Physical Therapist

Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration - Philadelphia, PA (30+ days ago)3.9

The physical therapist's major function is direct patient care within multiple formats to include but not limited to: individual care, group care, joint visits with interdisciplinary team members, and care through telehealth.

The PT independently plans, develops and implements comprehensive, complex treatment programs for individual patients or groups of patients to relieve pain, restore or enhance performance, and maximize ability to function as independently as possible.

The PT also performs appropriate assessments, evaluations and treatments involved in the prevention of physical disability, movement dysfunction and pain resulting from injury, disease, and disability or other health-related conditions.

Additional functions include the interpretation of tests and measurements to assess normal parameters of physiological functions as well as pathophysiological, pathomechanical, electrophysiological, ergonomic and developmental deficits of bodily systems to determine diagnosis, treatment, prognosis and prevention.

In addition, specialized knowledge in chronic pain management which relies heavily on the biopsychosocial model of care and understanding of pain neuroscience. This requires an ability to incorporate these principles into practice and teaching (both patients and other health care professionals) as well as experience in the evaluation and treatment of patients with persistent pain conditions and routine to complex musculoskeletal conditions.

Basic Requirements:
United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.
Education. The individual must meet at least one of the requirements below:

(1) Bachelor's degree in Physical Therapy AND five (5) years of progressively independent experience as a physical therapist.

(2) Master's degree in Physical Therapy AND two (2) years of progressively independent experience as a physical therapist.

(3) Doctorate degree in physical therapy.

NOTE: Prior to 1995 the terminal degree for PT's was either a bachelors or master's degree. In 1995 CAPTE accredited all baccalaureate, master's, and Doctor of Physical Therapy terminal degree programs. Effective 2002, CAPTE changed its scope of accrediting activities of PT education programs to include only those programs that culminate in post-baccalaureate degrees(eliminating the baccalaureate degree). Effective 2015, professional physical therapy education programs have only offered the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree to all new students.

NOTE: Individuals must be a graduate of a Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) accredited college or university. The CAPTE is the only accreditation agency recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) to accredit entry-level physical therapy programs. Verification of accredited programs may be obtained from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) at
Licensure. Current, full, active, and unrestricted license to practice physical therapy in a State,
Territory or Commonwealth (i.e., Puerto Rico) of the United States, or in the District of Columbia.
Physical Requirements. A physical examination is required.
English Language Proficiency. Proficiency in written and spoken English is required.
Preferred Experience: Experience working in a hospital and knowledge of pain management is preferred.

Grade Determinations: GS-12 Physical Therapist (Full Performance Level)
In addition to the basic requirements, candidates must possess one year of experience equivalent to the GS-11 grade level, such as providing assessment and treatment intervention, planning and modifying treatment based on a patient's response to intervention and/or change in medical condition. and hold a valid unrestricted state license and demonstrate all the KSAs below:

Demonstrated Knowledge Skills and Abilities:
1. Ability to make autonomous clinical decisions in a Direct Access environment. This includes ability to independently evaluate and treat patients who seek physical therapy services.

2. Skill in performing examinations and evaluations of individuals who have or may develop impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions related to conditions of the musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular, pulmonary, and/or integumentary systems while considering the effects attributable to unique psychosocial and environmental factors.

3. Ability to interpret findings from examination and evaluation, select appropriate test and measures, and integrate findings into the physical therapy plan of care for the full range of patient populations.

4. Ability to establish a diagnosis within the scope of physical therapy and identify the appropriate rehabilitation intervention, including referral to another provider for further consultation as clinically indicated.

5. Ability to determine physical therapy prognosis by incorporating examination findings with the patient's preferences in order to set clinically appropriate treatment goals, optimize outcomes and maximize functional independence.

6. Ability to independently provide clinical oversight of Physical Therapy Assistants as well as students on clinical affiliations who are in Doctoral PT Programs or PTA Programs.

At the full performance level, PTs are responsible for independently providing assessment and treatment interventions to inpatients and outpatients received through healthcare provider referrals and patient self-referrals. Guided by differential and movement diagnoses, PTs perform examinations and evaluations of individuals who have or may develop impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions related to conditions of the musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular, pulmonary, and/or integumentary systems while considering the effects attributable to unique personal and environmental factors.

References: 5005/99 PART II APPENDIX G12

The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-12. The actual grade at which the candidate may be boarded is GS-11 to GS-12.

Physical Requirements: Heavy lifting, 45 pounds and over, Heavy carrying, 45 pounds and over, Pushing, Use of fingers, Walking, Standing, Kneeling, Repeated bending, 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, Ability to distinguish basic colors, Ability to distinguish shades of colors, Hearing (aid permitted), Emotional Stability.

To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:


The following documents are accepted, and may be required if applicable to your eligibility and/or qualifications for this position. Please use this checklist to ensure you have included all documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify), SF-50's, documentation to support Veterans Preference or ICTAP/CTAP documentation (for displaced Federal employees).


Veterans' Preference: When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference for 5pt (TP), 10pt (CP/CPS/XP), or for Sole Survivor Preference (SSP) in the questionnaire. You must provide a legible copy of your DD214(s) which shows dates and character of service (honorable, general, etc.). If you are currently serving on active duty and expect to be released or discharged within 120 days you must submit documentation related to your active duty service which reflects the dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), and 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 Veteran Preference" with required proof as stated on the form. Documentation is required to award preference. For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit