Essential Functions for Students in the Nursing and Physical Therapy Departments

Cognitive functions

The student must be able to thoroughly, efficiently and reliably:

  1. recall, interpret, extrapolate and apply information from a variety of sources, including reading material, lecture, discussion, patient observation, examination and evaluation/assessment;
  2. determine what data are needed to solve problems; and
  3. analyze, synthesize and evaluate information from a variety of sources, including, for example, reading material, lecture, discussion, and patient evaluation/assessment.

Affective functions

The student must be able to:

  1. establish professional, trusting, empathetic relationships with a variety of individuals;
  2. demonstrate respect and engage in non–judgmental interactions regardless of, for example, an individual’s age, gender, race, socio–economic status, religion, life–style, and/or culture;
  3. work effectively in groups;
  4. meet externally established deadlines;
  5. be an active and engaged learner in classroom, lab and clinical settings;
  6. attend to cognitive, communication and psychomotor tasks for as long as three hours at a time within the academic environment, and as long as ten hours at a time within the clinical environment;
  7. identify sources of stress and develop effective coping behaviors; and
  8. recognize and respond appropriately to potentially hazardous situations

Communication functions

The student must be able to:

  1. attend selectively and in a controlled and respectful manner to various types of communication, including the spoken and written word and non–verbal communication;
  2. relay information in oral and written form effectively, accurately, reliably, thoroughly and intelligibly to individuals and groups, using the English language;
  3. read English (typed and hand–written).

Psychomotor functions

The student must be able to:

  1. accurately and reliably inspect and observe the skin, facial expression, anatomical structures, posture and movement of others;
  2. examine and evaluate/assess blood pressure, and lung and heart sounds;
  3. accurately and reliably read equipment dials and monitors;
  4. feel pulses, skin condition, muscle and tendon activity, and joint and limb movement;
  5. negotiate level surfaces, ramps and stairs to assist patients/classmates appropriately;
  6. lead patients/classmates through a variety of examinations and treatments typically requiring sitting, standing, squatting and kneeling on the floor or treatment table;
  7. move from one surface level to another (e.g., floor to stand, stand to treatment table);
  8. exert moderate resistance to limb and body movements of patients/classmates while maintaining one's own balance in a variety of positions;
  9. react and effectively respond quickly to sudden or unexpected movements of patients/classmates;
  10. manipulate dials, knobs, electrodes and other small to large parts and pieces of equipment;
  11. maintain activity throughout an eight to ten–hour work day;
  12. transport self/patients from one room to another, from one floor to another; transport self from community to community, to and from agencies, homes, etc.
  13. put on and take off clothing, including gowns, masks and gloves;
  14. exhibit sufficient manual dexterity to manipulate small equipment such as syringes for intravenous injections, common tools for screening tests of sensation, etc.; provide support and resistance as needed through complex exercise movements; perform CPR; and treat acutely ill patients without disturbing sensitive monitoring instruments and lines;
  15. manipulate another person's body in transfers, gait, positioning, exercise and other treatment or diagnostic techniques;
  16. to move dependent real or simulated patients, generating lifting forces of up to 75 pounds. Frequency of this activity will be occasional during laboratory experiences, and will vary from occasional to frequent in clinical experiences depending on the type of practice at the specific clinical site.