Health & Human Services Division Programs Physical and Emotional Health and Technical Standards

Physical and Emotional Health Technical Standards

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Evaluation of Physical and Emotional Health Based on Program Technical Standards

Physical Health

Physical health is defined as being able to perform fine and gross motor skills, being able to perform normal weight-bearing activities, and free of a communicable disease.

Assessment of the student’s physical health is made with the use of information from the physical examination, performed by the applicant’s physician, and laboratory tests. 

If a physical condition threatens to prevent or prevents satisfactory classroom or clinical performance, the individual in question is counseled and referred to an appropriate professional at the individual’s expense. The recommendation of the professional is utilized in advising the individual with regard to continued enrollment in the program. A person may be denied admission or continued enrollment in the program if the physical problem conflicts with safety essential to nursing practice and does not respond to appropriate treatment within a reasonable period of time.

In the case of a qualified individual with a documented disability, appropriate and reasonable accommodations will be made unless to do so would fundamentally alter the essential training elements, cause undue hardship, or produce a direct threat to the safety of the patient or student.

Emotional Health

Emotional health is defined as reacting appropriately to stressful situations, understanding one’s own ability to cope with stressful situations, and behaving appropriately within the current environment.

Assessment of emotional health of applicants is made through the use of physical examinations, and current psychological evaluations, if necessary, from qualified professionals.

When emotional conditions prevent satisfactory classroom or clinical performance, recommendations are made on an individual basis, for consultation with the appropriate professional(s) at the student’s expense. The recommendations of the professional(s) are utilized in advising students with regard to continued enrollment in the nursing program. A person may be denied admission or continued enrollment in the program if the emotional problem conflicts with safety essential to nursing practice and does not respond to appropriate counseling/treatment within a reasonable period of time.

In the case of a qualified individual with a documented disability, appropriate and reasonable accommodations will be made unless to do so would fundamentally alter the essential training elements, cause undue hardship, or produce a direct threat to the safety of the patient or student.

Physical and Emotional Technical Standards* for Admission and Progression of Health & Human Services Programs

  1. Critical Thinking: Student should possess critical thinking ability sufficient for clinical judgment. For example: student must be able to identify cause-effect relationships in clinical situations; develop or participate in the development of nursing care plans.
  2. Interpersonal Skills: Student shall possess interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with individuals, families, groups, etc. from a variety of social, emotional, cultural and intellectual backgrounds. For example: student shall establish rapport with clients/patients and health care team members.
  3. Communication Skills: Student shall possess communication abilities sufficient for interaction with others in verbal and written form. For example: explain treatment procedures, initiate health teaching, document and interpret nursing actions and patient/client responses.
  4. Mobility: Student shall possess physical abilities sufficient to move from room to room and maneuver in small spaces, stand and walk for extensive periods of time. For example: moves around in patient’s rooms, work spaces and treatment areas, administer cardiopulmonary procedures.
  5. Motor Skills: Student shall possess gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to provide safe and effective nursing care. For example: calibrate and use equipment, position patients/clients.
  6. Hearing: Student shall possess auditory ability sufficient to monitor and assess health needs. For example: hear monitor alarms, emergency signals, auscultatory sounds, cries for help.
  7. Visual: Student shall possess visual ability sufficient for observation and assessment. For example: observe patient/client responses.
  8. Tactile: Student shall possess tactile ability sufficient for physical assessment. For example: perform palpation, functions or physical examination and /or those related to therapeutic intervention, insertions of catheters.
  9. Weight-Bearing: Student shall possess ability to lift and manipulate/move 45-50 pounds weekly and sometimes daily. For example: position patients/clients, move equipment.
  10. Cognitive Abilities: Students shall possess ability to be oriented to time, place and person and organize responsibilities, make decisions. For example: student shall assess client/patient complaints and implement appropriate plans.
  11. Occupational Exposures: Student may be exposed to communicable disease and/or body fluids, toxic substances, medicinal preparations and shall use appropriate precautions at all times. For example: student may be assigned an AIDS client/patient and shall provide total care using universal precautions.

*Examples are not all inclusive