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master of physician assistant studies


Technical Standards

Technical Standards for Admission, Academic Progression, and Graduation

The St. Ambrose University Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program is committed to the development of providers who deliver high quality patient care with compassion and respect. In addition to academic standards, students must be able to meet required technical standards for admission, progression, and graduation from the program. A student must have adequate ability and skills in the following areas: observation; communication; sensory and motor function; intellectual, conceptual, integrative, and quantitative ability; and behavioral and social attributes.

General Abilities: The student must possess functional use of the senses of vision, touch, hearing, taste, and smell in order to integrate, analyze, and synthesize information in an accurate manner. The student must also have the ability to perceive pain, pressure, temperature, position, vibration, position equilibrium, and movement that are important to the student's ability to gather significant information necessary to effectively assess patients.

Observation: The student must be able to observe demonstrations and conduct experiments in the basic sciences, including but not limited to chemical, biological, anatomic and physiologic sciences, microbiologic cultures, and microscopic studies of microorganisms. Students must be able to observe demonstrations in the classroom including films, power point presentations, and other forms of visual presentation. The student must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand.

Communication: The student must communicate effectively verbally and non-verbally to elicit information from patients and others. They must be able to describe changes in mood, activity, posture, and perceive non-verbal communications. Each student must have the ability to read and write, comprehend and speak the English language to facilitate communication with patients, family members, and other professionals in health care settings. Communication includes speech, writing, reading, interpreting tables, figures, graphs, and computer literacy.

Sensory and Motor Function: The student must be able to perform gross and fine motor movements with sufficient coordination needed to perform physical examinations utilizing the techniques of inspection, palpation, percussion, auscultation, and other diagnostic maneuvers. A student must develop the psychomotor skills reasonably needed to perform or assist with procedures, treatments, administration of medication, management and operation of diagnostic and therapeutic medical equipment utilized in the general and emergent care of patients required in practice as a physician assistant. The student must be able to maintain consciousness and equilibrium; have sufficient levels of postural control, neuromuscular control, and eye-to-hand coordination; and to possess the physical and mental stamina to meet the demands associated with extended periods of sitting, standing, moving, and physical exertion required for satisfactory performance in the clinical and classroom settings.

Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities: The student must be able to develop and refine problem-solving skills that are crucial to practice as a physician assistant. Problem solving involves the abilities to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of structures; to measure, calculate reason, analyze, and synthesize objective and subjective; and to make decisions that reflect sound clinical judgment. A student must be able to read and comprehend medical literature, as well as have the ability to incorporate new information from a variety of sources to formulate diagnoses and develop a therapeutic plan.

Behavioral and Social Attributes: A student must possess the emotional health required for full use of his or her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment and the prompt completion of all responsibilities in the classroom setting as well as in the clinical environment. The development of mature, sensitive effective and professional relationships with patients and members of the heath care team is essential. 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 learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Flexibility, compassion, integrity, effective interpersonal skills, and concern for others are personal qualities that are desired in a health professional.