The following identifies the essential functional capacities required of all students enrolled in the Physician Assistant Program at Rush University.
Physician Assistants are responsible for the care of patients, some of who may be very ill. PAs are required to manage patients using complex medical equipment and devices, and to perform highly technical procedures. PAs must be able to problem solve and derive correct diagnoses, and to manage complex medical problems. PAs must be able to formulate, implement, monitor and adjust treatment plans as required for correct and appropriate patient care. Finally, PAs must be able to effectively and efficiently communicate with physicians, patients, family members, and other health care professionals. Therefore, in order to be successful in the Rush University Physician Assistant Studies Program, all students should be able to perform, or learn to perform, the following functions:
1. Effectively maneuver between examination rooms, office areas, clinic areas, hospital patient rooms, operating rooms, special procedure suites, and various other clinical areas in the hospital, clinic, and physician’s office setting as required for proper patient care.
2. Move and position patients, and perform potentially physically demanding tasks, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation, as required in the clinical setting.
3. Communicate effectively with patients, family, physicians, and other health care workers in oral and written formats, and through the use of electronic medical records and e-mail.
4. Assess and interpret information conveyed through diagnostic equipment and normal levels of speech from patients and staff, and respond to alarms.
5. Accurately measure medications, read patient records, evaluate information displayed on patient monitors, and make observations of patient condition.
6. Manipulate equipment as needed to perform fine motor tasks, examination techniques, and technical procedures as appropriate for the patient population and clinical setting.
7. Apply sufficient intellectual and emotional skills in order to plan and exercise independent judgment, perform patient assessment, problem solve, and respond quickly and appropriately to medical emergencies.
The program reserves the right to require applicants or students to demonstrate any of these essential functions as part of the technical standards for the program.