Physician Assistant Technical Standards
The following essential functions are required of all students enrolled in the Rush University physician assistant studies program. Physician assistants (PAs) are responsible for the care of patients, some of whom may be critically ill. PAs are often required to manage patients using complex medical equipment and devices, and to perform highly technical procedures.
PAs must also 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 PA program, all applicants should be able to perform, or learn to perform, the following functions:
- Maneuver effectively throughout the day 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.
- Move and position patients, and perform physically demanding tasks, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
- Communicate effectively with patients and their families, physicians and other health care workers whether orally, in writing, or via the use of electronic medical records and email.
- Hear normal levels of speech from patients and staff, respond to alarms and use a stethoscope to assess breath sounds.
- Accurately measure medications, read patient records, evaluate information displayed on patient monitors and make observations of patients.
- Manipulate equipment, perform technical procedures such as medication administration, phlebotomy, I.V. catheter insertion and be able to assist in surgery.
- Apply sufficient intellectual and emotional skills in order to plan and exercise independent judgment, perform patient assessment, problem solve and respond quickly 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.