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Essential Functions

Essential Functions for Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Orthopaedic Assistants Set forth below are the Essential Functions that you must be able to meet in order to successfully complete the Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and/or Orthopaedic Assistant programs at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences.

We wish to facilitate your success.  If you know of any reason that you cannot now, or after standard instruction, meet all of the functions set forth below, you are to inform the Student Services Office so you can be counseled regarding the process for requesting reasonable accommodations.  The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences wishes to make reasonable accommodations in areas in which it is able to do so.   
 
There are certain physical requirements that this program cannot accommodate such as failure to meet the motor, tactile, visual, and hearing criteria as set forth below.  In addition, there are standards of performance that cannot be accommodated such as in the areas of safety or judgment.  The cognitive component of some of the Essential Functions, such as the ability to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or transfer patients, is taught as part of the curriculum.   

Please contact the Student Services Office with any questions about the Essential Functions and/or reasonable accommodations.  

Critical Thinking Ability (Weigh pros and cons and logically make decisions)
1.  Use sound judgment and apply safety precautions as appropriate.  
2.  Analyze and synthesize data from a variety of sources in a timely manner.   
3.  Ability to put research findings into practice.
4.  Exhibit a positive, interactive response to feedback.  

Interpersonal Skills
1.  Interact appropriately with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds.
2.  Establish rapport with clients, patients and colleagues.
3.  Use responsive, empathetic listening skills.
4.  Direct/supervise support personnel.
5.  Actively participate and contribute to group projects.  

Mobility Skills
1.  Ability to move physically from room to room and maneuver in small places around patient/equipment.
2.  Ability to administer CPR.
3.  Ability to walk up and down stairs/ramps.
4.  Travel to clinical education sites locally and nationally as assigned.  

Communication Skills
1.  Communicate effectively with patients/clients, family members, faculty, other health care professionals, and community and professional groups in verbal and written form.
2.  Elicit information from patients/clients in a timely manner.
3.  Complete written work at a professional level in a timely manner.
4. Document patient/client assessment/evaluation, intervention plan and progress notation succinctly and in a time frame similar to clinical constraints.
5.  Achieve basic competency in word processing, e-mail, and use of the Internet.
 
Motor Skills
1.  Ability to perform an assessment/evaluation and intervention through the execution of motor movements as defined below.

a.  Ability to stand for thirty (30) minutes.
b.  Ability to lift forty (40) pounds.
c.  Ability to kneel, crawl, roll, and bend backward and forward.
d.  Be able to assume prone, supine and side-lying positions.
e.  Exhibit independent control of upper and lower extremity joints.
f.  Independently climb on and off of a three-foot table.
g.  Balance on one leg.
h.  Grasp and release items of various sizes in both hands.
i.  Have grip strength of twenty (20) pounds.
j.  Open and close doors one-handed.

2.  Demonstrate sufficient strength and balance to transfer, move, assist patients/clients in walking, and their daily occupations without injury to patient/client or self.   
3.  Demonstrate coordination of gross and fine motor upper extremity movement patterns to perform therapeutic activities, daily life occupations and use of a mouse and keyboard for computer input.
4.  Ability to perform a technique with proper positioning, hand placement, direction of force, amount of force, etc., based upon visualization of a picture, video or live demonstration.
5.  Ability to position oneself in front of a screen for typing, viewing, reading, and using the computer for up to 50 minute intervals.  

Visual Ability
1.  Ability to observe and interpret patient/client movement or occupational performance.
2.  Ability to observe a patient/client at a distance greater than twenty (20) feet and close-up noting verbal and nonverbal signals.
3.  Ability to visually monitor and assess physical, emotional, and psychological responses, equipment settings, dials and instructions.
4.  Ability to determine and comprehend dimensional and spatial relationships of structures, e.g. differentiating right and left, up and down, etc.
5.  Ability to view video, graphics, and written word on the computer screen or a DVD monitor.  

Tactile Ability
1.  Ability to perform a physical assessment through on-hands application that may include palpation of anatomical structures, noting surface characteristics, assessment of tone, temperature, depth, etc.  

Hearing
1.  Auditory ability sufficient to monitor and interact with patients, other professionals and families.
2.  Ability to hear and react appropriately to alarms, emergency signals, timers, and cries for help.
3.  Auditory ability sufficient to hear verbal instructions, audio, video, DVD or computer media in the classroom, lab or clinic.   

Coping Skills
1.  Ability to perform in stressful environments or during impending deadlines.
2.  Complete timed written, oral, and laboratory practical examinations.
3.  Follow the “Student Code of Conduct” and other policies as stated in the Student Handbook that include but are not limited to:

a.  Maintain academic honesty at all times.
b.  Exhibit dependability by arriving in class on time, attending all assigned classes, and following through with commitments and responsibilities.
c.  Display professionalism through appropriate presentation of oneself, follow the University dress code, and display a positive attitude.
d.  Obey University, local, state and federal laws, policies and procedures, and rules and regulations.

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