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Immunizations Required

  • Current PPD
  • MMR
  • Varicella
  • Hep B
  • Tdap (Tetanus, Diptheria, Pertussis) – Get either a Td or Tdap booster shot every 10 years after first dose)
  • Influenza by November 30th of each year
  • Please have the above documentation readily availability upon request.
  • Covid-19 and booster
    • Complete VA Form 10-263 and submit along with a copy of your Covid-19 vaccine card.
    • If student is not receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, they must file for an exemption (medical or religious) using the VA Form 10-263.
    • If student is not vaccinated or has not filed an exemption , they CANNOT come to the VA and they may need to complete COVID-19 testing WEEKLY at the VA.

 Submit to and Date:

  • Submit VA Form 10-263 along with Covid-19 vaccine card to pugsurgeryonboarding@va.gov and to Dr. Jenny Truong at jenny.truong@va.gov at 90 days before start of your rotation.

Documentation Required

VA Forms to be completed and submitted 90 days prior prior to the start of the rotation:

Please submit the forms at least 90 days prior to your start date to pugsurgeryonboarding@va.gov and copy Dr. Jenny Truong at jenny.truong@va.gov:

  • Name
  • DOB
  • SSN
  • Address & Phone number (cell okay)
  • E-Mail
  • Place of Birth
  • Casey Atwa will also need to set up a Human Resources appointment for you so that you may obtain your badge and perform the Fingerprint/background check. Casey can be reached at:
    • Casey Atwa
      Program Specialist, Surgical Services
      VA Puget Sound Medical Center
      1660 S. Columbian Way, Seattle, WA 98108
      Bldg. 1, Rm. 314
      Mailstop: S-112-SURG
      OFFCE: (206) 277-1477
      FAX: (206) 764-2529
      EMAI: Casey.Atwa@va.gov
  • Fingerprinting: Due to a Federal mandate, students must be fingerprinted prior to their arrival at VA Puget Sound. You can be fingerprinted locally at VA San Francisco or VA Martinez. This must be done NO GREATER than six months before the start of your rotation and NO LATER than 8 weeks before the start of your rotation.
  • Students are required to inform Casey Atwa of the date & location of where their fingerprinting will transpire in advance of their appointment.
  • You can get fingerprinted at the San Francisco VA on a walk-in basis:
    • The SFVA PIV (Personal Identification Verification) Office is accepting “walk-in appointments” now.
    • The office hours are Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
    • Enclosed is a blank Fingerprinting form. Please complete the form and include the appropriate SOI and SON numbers to identify the VA that you will be taking the fingerprints for. Most numbers can be found in the clinic manual under the requirements for that VA site.
    • Please bring 2 original and current forms of ID (one must be a Government-issued photo ID) and your completed Fingerprinting Form to your appointment.
    • The PIV Office is located in Building 4, 2nd Floor, Room 2A-103 (San Francisco VA Medical Center, 4150 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94121). Click for map of VA San Francisco PIV Office.
  • VA Martinez is another location that you can go to for fingerprinting.
    • VA Northern California Health Care System Martinez – PIV Office, 150 Muir Road, Bldg. 21 Rm 219, Martinez, CA 94553, (925) 372-2000, ext. 6755. The PIV office is located inside Bldg. 21 on the second floor in room 219.  Customer parking is located in the large gravel parking lot, across the street from Bldg 21. Click for map of VA Martinez PIV Office.
    • Open Monday through Friday 8:30 to 11:30 a.m 1-3 p.m. Closed for lunch between 12 and 1 p.m.
    • You can make an appointment by emailing v21macpivmartinez@va.gov. In the subject line, please indicate for “Fingerprinting.” In the message, please provide:
      • first name and last name
      • phone number
      • email address
      • three dates and times that work for you.
    • They will reply to confirm the date of your appointment.
    • You can also do walk-in fingerprinting on Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m to 11:30 a.m. to 1-3 p.m. Wait times vary.
    • What Documents to Bring to VA Martinez: 
      • Bring two pieces of identification with you.  1) one government identity source document ID with photo and your full legal name (including middle name); 2) one government identity source document ID (photo or non-photo) with your full legal name (including middle name). For example, you may use your state issued Driver’s license and a Social Security card, Passport, Voters Registration Card, Birth Certificate, School ID card or PIV card. Expired IDs are not acceptable.
  • Click here for Acceptable IDs.
  • The completed fingerprinting form. Please provide the SOI and SON (see below) of the VA that you need the fingerprints for so that they know where to send the results.
      • Puget Sound VA Fingerprints
      • SOI# VA92
      • SON# 1203
      • Organization: VHA
      • Employee type: Student/Trainee or Affiliate (if Student/Trainee option is not available)
  • Inform Casey Atwa of your fingerprint date and location
  • Students will need to schedule their PIV appointment as soon as they send the completed forms in.

    PIV appointment website: PUG Personnel Security: PIV / Fingerprinting (office365.com)

      • Please select either “AMERICAN LAKE BADGING” or “SEATTLE BADGING”
      • When asked “has your eQIP been completed?” : Not Required
      • When asked “Are you a current federal employee?”: No
      • When asked “Customer Status”: WOC – Student/Resident/Fellow
  • Selective Service Card (register by Age 26)
  • Social Security Number
  • International Students and Social Security Numbers:
    • Health professions trainees (HPTs) training at VA medical centers receive temporary Federal appointments and personal identity verification credentials. To be properly vetted and eligible to participate in training, non‑US citizen HPTs who are temporarily in the United States must have:
    • A non-immigrant F-1 or J-1 student classification; or, an I-20 (or DS-2019) certificate of eligibility; AND
    • A US Social Security Number
    • Unfortunately the use of a “pseudo-SSN” is prohibited in certain Federal systems. Your facility may have found work arounds, however use of a pseudo-SSN, or other 9-digit number, will not be permitted after May 1, 2018. Therefore, we are notifying the field in advance of this change in the onboarding process for non-US citizen trainees.
    • https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10181.pdf
  • For travel insurance coverage, please register all out-of-state travel at the UC Trips website to ensure coverage for each covered off-campus activity. You are covered from the time you start your travel to the rotation, through your rotation, and through your return trip.

Housing Information

  • Housing is provided at no charge to the students. However, the VA asks that student maintain the housing units in a clean state.
  • Students will need to coordinate their housing after sending in the completed forms.
    • The person to contact for housing is Stephen Ferguson (stephen.ferguson@va.gov)
      • Stephen will need the following information:
        • Gender
        • Phone number & email
        • Projected move in date
  • Please review the following documents:
  • House Rules for Student Quarters (read, sign and return to Stephen Ferguson).
  • Government Housing (read, sign and return to Stephen Ferguson)

Documentation Submit to and Date

  • Please fax documents two months before your start date to:

Casey Atwa
Program Specialist, Surgical Services
VA Puget Sound Medical Center
1660 S. Columbian Way, Seattle, WA 98108
Bldg. 1, Rm. 314
Mailstop: S-112-SURG
OFFCE: (206) 277-1477
FAX: (206) 764-2529
EMAI: Casey.Atwa@va.gov

  • If you are a non-US Citizen, be sure to submit all documents no later than three months in advance of your rotation.

Obtaining your ID Badge

  • Please visit this website to sign up for an appointment to obtain your badge on the first day of your rotation: http://www.va-piv.com

Absence Policy

  • Any leave must be requested at least 1 month in advance of the desired day off and be pre-approved by the Optometry Externship Program Coordinator. Requested leave will be granted only at the discretion of the Optometry Externship Program Coordinator.
  • Granted days off may require an assignment: PPT presentation (in addition to the presentation required for all students), summary of an assigned journal article, or an AAO style case report as noted below. The type of assignment will be determined by the Director of Optometry.
    • Boards: no additional assignment
      • NBEO Parts I and II: travel days are not approved for UCBSO students as these tests are offered locally. PUCO students are granted 1 day “travel” prior to the NBEO test as required by their school policy.
      • NBEO Part III: travel days are allowed 1 day prior to and 1 day after the date of the Part III examination, unless the test date falls on a Monday or Friday. In which case there is no travel day allowed prior to the test if the test falls on a Monday and there is no travel day allowed after the test if the test falls on a Friday.
    • Religious holiday: no additional assignment
    • AAO, AOA, SECO: 1 additional assignment for the entire meeting; any other meeting will be a case-by-case decision.
    • Residency interviews: 1 additional assignment for first 2 days taken off, 1 additional for each extra day. The maximum number of days off that can be granted is 4 days
    • Approved personal leave (e.g. personal wedding, etc) or sick leave, 2 additional assignments for each day taken off.
    • Death in immediate family or personal childbirth: no additional assignment
  • 3. If the optometry student calls in sick on a previously requested day off that was denied, they must come to their assigned clinic first, be personally noted as sick by the Optometry Externship Program Coordinator or assigned Supervising Practitioner, after which they will be sent home. If the trainee fails to come into clinic on that day, they will fail the rotation and be sent back to their school for lack of professionalism.

Grievance: The Optometry Externship Program Coordinator maintains an open-door policy. If you have any concerns, please talk to the Program Coordinator immediately. If you feel uncomfortable talking with your Optometry Externship Program Coordinator, you can discuss matters with the Optometry Director and/or your school.