Technical Standards

Technical Standards

Applicants must meet established technical standards in order to be a successful candidate. The Physician Assistant Program has adopted the following Minimal Technical Standards for Admission:

The candidate must be able to acquire a level of required information as represented through demonstrations and experiences in the basic sciences. This includes but is not limited to information conveyed through physiologic and pharmacological demonstrations in animals, as well as microbiologic cultures and microscopic images of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states. A candidate must be able to observe a patient accurately, at a distance and close at hand; acquire information from written documents; and see information presented in images on paper, film, slide, or video. Observing and acquiring information from these sources usually requires functional visual, auditory, and somatic sensation, enhanced by other sensory modalities.

When a candidate’s ability to observe or acquire information through these sensory modalities is compromised, the candidate must demonstrate alternative means/abilities to acquire and use the essential information. Obtaining and using such alternative means/abilities shall be the responsibility of the student. The College will reasonably assist the student where necessary.

The candidate must be able to communicate effectively, efficiently, and sensitively with patients and their families and with all members of the health care team.

A candidate must be able to interpret X-ray and other graphic images and digital or analog representations of physiologic phenomenon (such as ECGs). Assistive devices may be used if necessary.

Candidates and students should have sufficient motor functions to execute movements that are required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. Candidates should be able to directly perform palpation, percussion, auscultation and other diagnostic maneuvers; basic laboratory tests; and diagnostic procedures. Examples include: cardiopulmonary resuscitation; administering intravenous medication; applying pressure to stop bleeding; opening of obstructed airways; suturing of simple wounds; and performing simple obstetrical maneuvers. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements; equilibrium; and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.

Physician assistant candidates need exceptional sensory skills, and it is therefore necessary to thoroughly evaluate individuals who are otherwise qualified but who have significant tactile sensory or proprioceptive disabilities. This would include individuals with significant pervious burns, sensory motor deficits, cicatrix formation, and many malformations of the upper extremities.

Strength and Mobility
Physical examination and treatment modalities often require upright posture with sufficient lower extremity and body strength. Therefore, individuals with significant limitations in these areas would be unlikely to successfully complete the requirements for the Physician Assistant Program. Mobility required for emergency codes and CPR is required.

Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities
The candidate must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize in a timely fashion. In addition, the candidate should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of structure.

Behavioral and Social Attributes
Candidates must possess the emotional health required to fully use their intellectual abilities, to responsibly attend to the diagnosis and care of a patient, and to develop mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients, peers, and other members of the healthcare team.

Candidates and students must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of patients.

Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation are all personal qualities that will be assessed during the admissions and educational processes.

See further Technical Standards Examples

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Maria Sanchez
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