Technical Standards

To participate in the Physician Assistant Program at Franklin College, each student, with or without reasonable accommodations, must be able to safely and effectively meet the following non-academic technical standards.  In addition to academic requirements, technical standards describe the essential functions that a student must be able to perform in order to be admitted, to progress satisfactorily, and to graduate from the Physician Assistant Program.

If a student states he/she can meet the standards with accommodation, the Franklin College Academic Resource Center will evaluate the student’s need for accommodation to confirm the stated condition qualifies as a disability under applicable laws. The Academic Resource Center will work with the MSPAS program to determine if reasonable accommodation can be made. This determination will take into account whether accommodation would jeopardize clinician/patient safety, or the educational process of the student or the institution, including all coursework and clinical experiences deemed essential to graduation.

It is the policy of Franklin College that all opportunities are to be made available to qualified individuals on the basis of merit and without discrimination against any employee, applicant for employment, student, or applicant for admission because of race, color, religion, gender, disability, age, national origin, or sexual orientation.

1. Observation

PA students must:

  • be able to acquire a defined level of information presented in the lecture hall, the laboratory, and during clinical demonstrations
  • be able to directly and accurately observe a patient to obtain a medical history, perceive a patient’s demeanor, and determine the patient’s condition
  • be able to adequately perform a physical exam including the use of diagnostic equipment such as a stethoscope, an ophthalmoscope, and an otoscope.

2. Communication

Student must be able to:

  • communicate quickly, effectively, and efficiently in oral and written form with patients, families, and all members of the health care team.
  • communicate clearly with patients in order to elicit information including interpreting verbal and non-verbal forms of communication
  • relate effectively to patients while conveying compassion and empathy
  • recognize and respond promptly to emotional cues, such as sadness or agitation;
  • record observations and plans accurately and legibly in legal documents, such as the patient record;

3. Motor

Students must possess sufficient motor function to:

  • safely maneuver in the classroom, laboratory, and clinical settings.
  • perform physical examinations using palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers
  • maintain physical stamina to perform a variety of activities for long periods of time including sitting, standing, or moving between rooms
  • execute physical movements needed to provide general care and emergency treatments to patients including but not limited to:
    • arriving quickly when called
    • assisting in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
    • administering intravenous medications
    • applying pressure to arrest bleeding
    • maintaining an airway
    • suturing wounds
    • assisting with obstetrical maneuvers
  • lift and transport a minimum weight of 25 lbs.

4. Intellectual and cognitive

In order to be successful in the PA program, students must be able to:

  • comprehend, retain, and integrate a large volume of material in a short period of time
  • measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize information in order to make decisions
  • extract and synthesize significant information from the medical history, physical exam and diagnostic testing
  • use critical thinking by combining knowledge and reasoning to formulate diagnoses and care plans
  • acknowledge limitations of knowledge and/or performance in order to provide safe, effective patient care

5. Behavioral and social attributes

Students must:

  • maintain his or her individual peak emotional health to perform at the best of his or her intellectual abilities
  • conduct themselves in a professional, compassionate and emotionally mature manner
  • appreciate and respect differences in individual, social, and cultural beliefs of fellow students, instructors, professional colleagues, and patients in order to reason morally and practice in an ethical manner
  • be self-reflective and recognize one’s own personal and professional limitations
  • monitor and react appropriately to their own emotional needs and be able to tolerate stress in the educational and clinical settings
  • accept constructive criticism and respond in a mature manner to modify behaviors as necessary
  • be adaptable to a changing environment and display the flexibility necessary in educational and clinical situations
  • exercise sound judgment and integrity in all situations to function effectively as part of a health care team