- A candidate for the Physician Assistant Program at Bethel University must have abilities and skills in five categories: observation, communication, sensory/motor, intellectual, and behavioral/social. Reasonable accommodation for persons with documented disabilities will be considered on an individual basis, but a candidate must be able to perform in an independent manner. The use of a trained intermediary is not acceptable in many clinical situations, in that it implies that a candidate’s judgment must be mediated by someone else’s power of selection and observation. Furthermore, it is expected that the student will meet the technical standards throughout the duration of the program of study. It is incumbent on the student to notify the Program immediately if they are unable to meet one of the standards. The following skills are required with or without accommodation.
- Candidates must have sufficient sensory capacity to observe in the lecture hall, the laboratory, the outpatient setting, and the patient’s bedside. Sensory skills adequate to perform physical examination are required. Functional vision, hearing, and tactile sensation must be adequate to observe a patient’s condition and to elicit information through procedures regularly required in a physical exam, such as inspection, auscultation and palpation. A candidate must be able to: observe a patient accurately, at a distance, and close at hand, with or without standard medical instrumentation; acquire information from written documents, and visualize information as presented in images from computer screens, paper, films, slides, or video. This includes, but is not limited to, information conveyed through physiologic and pharmacological demonstrations in animals, microbiological cultures and microscopic images of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states. In any case where a candidate’s ability to observe or acquire information through these sensory modalities is compromised, the candidate must demonstrate alternate means and/or abilities to acquire and demonstrate the essential information conveyed in this fashion. If the alternatives are acceptable, it is expected that obtaining and using such alternate means and/or abilities shall be the responsibility of the student.
- Candidates must be able to communicate effectively in both academic and health care settings. A candidate must be able to speak, to hear, and to observe patients by sight in order to elicit information; describe changes in mood, activity and posture; and perceive nonverbal communication. Candidates must show evidence of effective written and verbal communication skills.
Sensory and Motor
- The ability to participate in basic diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers and procedures (e. g. palpation, auscultation) is required. Candidates must have sufficient motor function to execute movements reasonably required to provide care to patients. Candidates must be able to negotiate patient care environments and must be able to move between settings, such as clinic, classroom buildings, and the hospital. Physical stamina sufficient to complete the rigorous course of didactic and clinical study is required. Long periods of sitting, standing, or moving are required in the classroom, laboratory, and clinical areas.
- Candidates must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize. Problem solving, one of the critical skills demanded of physician assistants, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, candidates should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships, and understand medical literature. In order to complete the PA degree, candidates must be able to demonstrate mastery of these skills, and the ability to use them together in a timely and often critical fashion in medical problem solving and patient care.
Behavioral and Social Attributes
- Candidates must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, and the prompt completion of all academic and patient care responsibilities. The development of mature, sensitive and effective relationship with patients and other members of the health care team are essential. The ability to effectively function in the face of uncertainties that are inherent in clinical practice, along with flexibility, compassion, integrity, motivation, interpersonal skills, and concern for all, is required.
Any student with accessibility needs should contact Sandy Louden before matriculation into the BUPA program. She can be reached at 731-352-4095 or firstname.lastname@example.org.