University of Bridgeport Physician Assistant Institute

General Educational Objectives


History Taking & Performing Physical Examinations

Knowledge of:
Pertinent historical information associated with selected medical conditions
Risk factors for development of selected medical conditions
Signs and symptoms of selected medical conditions
Physical examination techniques
Physical examination findings associated with selected medical conditions
Appropriate physical examination directed to selected medical conditions
Differential diagnosis associated with presenting symptoms or physical finding

Cognitive skills in:
Conducting comprehensive and focused interviews
Identifying pertinent historical information
Performing comprehensive and focused physical examinations
Associating current complaint with presented history
Identifying pertinent physical examination information


Applying Basic Science Concept

Knowledge of:
Human anatomy
Clinical Lab and Microbiology
Clinical Genetics

Cognitive skills in:
Recognizing normal and abnormal anatomy and physiology
Relating pathophysiologic principles to specific disease processes
Correlating abnormal physical examination findings to a given disease process
Correlating abnormal results of diagnostic tests to a given disease process


Health Maintenance

Knowledge of:
Epidemiology of selected medical conditions
Early detection and prevention of selected medical conditions
Relative value of common screening tests
Appropriate patient education regarding preventable conditions or lifestyle modifications
Healthy lifestyles
Prevention of communicable diseases
Immunization schedules and recommendations for infants, children, adults and foreign travelers
Risks and benefits of immunization
Human growth and development
Human sexuality
Occupational and environmental exposure
Impact of stress on health
Psychological manifestations of illness and injury
Effects of aging and changing family roles on health maintenance and disease prevention
Signs of abuse and neglect
Barriers to care

Cognitive Skills in:
Using counseling and patient education techniques
Communicating effectively with patients to enhance health maintenance
Adapting health maintenance to the patient’s context
Using informational databases


Using Laboratory & Diagnostic Studies

Knowledge of:
Indications for initial and subsequent diagnostic or laboratory studies
Cost effectiveness of diagnostic studies or procedures
Relevance of common screening tests for selected medical conditions
Normal and abnormal diagnostic ranges
Risks associated with diagnostic studies or procedures
Appropriate patient education related to laboratory or diagnostic studies

Cognitive skills in:
Using diagnostic equipment safely and appropriately
Selecting appropriate diagnostic or laboratory studies
Collecting diagnostic or laboratory specimens
Interpreting diagnostic or laboratory studies results


Formulating Most Likely Diagnosis

Knowledge of:
Significance of history as it relates to differential diagnosis
Significance of physical findings as they relate to diagnosis
Significance of diagnostic and laboratory studies as they relate to diagnosis

Cognitive skills in:
Correlating normal and abnormal diagnostic data
Formulating differential diagnosis
Selecting the most likely diagnosis in light of presented data


Clinical Intervention

Knowledge of:
Management and treatment of selected medical conditions
Indications, contraindications, complications, risks, benefits and techniques for selected procedures
Standard precautions and special isolation conditions
Sterile technique
Follow-up and monitoring of therapeutic regimens
Conditions that constitute medical emergencies
Indications for admission to or discharge from hospitals or other facilities
Discharge planning
Available community resources
Appropriate community resources
Appropriate patient education
Roles of other health professionals
End-of-life issues
Risks and benefits of complementary and alternative medicine

Cognitive skills in:
Formulating and implementing treatment plans
Recognizing and initiating treatment for life-threatening emergencies
Demonstrating technical expertise related to performing specific procedures
Communicating effectively
Using counseling techniques
Facilitating patient adherence and active participation in treatment
Interacting effectively in multidisciplinary teams


Pharmaceutical Therapeutics

Knowledge of:
Mechanism of action
Indications for use
Side effects
Adverse reactions
Follow-up and monitoring of pharmacologic regimens
Risks of and for drug interactions
Clinical presentation of drug interactions
Treatment of drug interactions
Drug toxicity
Methods to reduce medication errors
Cross reactivity of similar medications
Recognition and treatment of allergic reactions

Cognitive skills in:
Selecting appropriate pharmacologic therapy for selected medical conditions
Monitoring pharmacologic regimens and adjusting as appropriate
Evaluating and reporting adverse drug reactions


Program Specific Competencies

At the completion of the didactic and clinical phases of the University of Bridgeport Physician Assistant Institute program the graduates will be able to demonstrate proficiency performing the following skills, tasks and procedures:

  1. Obtain a comprehensive patient history from available sources, including:
    Patient demographics
    Chief complaint
    History of present illness or injury
    Past medical/surgical history
    Family history
    Psycho/Social history
    Review of systems
  2. Obtain a problem focused history, as appropriate
  3. Utilize information from the patient history to formulate a differential diagnosis
  4. Perform a comprehensive physical examination
  5. Perform a problem focused physical examination, as appropriate
  6. Obtain and interpret vital signs
  7. Distinguish between normal and abnormal physical examination findings
  8. Demonstrate interpersonal communication skills to develop professional rapport with patients, families and other healthcare professionals
  9. Demonstrate knowledge of normal ranges of laboratory tests
  10. Order laboratory and other diagnostic tests including but not limited to:
    Blood gas
    Peak flow
    Plain x-ray
  11. Demonstrate knowledge of risks of laboratory and diagnostic tests
  12. Interpret laboratory and other diagnostic tests
  13. Analyze findings obtained through history taking, physical examination and interpretation of diagnostics studies to formulate an accurate diagnosis
  14. Demonstrate ability to properly triage patients with acute injury or illness
  15. Perform the following diagnostic procedures:
    Peak expiratory flow
    Slit lamp examination
    Visual acuity
    Pap smear
  16. Perform a pelvic exam including proper speculum, PAP smear and culture technique
  17. Demonstrate digital rectal exam and the ability to test stool for occult blood using guaiac cards
  18. Demonstrate evidence based clinical decision making skills in the formulation of a treatment plan
  19. Discuss the risks/benefits and economic impact associated with diagnostic tests used in formulating a diagnosis and medication/treatment choices used in the formulation of a treatment plan
  20. Properly organize and document through paper based or electronic based medical records to ensure that an accurate record of the patient encounter is created in compliance with current medical/legal standards
  21. Deliver accurate, concise oral presentations summarizing pertinent patient data.
  22. Provide patient education regarding symptoms, physical examination findings, laboratory and diagnostic tests, treatment plans and discharge instructions
  23. Determine when referral to additional services is required
  24. Facilitate referral to additional healthcare services
  25. Provide patient education and counseling regarding normal development and aging patterns, health maintenance, disease prevention, screening techniques, immunizations and the risk/benefits of various life style choices
  26. Demonstrate knowledge of the Physician Assistant certification/recertification and licensing processes
  27. Demonstrate knowledge of Connecticut State guidelines regarding the recognition and reporting of child abuse, elder abuse, and domestic violence
  28. Demonstrate professional integrity, honesty, dependability, respect for self and others, compassion, and an ability to protect patient confidentiality and trust at all times
  29. Demonstrate professional excellence, teamwork, tolerance for diversity and community service
  30. Demonstrate proper breast exam technique and the ability to instruct the patient regarding regular monthly self-breast exam
  31. Demonstrate proper testicular exam technique and the ability to instruct the patient regarding regular monthly self-testicular exam
  32. Perform a venipuncture and collect blood samples
  33. Perform an arterial puncture and collect blood samples
  34. Establish peripheral vascular access
  35. Establish central venous access
  36. Administration of IV fluids, medications, blood and blood products
  37. Establish vascular access through intraosseous technique
  38. Collect stool, urine, sputum, throat or wound drainage specimen for culture
  39. Perform a gram stain and interpret smear
  40. Perform injections including subcutaneous, intradermal, intravenous and intramuscular
  41. Administration of medication via the following routes:
  42. Interpret intradermal skin test
  43. Insert a nasogastric tube
  44. Interpret an electrocardiogram
  45. Analyze spirometry readings
  46. Demonstrate proper technique for a lumbar puncture
  47. Perform a chemical and microscopic urinalysis
  48. Insert and remove a Foley catheter
  49. Demonstrate proper technique for a thoracentesis
  50. Demonstrate proper technique for a paracentesis
  51. Demonstrate the ability to utilize OSHA recommended Universal Precautions
  52. Demonstrate the ability to use aseptic technique and the ability to establish a sterile field
  53. Demonstrate proper wound care including skin closure using various suturing technique
  54. Apply casts and splints using proper materials and techniques
  55. Demonstrate the ability to determine when supplemental oxygen is required by a patient and the factors which must be considered when determining the best delivery method and rate of flow
  56. Demonstrate competency in the interpretation of plain radiographs of the chest, abdomen, spine and extremities
  57. Implementation of basic life support (CPR)
    Rescue breathing
    Chest compressions
    FBAO removal
  58. Implementation of Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
  59. Demonstrate knowledge and skill of basic airway management
    Oropharyngeal airway
    Nasopharyngeal airway
    Bag valve mask ventilation
    Pocket mask ventilation
  60. Demonstrate knowledge and skill in advanced airway management
    Endotracheal Intubation
    Laryngeal mask airway (LMA)
    Supraglottic airway (i.e. King LT Airway)
  61. Demonstrate knowledge of advanced emergency airway management
    Needle cricothyroidotomy
    Surgical cricothyroidotomy
  62. Monitor patient progress and response to treatment.

Graduates shall be able to demonstrate competency in the above skills, tasks and procedures without regard to gender, age, socioeconomic background. It is expected that the graduate will be competent regardless of medical setting or patient acuity.
Competencies are subject to change.