HSC College of Pharmacy Health and Technical Standards Update
Effective August 10, 2021
Health and Technical Standards Form
All candidates and students must meet certain health and technical standards to be admitted and to participate in the pharmacy education program of SCP. Because the doctor of pharmacy degree signifies that the holder is an individual prepared to sit for the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination and for entry into the practice of pharmacy as a generalist, it follows that the graduates must have the requisite knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and be able to provide a wide spectrum of patient care. This requires the development of broad knowledge, skills, behaviors, ongoing self-directed learning, and the ability to deliver competent pharmaceutical care within a reasonable time frame and within the context of the legal and ethical framework of the profession. A candidate for the doctor of pharmacy degree must have abilities and skills in five areas: observation; communication; motor; intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative; and behavioral and social. Reasonable accommodations will be made as required by law, however, the candidate must be able to meet all technical standards with or without reasonable accommodation. The use of a trained intermediary means that a candidate’s judgment must be mediated by someone else’s power of selection and observation. Therefore, assistance from trained intermediaries in meeting these technical standards may eliminate an essential element of the program and is not a reasonable accommodation. The College of Pharmacy will work with the candidate to determine whether reasonable accommodations are available.
The following technical standards describe the essential functions candidates and students must possess and demonstrate in order to fulfill the requirements of a general pharmacy education, and thus, are prerequisites for admission, progression, and graduation from the College of Pharmacy.
1. Observation: The candidate must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic and pharmaceutical sciences and practice-based activities including, but not limited to, medical illustrations and models, microbiologic cultures and microscopic studies of microorganisms, and tissues in normal and pathologic states. A candidate must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand. Candidates must be able to observe and interpret presented information including but not limited to, monitoring of drug responses and reading EKGs, drug blood levels, and other laboratory results. Observation requires the use of all five senses.
2. Communication: A candidate should be able to speak, hear and listen to patients in order to elicit information; describe changes in mood, activity and posture; and perceive and accurately report verbal as well as nonverbal communications. A candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and their caregivers, peers, faculty, and staff. Communication includes computer literacy. Candidates should be able to communicate with and supervise technical support staff. The candidate must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in English, the medium of instruction, with all members of the health care team. Students must be able to complete forms or appropriately document activities according to directions in a complete and timely fashion.
3. Motor: Candidates should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic maneuvers. A candidate should be able to perform basic tasks in the practice of pharmacy including, basic laboratory tests, administering immunizations, compounding sterile and non-sterile dosage forms (including specialty dosage forms), and processing multiple types of drug orders. A candidate should be able to execute motor movements that are reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. Examples of emergency treatment reasonably required of pharmacists include cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the rapid and accurate administration of appropriate intravenous medication, and the application of pressure to stop bleeding. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and tactile and visual assessment.
4. Intellectual: Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative abilities: These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, judgment, and synthesis. Especially important is the appropriate and rapid and accurate calculation of dosages for a variety of clinical conditions and calculations involving appropriate dilution or reconstitution. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of pharmacists, requires all of these intellectual abilities. The candidate must have effective and efficient learning techniques and habits that allow mastery of a rigorous and intense didactic and experiential curriculum. In addition, candidates should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures. The ability to incorporate new information from peers or teachers, and to locate and evaluate new information from the literature to be used appropriately in formulating assessments and pharmaceutical care plans is essential, as is good judgment in patient assessment and therapeutic planning for disease management. A candidate must be fully alert and attentive at all times in clinical settings.
5. Behavior and Social Attitudes: Candidates must possess the emotional health required for full use of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the screening and care of patients and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients of differing cultures and backgrounds. Candidates must be able to tolerate physically, intellectually, and emotionally taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress or with distractions. They must be able to adapt to changing environments, display flexibility and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Candidates must understand the legal and ethical aspects of the practice of pharmacy and function within the guidelines established by the law and by the ethical standards of the profession. Students are expected to accept appropriate suggestions and criticism and if necessary, respond quickly, appropriately and cooperatively by modification of behavior. Compassion, integrity, honesty, patience, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that will be assessed during the admission and education process. Students are required to certify that they meet these technical standards, with reasonable accommodations if necessary, prior to matriculation. Individuals with questions or concerns about their ability to meet these standards or with questions regarding reasonable accommodations should contact the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the UNT System College of Pharmacy.
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