University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences
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Essential Functions

Set Forth below are the Essential Functions you must meet to successfully complete the Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy programs at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. The Essential Functions are representative of requirements placed on our students and practicing clinicians.

Motor Skills

  1. Ability to perform an assessment/evaluation and intervention through the execution of the following motor movements:
  1. Stand for 30 minutes
  2. Lift 40 pounds
  3. Kneel, crawl, roll, and bend backward and forward
  4. Assume prone, supine, and side-lying positions
  5. Exhibit independent control of upper and lower extremity joints
  6. Independently climb on and off of a three-foot table
  7. Balance on one leg
  8. Grasp and release items of various sizes in both hands
  9. Have grip strength of 20 pounds
  10. Open and close doors one-handed
  1. Demonstrate sufficient strength and balance to transfer, move, and/or assist patients/clients while walking and/or completing their daily occupations without injury to patient/client or yourself.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Ability to position yourself in front of a screen for typing, viewing, reading, and using a computer for up to 50-minute intervals.


Visual Ability

  1. Ability to observe and interpret patient/client movement and/or occupational performance.
  2. Ability to observe a patient/client at a distance greater than 20 feet or closer to note 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).
  5. Ability to view video, graphics, and written word on a computer screen or a monitor.


Tactile Ability

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


Hearing Ability

  1. Auditory ability sufficient to monitor and interact with patients, professionals and, patients’ family members.
  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, or computer media in the classroom, lab, or clinic.


Mobility Skills

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


Coping Skills

  1. Ability to perform in stressful environments or during impending deadlines.
  2. Ability to complete timed written, oral, and laboratory practical examinations.
  3. Agreement to follow the Student Code of Conduct and other policies as stated in the Student Handbook that include but are not limited to:
  4. Maintain academic honesty at all times;
  5. Exhibit dependability by arriving to class on time, attending all assigned classes, and following through with commitments and responsibilities;
  6. Display professionalism, follow the university dress code, and display a positive attitude; and
  7. Obey university, local, state, and federal laws, policies and procedures, and rules and regulations.


Critical Thinking Ability

  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. 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 and supervise support personnel.
  5. Actively participate and contribute to group projects.


Communication Skills

  1. Communicate effectively with patients/clients and their 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 plans and progress notations succinctly and in a time frame similar to clinical constraints.
  5. Achieve basic competency in word processing, email, and use of the Internet.

Please contact your Student Success Advisor with any questions about requesting reasonable accommodations. The Reasonable Accommodations Request Form is located on the MyUSA Student Portal.

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