Technical Standards for Student Participation in Veterinary Medical Education and Technology Programs
The purpose of this document is to establish technical standards for enrollment and participation in the veterinary medical education and technology programs of the Lincoln Memorial University School of Allied Health Sciences (LMU-SAHS), and College of Veterinary and Comparative Medicine (LMU-CVCM).
The LMU-SAHS and LMU-CVCM will make appropriate academic accommodations to help facilitate student participation for any student that is properly identified as having a temporary and/or permanent disability. The following technical standards were established so that students, animals/patients, fellow-students, clients, faculty, and staff of LMU-SAHS and LMU-CVCM would be kept safe from negligence and harm. The LMU-SAHS and LMU-CVCM has established these technical standards to provide a framework for accommodating the following issues:
1. The rights of applicants and students
2. The safety of students, their co-workers, and veterinary patients
3. The significant clinical training component of the veterinary medical education and technology curriculum
4. The requirements for accreditation by the American Veterinary Medical Association
5. The conditions for licensure of the LMU graduates in veterinary technology and veterinary medicine.
It is the intent of LMU to make sure that students enrolling in the veterinary programs are aware and understand the physical demands needed to successfully complete the courses, laboratories, and clinical rotations.
The technical standards described in this document are the minimum standards that allow an individual to perform at the lowest acceptable level in the required activity having the highest, greatest, or most complex requirement for the designated sense, function or characteristic. Students must be able to satisfy, with or without the use of appropriate auxiliary aids (including prosthetic devices), the following technical standards which relate to physical abilities. If one aid or prosthetic device interferes with a second aid or prosthetic device needed to carry out a single act, then the individual may be restricted in meeting the technical standard. A student who is a qualified individual with a disability must be able to satisfactorily perform each of the technical standards listed below with or without an accommodation.
- An individual must be able to observe movement at a distance ranging from 30-45 centimeters to 15-20 meters at a discrimination level that permits detection of subtle differences in movement of the limbs in animals. Application: Detect and describe a change in color of hair coat caused by licking or trauma; detect abnormal head posture in a parakeet; monitoring respiratory rate during anesthesia; ability to read anesthesia monitoring equipment.
- An individual must be able to discriminate shades of black and white patterns in which the band is not more than 0.5 mm in width. Application: Bacterial hemolysis on a blood agar plate; density patterns on a radiograph; ability to see ECG tracing; reading and evaluation of histology/cytology slides.
- Depth perception must allow detection of a 0.5 cm elevation which is no more than 1 cm in diameter on a slightly curved surface having a slightly irregular surface. Application: Detection of tissue swelling on the hip on a smooth-haired dog; determining presence of reaction to skin testing for allergies.
- An individual must be able to perceive the natural or amplified human voice without lip reading. Application: Oral communication in a surgery room with all occupants wearing surgical masks.
- An individual must be able to perceive the origin of sound. Application: Movement of large animals in a pen or corral; monitoring multiple patients in an ICU.
- An individual must be able to determine the position of one hand extended from the body within +/-10o when the arm is extended in any direction, the eyes are closed, and the individual is standing. Application: endotracheal intubation; intravenous injection.
- An individual must be able to differentiate between four round semisolid objects having diameters of 0.5,1,1.5, and 2 cm and judge the shape and consistency of objects when the arm is extended and the eyes are closed. Application: assisting in surgery; lymph node palpation; palpation of trachea to determine proper tube size.
An individual must be able to speak English and be understood by others who cannot see the lips or facial expressions of the individual. Application: Oral communications in a surgery room where all occupants are wearing surgical masks; managing a patient with cardiac arrest.
B. Coordinated movement
- An individual must be able, when communicating with other individuals by speech, either in person or by telephone, to make legible written notes in English within the margins and space provided on the appropriate forms. Application: Completing medical records and charts; anesthesia records.
- An individual must be able to hold surgical instruments in one hand and perform fine movements with such instruments. Application: assist in holding of hemostats or other instruments while assisting in surgery; induce and monitor general anesthesia in an animal patient; place intravenous catheters; properly tie a square knot with 6-0 suture using instruments.
- An individual must be able to hold, manipulate, or tie materials ranging from a cloth patch to a very fine string. Application: Hold and manipulate a surgical sponge; properly tie a square knot with 6-0 suture by hand; endotracheal intubation; intravenous injection; catheterize animals to obtain sample of urine; apply bandages; intravenous catheterization of domestic and companion animal species (dogs, cats, rabbits, rats, etc.), and wild/non-domesticated animal species (rabbits, raccoons, opossum, etc.).
- An individual must be able to move his/her entire body a distance of no less than three meters within two seconds of a signal to do so. Application: Movement from danger while handling animals in confined spaces.
C. Physical Stamina
An individual must be able to lift objects and/or animals weighing 0-5 pounds constantly; 5-20 pounds frequently; 20-50 pounds occasionally. An individual must be able to lift all of the above to a height of one meter and carry the object or animal for a distance of two meters. Application: Placing a dog on a surgery table; lifting and carrying a bag weighing approximately 35 pounds of drugs, equipment and supplies from an ambulatory service vehicle to an animal patient in a nearby barn or lot; restrain a small animal patient for a medical procedure; restrain horses and cattle by halter, twitch, nose tongs and other techniques; administer oral medication to ruminants by balling gun or dose syringe.
D. Allergy and/or fear
An individual must be able to have sustained contact with multiple species of animals and the environments in which they are house and treated. During such contact, the individual must be able to carry out routine medical care on such animals irrespective of physical discomfort resulting from allergic reactions with hair, dander, skin, or bodily fluids. Fearful behavior on the part of an injured or distressed animal receiving veterinary care is a common occurrence in a clinical setting. It is likewise understandable that veterinary healthcare professionals should be fearful for their wellbeing when attempting to restrain and examine an injured animal patient. It is important that individuals be responsible for performing veterinary medical procedures to be able to do so in an efficient and expedient manner that mitigates the risk of personal injury to them and further exacerbates the injury to their patients.