Minimum Technical Standards for Enrollment and Progression
and Medical Clearance Policy
The Program has identified minimum technical standards all students must meet and maintain for enrollment and progression in the Program to ensure successful completion of the Program and the delivery of safe and effective client care during fieldwork and following graduation. These technical standards, listed below, are necessary for achievement of the Program’s Graduate Competencies (found in the LMU-Knoxville OTD Program Student Catalog), competencies stipulated by accreditation agencies, and the standards of OT practice.
Students must be able to participate in all learning activities and assessments (classroom, laboratory, and clinical settings). These learning activities and assessments may require more than eight hours of active participation (sitting, standing, performing procedures, etc.) and exposure to various body fluids, communicable diseases, radiation, and toxic substances. Students must maintain a general state of physical and mental health necessary to operate under the typical demands and performance requirements of the Program and the OT profession. This includes standard preventive health measures such as annual immunizations. Students must be medically cleared (absence of any medical and behavioral/mental condition and communicable disease that would present harm to clients and/or prevent full participation in the Program’s curriculum) prior to matriculation and prior to beginning fieldwork. All students enrolled in the Program must maintain health insurance coverage from matriculation through graduation.
Critical Thinking and Cognitive Abilities
Students must possess the intellectual capabilities required to complete the full curriculum and achieve the competencies delineated by the Program and the OT profession. Critical thinking requires the intellectual ability to measure, calculate, synthesize, and analyze a large and complex volume of information. The ability to comprehend three dimensional and spatial relationships of structures is also required.
Computer Technology Skills
Students must be able to utilize computerized information technology to access learning management systems, participate in computerized testing, conduct research, prepare multimedia presentations, access online medical information, and review and enter data in electronic medical records. Therefore, possession of a personal laptop and access to the internet for web enhanced and web based courses are required.
Students must be able to speak, hear, and observe clients to gather pertinent data, describe observations, and perceive nonverbal communications. Students must be able to communicate, orally and in writing, with peers, faculty/staff, clients, families, and members of the health care team from different social and cultural backgrounds with sensitivity, clarity, and accuracy.
Students must have the visual acuity needed to evaluate a client during a physical examination, monitor client stability, and perform a wide range of interventions involved in the practice of occupational therapy.
Hearing and Tactile Abilities
Students must have the motor and sensory functions needed to elicit information from clients by physical assessment, as well as perform a wide range of interventions involved in the practice of occupational therapy.
Motor and Fine Skills
The provision of client care often requires upright posture with sufficient total body strength, mobility, and cardiovascular endurance. Students must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and be able to sit, stand, and perform other activities for long periods of time. Students must be able to execute the physical movements required to maneuver in small places, calibrate and use equipment, position and move clients, and perform interventions involved in the practice of occupational therapy.
Students must possess a wide range of interpersonal skills, including (1) management of high stress situations while maintaining full intellectual abilities, (2) utilization of good judgment, (3) time management (arrive on time, prioritize activities, complete tasks efficiently), (4) development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with classmates, faculty, staff, all members of the health care team, and clients and their families, (5) recognition of one’s own emotional state and the emotional states of others, (6) management of personal emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and defuse conflict, (7) engagement with clients and families in a way that establishes confidence and trust, and (8) acceptance of constructive criticism and initiation of appropriate behavior modification.
All students enrolled in the Program must be able to independently, or with reasonable accommodation, demonstrate these health standards, cognitive and motor skills, and professional behaviors for Program matriculation, progression, and graduation. Students with disabilities are responsible for contacting the Office of Accessible Education Services (https://www.lmunet.edu/student-life/accessible-education-services.php) to request accommodation(s). The Program attempts, to the best of its ability, to develop mechanisms by which otherwise qualified applicants for admission and enrolled students can be accommodated; however, the Program’s Minimum Technical Standards for Enrollment and Progression must be maintained in order to ensure that all parts of the Program’s curriculum are delivered to all students and that students provide safe and effective client care. Clinical Affiliates that provide fieldwork expect students to have met the Program’s Minimum Technical Standards for Enrollment and Progression and to perform assigned duties in a timely manner as such ability is critical and essential to safe and effective client care. Therefore, extra time is not granted to students during assessments of physical examination and clinical procedure skills, simulated client encounters, and completion of client care duties during fieldwork. Similarly, the use of trained intermediaries is not approved in the assessments listed above and in fieldwork.
Students must submit a Medical Clearance Form, completed by a licensed health care provider, confirming whether they meet the Minimum Technical Standards for Enrollment and Progression and are medically cleared to participate fully in the Program’s curriculum prior to matriculation and prior to beginning fieldwork. Students do not return the completed health history and physical examination forms to the Program. Students must notify the OTD Program Director as soon as possible if there is any change in their ability to meet these technical standards.