School of Pharmacy Essential Functions
In order to provide safe and effective pharmacy care, an applicant and/or student in the School of Pharmacy program is expected to possess functional use of the senses of vision, hearing, and somatic. All information received by the senses must be integrated, analyzed, and synthesized in a consistent and accurate manner. The applicant/student must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand.
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act provides comprehensive civil right protections for “qualified individuals with disabilities.” An “individual with a disability” is a person who:
- has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a “major life activity” or;
- has a record of such an impairment, or
- is regarded as having such an impairment
The ADA Handbook published by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Justice states: “Examples of physical or mental impairments include, but are not limited to, such contagious and non-contagious diseases and conditions as orthopedic, visual, speech, and hearing impairments; cerebral palsy; epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, HIV disease (whether symptomatic or asymptomatic), tuberculosis, drug addiction, and alcoholism. Homosexuality and bisexuality are not physical or mental impairments under the ADA.”
“Major life activities” include functions such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working. Individuals who are currently engaged in the illegal use of drugs are not protected by the ADA when an action is taken on the basis of their current illegal drug use.
A “qualified” individual with a disability is one who meets the essential eligibility requirements for the program or activity offered. The “essential eligibility requirements” will depend on the type of service or activity involved.
Essential Functions & Safety Standards
Applicants admitted to the pharmacy education program must demonstrate the ability to perform, or learn to perform, the essential functions/skills listed in this document. Regis University must ensure that patients/clients are not placed in jeopardy by students with impaired intellectual, physical or emotional functions. The essential skills listed in this document can be accomplished through direct student response, the use of prosthetic or orthotic devices, or through personal assistance (e.g., readers, signers, note-takers). Upon admission a student who discloses a properly certified disability will receive reasonable accommodation, but must be able to perform the essential functions of the program and meet the standards described. Reasonable accommodations must be arranged through Disability Services, as noted in the Course Syllabus “Equal Access to Classes and Learning Accommodations”.
Students require the functional use of vision, hearing and somatic sensations. A student must be able to observe lectures, lecture and laboratory demonstrations, and observe microscopic studies of tissues. The student must be able to observe a patient accurately, observe digital and waveform readings, and other graphic images to determine a patient’s condition. Integral to the observation process is the functional uses of the senses and adequate motor capability to conduct assessment activities. Examples in which these observational skills are required include, but are not limited to: palpation of peripheral pulses, auscultation (listening with a stethoscope), percussion (tapping of the chest or abdomen to elicit a sound indicating the relative density of the body part), palpation (feeling various body parts such as the breast or abdomen with the ability to discern the size, shape and consistency of masses), and visual observation sufficient to note such changes as skin and eye color, and body positioning as well as to use such instruments as an otoscope (magnifying instrument for examining the ear) and ophthalmoscope (magnifying instrument eye examinations)
Students must be able to communicate in many forms; these include: speech, language, reading, writing and computer literacy (including keyboarding skills). Students must be able to communicate in English (oral and written forms) with faculty and peers in classroom and laboratory settings. Students must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients, maintain written records, elicit information regarding mood and activities, as well as perceive non-verbal communications. Students must also be able to communicate effectively and efficiently with other members of the health care community to convey information for safe and effective care.
Students, in the classroom and clinical setting (modified according to the schedule of the specific facility to which a student is assigned), must have the ability to sit, stand, and/or walk, for up to 8 hours daily. Students must possess sufficient motor function to elicit information from the patient examination, by palpation, auscultation, percussing, and other examination maneuvers. Students must be able to perform or assist with technical procedures, treatments, administration of medications, and emergency interventions. These skills require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movement, equilibrium, physical strength and stamina, and the integrated use of touch, hearing and vision.
Students must demonstrate the ability to receive, interpret, remember, measure, calculate, reproduce and use; to reason, analyze, integrate and synthesize information across the cognitive, psychomotor and affective domains in order to solve problems, evaluate work, and generate new ways of processing or categorizing similar information in a timely fashion as listed in course objectives. In addition, students must be able to comprehend the three-dimensional relationships and to understand spatial relationships of structures. Examples in which cognitive skills are essential include: performance of a physical evaluations, including extracting and analyzing physiological, biomechanical, behavioral, and environmental factors in a timely manner; use of examination data to formulate and execute a treatment plan in a timely manner, appropriate to the problems identified; and the reassessment and revision of plans as needed for effective and efficient management of health care problems in a timely manner. All of these must be consistent within the acceptable norms of clinical settings.
Behavioral and Social Attributes
Students must possess the psychological ability required for the utilization of their intellectual abilities, for the exercise of good judgment, for the prompt completion of responsibilities inherent to the diagnosis and care of patients/clients, and for the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients. Students must be able to tolerate physically and mentally taxing workloads and function effectively under stress. They must be able to tolerate and adapt to a changing, unfamiliar (and perhaps, uncomfortable) environment, display flexibility, respect individual differences, and learn to function in the face of ambiguities inherent in the clinical problems of patients. As a component of their education, students must demonstrate ethical behavior. Examples include recognizing and appropriately reacting to one’s own immediate emotional responses to situations while maintaining a professional demeanor.