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Technical Standards

In accordance with federal regulations established by the Americans With Disabilities Act, the following standards are described to assist each candidate in evaluating his/her prospect for academic and clinical success. As a condition of admission into the Division of Physician Assistant Practice (DPAP), students are required to verify that they understand and meet technical standards, with or without certain accommodations.
A candidate for the Division of Physician Assistant Practice must have abilities and skills in five areas: (1) observation, (2) communication, (3) motor and sensory, (4) intellectual-conceptual and (5) behavioral and social as well as the ability to comply with patient safety measures. Technological compensation can be made for certain disabilities; however, a candidate is expected to perform the following abilities and skills in a reasonably independent manner.

 Abilities and Skills
   o Observation. The candidate must be able to observe lab activities that may include, but are not limited to microbiological cultures, microscopic studies of microorganisms and pathological tissues and imaging. Candidates must be able to observe a patient accurately. Observation requires the functional use of vision and somatic sensations such as tough, pressure and temperature. It is enhanced by the functional use of smell.
   o Communication. A candidate shall be able to speak, hear and observe patients in order to elicit information, document changes in mood, activity and posture and perceive nonverbal communication. Communication includes speaking, reading and writing. Effective communication shall occur with patients, patients’ families and all members of the healthcare team.
   o Motor and Sensory. Candidates shall have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers. Candidates shall perform basic laboratory tests and carry out diagnostic and treatment procedures that are not limited to urinalysis, CBC, pap smears, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, administration of intravenous medications, intubation and wound closure techniques. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine motor skills, equilibrium and functional use of touch and vision.
   o Intellectual. Candidates must possess conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities that are required to analyze and synthesize patient information. Problem solving, critical thinking and spatial ability are demanded of physician assistants.
   o Behavioral and Social Attributes. Candidates must possess the mental health necessary for full integration of intellectual abilities, sound judgment, responsibility and the development of mature and sensitive relationships with patients. Candidates must tolerate physically taxing workloads and function well under stress. The ability to adapt to change while maintaining compassion, empathy and integrity are qualities that will be assessed throughout academic and clinical preparation of the student.
Ohio University DPAP is committed to making its program accessible to people with disabilities. A student may request reasonable accommodations through the college’s Student Accessibility Services. The request should be submitted at least one semester before the accommodations are needed. With reasonable accommodation, a student still must be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner, the technical standards and tasks required in the five ability and skill areas.

Patient Safety Measures
The Ohio University’s Division of Physician Assistant Practice has developed Health Standards that are established for the student’s protection as well as that of patients. All candidates must meet these health standards upon admission and prior to clinical placement.

Immunization Requirement

Annual Flu – Each student must provide documented proof of an annual flu vaccination by November 1 of each year. If there is a medical contraindication, a medical waiver must be signed by a physician.


HepB (Hepatitis B) – Laboratory evidence of immunity (i.e., antibody titer) is required. Accompanying laboratory report (Hepatitis B sAB) must be submitted. The lab report (1) must be dated within the past 12 months and (2) provide results and values/ranges. Series and titer must be completed prior to patient contact.

MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) – Two doses of MMR (measles (rubeola), mumps, rubella) vaccine, given on or after the first birthday are required. In addition, laboratory evidence of immunity (i.e., antibody titer) is required prior to engagement in education activities. Accompanying laboratory report (Rubeola Igg, Mumps Igg, Rubella Igg) must be submitted. The lab report (1) must be dated within the past 12 months and (2) provide results and values/ranges.

Td (Tetanus/Diphtheria) – Provide the date of one Tdap vaccine (trade name Adacel® or Boostrix®) prior to engagement in education activities. Following administration of a one‐time Tdap, a Td will be required every 10 years.

Tuberculosis (TB) – 1 Two‐step TB Skin Testing (TST) is required of all students each year. The TST date and results in millimeters must be submitted.

Varicella Laboratory evidence of immunity (i.e., antibody titer) is required prior to engagement in educational activities. Accompanying laboratory report (Varicella Igg) must be submitted. The lab report (1) must be dated within the past 12 months and (2) provide results and values/ranges.

1A chest x-ray and blood test (QFT-G or T-Spot) is required if a position skin reaction is detected.

Criminal Background Check
It is law that vulnerable populations (i.e., children and elderly) be protected. It is in the best interest of the DPAP to evaluate whether its students are fit to participate in patient care activities at affiliated clinical sites. To that end, students are required to obtain background checks through Certiphi prior to enrollment (completed within eight weeks prior to matriculation) and prior to the clinical year (completed within eight weeks prior to first clinical rotation). Additional background checks may be necessary per individual clinical site requirements.

As a means to assist students or applicants who may have convictions or a criminal record, a self-disclosure policy is in place to govern admission decisions, define continued enrollment and participate in clinical education.

Prior to admission, each student will be required to submit a self-disclosure. Self-disclosure of a conviction and/or a criminal record does not constitute an automatic bar to admission. However, refusal to complete a self-disclosure, failure to submit a truthful self-disclosure and/or failure consent to a background check will prohibit admission or continued enrollment. Each self-disclosure, along with required documentation from court records, physician letters, treatment facility records, completed background check report and any other pertinent records, will be evaluated by the PA faculty on a case-by-case basis.
Toxicology Screen
PA students are required to complete a urine drug screen (1) within eight weeks prior to matriculation, (2) within eight weeks prior to the beginning of the clinical year, and (3) at any time necessary to meet the compliance requirements of a clinical site or the academic program.