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Technical Standards





The LMU-Harrogate PA Program seeks candidates who will be able to serve the needs of society by becoming skilled and effective Physician Assistants. To that end, the LMU-Harrogate PA Program requires candidates for admission and continuing students to meet certain technical standards. These technical standards ensure that graduates of the LMU-Harrogate PA Program possess a level of cognitive and technical skill necessary to achieve the levels of competency stipulated for graduates of the LMU-Harrogate PA Program by the faculty, accreditation agencies, and the standards of Physician Assistant practice. The technical standards go beyond the curriculum’s academic criteria and apply both to candidates for admission and continuing students. In order to acquire the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care, candidates for admission and continuing students in the LMU-Harrogate PA Program must meet the established technical requirements in the following six areas: General Health; Observation and Visual Integration; Communication; Motor and Sensory; Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities; Behavioral and Social Attributes.

General Health

Students must be able to work long hours in both the classroom and clinical settings with potential 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 PA profession. This includes standard preventative health measures such as annual immunizations. The LMU-Harrogate PA Program requires all students enrolled in the program to maintain health insurance coverage from matriculation through graduation.

Motor and Sensory

Patient care often requires an upright posture with sufficient total body strength, mobility, and cardiovascular endurance. Students must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and sit, stand, and walk for long periods in both the classroom and clinical settings. Students must have adequate gross and fine motor function and coordination (including hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity) to elicit vital physical examination information from patients via inspection, auscultation, palpation, and percussion and to use appropriate diagnostic techniques and instruments to complete movements made to provide routine and emergent medical care and to perform common diagnostic procedures. Additionally, the student must be able to detect subtle cues and nonverbal communication from the patient during these examinations. Examples include, but are not limited to, assisting patients in range of motion, performance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, administration of intravenous medications, management of simple and complex wounds, routine obstetric and gynecologic care, and assisting in surgical procedures. Students must be able to observe demonstrations, visual presentations, lectures, performance/collection of laboratory studies and microbiological specimens, and experiments in medical and clinical settings. Students must also possess adequate sensory skills to provide patient care, including normal or corrected to normal functional vision and hearing acuity, visual integration, and olfactory, tactile, and proprioceptive capabilities. Functional vision includes the following:

* Allowing for observation of patients nearby and at a distance

* Using depth perception and peripheral vision to assess for symmetry/asymmetry

* Distinguishing infectious and/or inflammatory changes of gross tissues and tissue textures


Students must be able to speak, hear, and observe patients to gather pertinent data, describe their observations (including activity and function, mood, and posture), and be able to perceive nonverbal communication. Students must be able to communicate in English in an effective, efficient, and sensitive manner with patients, families, and colleagues from diverse social and cultural backgrounds. Students must be able to communicate orally and in writing with clarity and accuracy. In oral and written formats, students must communicate effectively with other students, faculty, and clinical and clinical instructors, clinicians, patients, and family members.

Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities

Students must exhibit skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, measurement, calculation, comprehension of three-dimensional relationships, and structural and spatial relationships consistent with medical practice. Students must be able to comprehend, retain, analyze, and integrate a large amount of information related to medicine and process this information efficiently and effectively, allowing for timely and appropriate patient care. Students must be able to engage in long hours of study, self-identify areas of weakness and utilize appropriate resources for remediation of deficits, and self-reflect and process constructive feedback for improving knowledge and skills.

Behavioral and Social Attributes

Students must possess the emotional health required to fully use their cognitive and intellectual abilities, exercise reasonable judgment, and promptly complete all academic and patient care duties and responsibilities across the lifespan. Developing mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients and other members of the healthcare team is essential. The ability to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in clinical practice, flexibility, compassion, integrity, motivation, interpersonal skills, and concern for others are all required. Students must be able to demonstrate empathy, sensitivity, and the ability to quickly establish rapport with patients from diverse backgrounds with different cultural beliefs and a wide variety of acute and chronic medical and surgical conditions. Students exhibit adequate interpersonal communication skills, compassion, concern for others, honesty, and integrity. Students must tolerate physically demanding workloads (which may involve nights and weekends), noisy environments, and long hours, maintain emotional stability in challenging, stressful, and changing circumstances, and deal effectively with uncertain and possibly emotionally charged situations. Students must be able to accept constructive criticism and respond with a professional and respectful demeanor.

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 ( to request an accommodation(s). To the best of its ability, the Program attempts to develop mechanisms by which otherwise qualified applicants for admission and enrolled students can be accommodated. However, the Program’s Technical Standards for Enrollment and Progression must be met and 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 patient care. Clinical Affiliates that provide SCPEs expect students to have met the Program’s Minimum Technical Standards for Enrollment and Progression and to perform assigned duties promptly, as such ability is critical and essential to safe and effective patient care. Therefore, students are not granted extra time during assessments of physical examination and clinical procedure skills, note writing, simulated patient encounters, and completion of patient care duties during SCPEs. Similarly, trained intermediaries are not approved in the assessments listed above and in SCPEs. Students must submit a Medical Clearance Form, completed and signed by a licensed health care provider and uploaded by the student to the Program’s student documentation portal, 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 SCPEs. These forms are NOT to be returned to the Program and must be uploaded to the documentation portal. Students must notify the PA Program Director as soon as possible if there is any change in their ability to meet these technical standards.