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Technical Standards for Admission to and Progression in the Physician Assistant Studies Program

The Physician Assistant Studies Program requires that a student possess the ability to meet the requirements of the program. Though the program might modify certain course requirements to provide persons who are handicapped with an opportunity to achieve results equal to those of a person who is not handicapped, there are no substitutes for the following essential skills. The applicant must initially meet these requirements to gain admission to the program, and must also continue to meet them throughout participation in the program.

  1. Physical Requirements: The applicant/student must be willing and capable of performing the customary techniques for physical assessment, such as visual observation, auscultation, percussion and palpation. The applicant must be able to perform physician assistant procedures such as suturing, splinting, venous and arterial puncture and cannulation, bladder catheterization, nasogastric tube placement, emergency procedures such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation, suctioning of airway, endotracheal intubation, operation of cardioverter/defibrillator, and application of routine first aid procedures.
  2. Communication: The applicant/student must be able to elicit information, describe changes in health, mood and activity, and perceive nonverbal communication. The applicant/student must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and all members of the health care team.
  3. Intellectual Ability: The applicant/student must be competent in problem solving skills, including measurement, calculation, reasoning and analysis.
  4. Behavioral and Social Attributes: The applicant/student must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads, function effectively under stress, adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the evaluation and treatment of patients, and must possess integrity, compassion, effective interpersonal skills and be motivated for a career in health care. The student/applicant must be able to work with patients who have serious illnesses, infectious or terminal diseases and severe emotional disorders.

The Physician Assistant Studies Program requires that the applicant/student undergo a physical examination. An applicant/student who is handicapped shall not, on the basis of his or her handicap (except those which would preclude the essential skills outlined above), be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, nor be subjected to discrimination in the physician assistant program.

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