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A physician assistant student must possess a number of abilities and skills.  The use of a trained intermediary is not acceptable in many clinical situations in that it implies that a candidate’s judgment must be mediated by someone else’s power of selection and observation.  Therefore, each student must be able to:

  • Observe a patient accurately, at a distance and close at hand, with or without standard medical instrumentation
  • Acquire information from written documents and to visualize information as presented in images from paper, film, slides or video
  • Comprehend X-ray, EKG and other graphic images with or without assistive devices
  • Speak, hear and observe patients by sight in order to elicit information, describe changes in mood, activity and posture, and perceive nonverbal communication
  • Communicate effectively with patients and their families in both written and oral modalities
  • Possess motor skills necessary to perform palpation, percussion, auscultation and other diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers, basic laboratory tests and emergency therapeutic procedures, including airway management, placement of intravenous catheters, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, application of pressure to control bleeding, and suturing of wounds
  • Measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate, synthesize and comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand spatial relationships of structures according to standard medical care
  • Exercise good judgment and complete all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients promptly.  Develop mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients
  • Tolerate physically taxing workloads, function effectively under stress, adapt to changing environments, display flexibility and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the practice of clinical medicine

Where a candidate’s ability to observe or acquire information through sensory modalities is compromised, the candidate must demonstrate alternate means and/or abilities to acquire and demonstrate comprehension of essential information.  Costs of necessary accommodations should be reasonable and will be properly borne by the University when not the responsibility of the student or otherwise funded.  Students wishing to receive reasonable accommodations must first follow all registration procedures through Counseling Services and Disability Services.