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Technical Standards

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Candidates for entry into the Pathologists’ Assistant program must possess certain abilities and skills to function effectively and meet the safety and technical requirements in a broad variety of classroom, laboratory and clinical settings with or without accommodation.

Candidates will be reviewed individually. The Admissions Committee requests that each candidate assesses the required qualities and understands the school’s expectations.

I. Observation

Candidates must be able to observe close-up and at a distance. In a clinical situation, visual skills are necessary to observe microscopic studies and tissues in normal and pathological states. Observation is important in order to elicit information and describe changes from the “normal.” Such observation and information acquisition necessitates the functional use of visual, auditory and somatic sensation while being enhanced by the functional use of other sensory modalities.

II. Communcation

Communication encompasses speech, hearing and writing. A candidate must be able to speak, to hear and to observe by sight in order to elicit information, describe changes and perceive non-verbal communications. This would include facial changes, gesturing and posturing. The candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively, in oral and written form, with faculty, fellow students, staff, patients and families, as well as all members of the healthcare team.

III. Motor

It is required that candidates possess the motor skills necessary to directly perform basic laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and functional use of the senses of touch and vision. This requirement also includes but is not limited to the use of an electronic keyboard.

The candidate must possess the motor skills necessary to perform postmortem examinations to include prosection, selection and preparation of tissues for examination. They must be able to complete the autopsy protocol to include photography, coding of specimens and filing of reports.

In association with the pathologist the candidate must possess the skills to dissect surgical specimens and prepare tissues for microscopic examination to include the preparation of frozen and permanent sections for light, electron and immuno-fluorescent microscopy. The candidate must also possess the motor skills necessary to operate specific instruments and perform special techniques as directed by the pathologist. Therefore, the candidate must be able to move freely and safely about a laboratory and reach benchtops or shelves. The student must be able to travel to clinical affiliate sites for practical experience. Furthermore, the student must perform moderately taxing continuous physical work, often requiring prolonged sitting or standing, over several hours.

IV. Intellectual-Conceptual (Integrativ and Quantitative) Abilities

The candidate must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate, synthesize and apply problem-solving and critical-thinking skills in a timely manner. In addition, the candidate must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures. They must have the mental ability to assimilate, learn and communicate large volumes of complex, technically detailed information in a timely manner. They must be able to apply the concepts and information they obtain.

V. Behavioral and Social Attributes

The candidate must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities. They need to exercise good judgment, self-control, prompt completion of patient/specimen assessment and provide accurate documentation of procedures.

The candidate is expected to behave and develop relationships in a mature, sensitive and professional manner with patients, families and members of the healthcare team. They must be flexible, adapt to changing situations and deal with physically and mentally taxing workloads. They need to be able to obtain information, process it and prioritize activities effectively and collaboratively.

The candidate must be able to critically evaluate their own performance, accept constructive criticism and investigate avenues to improve. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that will be assessed during the admissions and educational process.

If you have any questions about these standards, or other policies as they pertain to the Americans with Disabilities Act, please contact the ADA Coordinator at 847-578-8354