Physician Assistant Program - Southwest Florida
Core Performance Standards for Admissions and Progress
The Nova Southeastern University Health Professions Division is pledged to the admission and matriculation of qualified students and wishes to acknowledge awareness of laws that prohibit discrimination against anyone on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or disability. Regarding those students with verifiable disabilities, the university will not discriminate against such individuals who are otherwise qualified, but will expect applicants and students to meet certain minimal technical standards (core performance standards) as set forth herein with or without reasonable accommodation. In adopting these standards, the university believes it must keep in mind the ultimate safety of the patients whom its graduates will eventually serve. The standards reflect what the university believes are reasonable expectations required of health professions students and personnel in performing common functions.
The holders of health care degrees must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. In order to carry out the activities described below, candidates for Health Professions Division degrees must be able to integrate consistently, quickly, and accurately all information received, and they must have the ability to learn, integrate, analyze, and synthesize data.
Candidates for degrees offered by the Health Professions Division must have, with or without reasonable accommodation, multiple abilities and skills including intellectual, conceptual, integrative, and quantitative abilities; interpersonal communication; mobility and strength; motor skills; hearing, visual, tactile, behavioral, and social attributes. Candidates for admission and progression must be able to perform these abilities and skills in a reasonably independent manner.
Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Qualitative Abilities
These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis. Problem-solving-a critical skill-requires all of these intellectual abilities. Candidates and students must have critical thinking ability sufficient for good clinical judgment. This is necessary to identify cause-effect relationships in clinical situations and to develop plans of care. In addition, candidates and students should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.
Candidates and students must be able to interact with and observe patients in order to elicit information, examine patients, describe changes in mood, activity in posture, and perceive nonverbal communications. They must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. Communication includes not only speech but also reading and writing. The also must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in all written forms with all members of the health care team. They must have interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with individuals, families and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds.
Candidates and students must have sufficient motor function to execute movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. Examples of emergency treatment reasonably required to some health care professionals are cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), administration of intravenous medication, the application of pressure to stop bleeding, the opening of obstructed airways, and the ability to calibrate and use various pieces of equipment. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.
Strength and Mobility
Candidates and students must have sufficient mobility to attend emergency codes and to perform such maneuvers as CPR when required. They must have the physical ability to move sufficiently from room to room and to maneuver in small places.
Candidates and students should have sufficient auditory ability to monitor and assess health needs. They must be able to hear information given by the patient in answer to inquires; to hear cries for help; to hear features in an examination, such as the auscultatory sounds; and to be able to monitor equipment.
Candidates and students must have visual ability sufficient for observation and assessment necessary in patient care. It must be consistent in many cases with being able to assess asymmetry, range of motion, and tissue texture changes. Osteopathic medicine, optometry, and physician assistant students must have sufficient visual ability to use ophthalmologic instruments. It is necessary to have adequate visual capabilities for proper evaluation and treatment integration. Candidates and students must be able to observe the patient and the patient's responses including body language and features of the examination and treatment.
Candidates and students must have sufficient tactile ability for physical assessment. They must be able to perform palpation, functions of physical examination, and/or those related to therapeutic intervention.
Osteopathic students and physician assistants are required to have an enhanced ability to use their sensory skills. These enhanced tactile and proprioceptive sensory skills are essential for appropriate osteopathic evaluation and treatment of patients.
Behavioral and Social Attributes
Candidates and students must possess the emotional health required for full use of their intellectual abilities; the exercise of good judgment; the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients; and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with the patients. Candidates and students must be able to physically tolerate taxing workloads, to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest, motivation are all personal qualities that will be assessed during the admissions and education process.