pushing (2 hours); reaching above shoulders; use of fingers, and both hands and legs required; walking and standing (6-8 hours); repeated bending (2 hours); ability for rapid mental and muscular coordination simultaneously; near vision correctable at 13" to 16" to Jaeger 1 to 4; far vision correctable in one eye to 20/20 and to 20/40 in the other; depth perception; ability to distinguish basic colors and shades of colors; and hearing (aid permitted). The environmental factors for this position are: constant noise; working around machinery with moving parts; working closely with others and/or alone; protracted or irregular hours; unusual emotional strain; and working with hazardous pharmaceuticals.

Security Clearance

Public Trust - Background Investigation

Additional Information

Additional Information
What To Expect Next

After we receive application packages (including all required documents) and the vacancy announcement closes, we will review applications to ensure qualification and eligibility requirements are met. During our review, if your résumé and application package do not support your questionnaire answers, we will adjust your rating accordingly. After the review is complete, a referral certificate(s) is issued and applicants will be notified of their status by email (if provided); otherwise, applicants will receive a notification letter via the U.S. Postal Service. Referred applicants will be notified as such and may be contacted directly by the hiring office for an interview. All referred applicants receive a final notification once a selection decision has been made.

You may check the status of your application at any time by logging into your USAJOBS account and clicking on "Application Status." For a more detailed update of your status, click on "more information." Information regarding applicant notification points can be found in the USAJobs Resource Center.


VA offers a comprehensive benefits package. This link provides is an overview of the benefits currently offered:

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

It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.

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

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

This job originated on For the full announcement and to apply, visit Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at will be considered.

Open & closing dates: 2016-11-22 to 2017-09-30

Salary: $44,268 to $53,718 / per year

Pay scale & grade: GS 06

Series: 0661 Pharmacy Technician

Appointment type: Excepted Service Permanent

Work schedule: Full Time

Job announcement number: VK-17-SF-1852609-OCA-BU-R

Control number: 456849600