The Notre Dame of Maryland University Physician Assistant student must possess the following physical capacities, with or without accommodations:
Adequate functioning of the senses of vision, hearing, smell, taste, and/or touch. Each candidate’s and student’s senses must be keen enough to allow for gathering, integrating and analyzing data obtained during physical examinations, and in a consistent and reproducible manner.
Additionally, candidates and students must possess the ability to feel temperature differences, pain, pressure, vibration and movement. The ability to gather and analyze such information must be accurate when compared to accepted physical examination standards, and physical findings confirmed by experienced clinicians.
Finally, sufficient emotional health and stability is required for exercising good judgment and promptly completing all academic and patient care responsibilities.
Perform Motor Tasks
Students must possess sufficient fine and gross motor control to effectively conduct inspection, palpation, percussion, and auscultation activities, all of which are required to complete a physical examination.
Additionally, all students must possess stable equilibrium, postural control, good motor function, and sound motor coordination, as is necessary for satisfactory performance in patient care and classroom or laboratory settings, including handling surgical instruments and providing routine and emergent medical procedures.
Students must also possess sufficient mental and physical stamina to meet the demands associated with extended periods of sitting, standing, moving, lifting, and physical exertion required for satisfactory performance in patient care, clinical education, and classroom or laboratory settings..
The Physician Assistant student must possess the following cognitive capacities:
Communicate coherently and effectively with persons of any cultural and social background using appropriate verbal, nonverbal, and written communication skills with faculty, peers, other members of the health care team, and patients/clients/caregivers.
Read, write, and interpret written and nonverbal communication in a timely manner at a competency level that allows one to safely function in the academic or clinical setting.
Answer calls, make calls, and communicate needs on a telephone.
Maintain a safe environment for students, faculty, patients, and colleagues. Recognize and respond appropriately and in a timely manner to a medical emergency.
Students must be able to accurately observe, through vision, hearing, tactile sensation, and/or smell, a patient’s physical and emotional condition, as a means to differentiate between states of good health, acute illness or injury, and chronic illness.
Receive, remember, analyze, interpret, evaluate, and synthesize information from multiple sources, in a timely fashion.
Attend to multiple tasks throughout the day of scheduled classes and clinical education experiences.
Organize and prioritize information to make safe, appropriate, and timely decisions regarding patients for the purpose of further examination, intervention, or referral.
Problem solve, recognize deviations from a norm, formulate evaluations, and derive clinical judgments from information collected, in a timely fashion.
Observe and accurately interpret patient responses and adjust examination and/or intervention as indicated by the patient response.
Demonstrate Professional & Social Behavior
Students must demonstrate the emotional health and stability that is required to persevere in spite of longs hours of classroom instruction, challenging laboratory settings, unsettling patient care experiences, differences of opinion with peers and instructors, and personal sacrifice. They must demonstrate the flexibility and personal resolve that is necessary to endure long hours of physical and intellectual stress, without demonstration of adverse behavior, while working with multiple patients/families and colleagues at the same time.
Students must be able to engage with lab partners, patients, families, and others under stressful conditions, including but not limited to medically or emotionally unstable individuals, situations requiring rapid adaptations, the provision of CPR, or other emergency interventions.
Organization and prioritization of multiple tasks, integrating information, and making intuitive decisions will be required. PA students are expected to adherence to the “Guidelines for Ethical Conduct for the PA Profession (PDF)”, established by the American Academy of Physician Assistants.
Applicants & Students with Disabilities
HEALTH AND IMMUNIZATION DOCUMENTATION & STUDENT RECORDS
ARC-PA STANDARD A3.07(a,b) The program must define, publish, make readily available and consistently apply:
a) a policy on immunization and health screening of students. Such policy must be based on then current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for health professionals and state specific mandates.
b) written travel health policies based on then current CDC recommendations for international travel for programs offering elective international curricular components. (Please Note: As the NDMU PA Studies Program does not offer or support any curricular components that involve international travel, the program does not have a travel health policy.)
a.) Student Health and Immunization Policy
The Notre Dame of Maryland Physician Assistant Studies Program is committed to the safety, health, and welfare of our faculty, staff, PA students, and the community we serve. Students, faculty, and staff in the health sciences discipline are vulnerable to communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, and polio. Those faculty and students also have the potential of being infected with hepatitis, HIV, or other viruses. These diseases are susceptible to control by appropriate immunizations. Therefore, based on the Centers for Disease Control Recommended Vaccines for Healthcare Workers most recent guidelines; the NDMU PA program has developed the following policy to ensure everyone’s health, safety, and welfare.
Immunization requirements are based on the most current standards set by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for healthcare workers.
Immunization – A process by which a person becomes protected against a disease through vaccination. This term is often used interchangeably with vaccination or inoculation.
• Influenza-Dose of influenza vaccination all matriculated students MUST present evidence of the following on an annual basis between October 1-October 16 during their tenure with the program.
• Hepatitis B If you don’t have documented evidence of a complete hep B vaccine series, or if you don’t have a blood test that shows you are immune to hepatitis B (i.e., no longer evidence of immunity or prior vaccination) then you should
• Get a 3-dose series of Recombivax HB or Energix-B (dose #1 now, #2 in 1 month, #3 approximately 5 months after #2) or a 2-dose series of Heplisav-B, with the doses separated by at least 4 weeks.
• Get an anti-HBs serologic test 1-2 months after the final dose.
• MMR (Measles, Mumps, & Rubella) If you were born in 1957 or later and have not had the MMR vaccine, or if you don’t have a blood test that shows you are immune to measles or mumps (i.e., no serologic evidence of immunity or prior vaccination), get 2 doses of MMR (1 dose now and the 2nd dose at least 28 days later). If you were born in 1957 or later and have not had the MMR vaccine, or if you don’t have a blood test that shows you are immune to rubella, only one dose of MMR is recommended. However, you may end up receiving 2 doses, because the rubella component is in the combination vaccine with measles and mumps.
• Varicella (Chicken Pox) If you have not had chickenpox (varicella), if you haven’t had varicella vaccine, or if you don’t have a blood test that shows you are immune to varicella (i.e., no serologic evidence of immunity or prior vaccination) get 2 doses of varicella vaccine, 4 weeks apart.
• Tdap (Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis) Get a one-time dose of Tdap as soon as possible if you have not received Tdap previously (regardless of when the previous dose of Td was received). Get either a Td or Tdap booster shot every 10 years thereafter.
Pregnant students need to get Tdap during pregnancy.
• Meningococcal Vaccination Recommended for those who are routinely exposed to isolates of N. meningitidis per CDC recommendations. Not required by the program but may be required at some clinical sites.
• Tuberculosis (TB) Screening Documented evidence from a medical practitioner of negative two-step PPD testing and, if needed, negative Chest X-ray results if PPD positive, or evidence of contraindication.* Following the initial two-step PPD, one-step PPD is required annually.
• COVID-19 Vaccination Documented evidence of two doses of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna), or a single shot of the Johnson and Johnson is required.
• Tuberculin skin testing and influenza (flu) vaccination is required annually for matriculated students
• Vaccines are mandatory (with exceptions only for medical reasons) before matriculation with documentation provided.
*Contraindications to the above will be considered on a case-by-case basis, only with documentation from a medical provider, and must be discussed prior to matriculation. Personal/religious reasons for declining immunizations will be considered on a case-by-case basis and must be discussed prior to matriculation. It is important to understand that participating in some clinical experiences may be prohibited from some institutions/practices without the completion of immunization requirements.
Required Drug Screen and background check:
All students who have been offered conditional acceptance must successfully pass a chain of custody drug screen and national background check within one month of matriculating into the program.
All matriculated students must complete and successfully pass the second chain of custody drug screen upon completion of the didactic phase prior to entering the clinical phase of the program.
Some clinical sites may require the completion of additional background checks, fingerprinting, and drug screens to participate in the clinical rotation.
Background checks and drug screens must be completed via the program-identified vender.
Students are responsible for all expenses related to background checks, fingerprinting, and drug screens.
Required Physical Examination:
A comprehensive physical examination by a licensed medical provider (DO, MD, PA, or NP) must be completed indicating that the conditionally accepted applicant is appropriately screened for TB, current on all immunization requirements, and has been medically cleared for admission.
Students are financially responsible for the cost of all health care services they may require while enrolled in the program, including any health care services required as a result of their participation in scheduled program activities (TB testing, treatment of injuries, pathogen exposure evaluation and treatment).
Facilities and hospitals often require additional immunizations and titers which students must obtain prior to starting rotations at those sites. Information regarding these additional requirements will be given to students prior to starting rotations and they will be financially responsible.
Failure to comply with the Immunization Policy for the Department of Physician Assistant Studies or any additional immunizations and titers for SCPE’s will result in the inability to enter, continue with, or complete the program.
The program will maintain the immunization records of all matriculated students through a HIPAA-compliant secure cloud-based management system. The Director of Clinical Medicine will review the records upon admission into the program and annually. The Director of Clinical Medicine will also continually review the Centers for Disease Control Recommended Vaccines for Healthcare Workers guidelines and recommendations for updates.
*Policy subject to change at any time in order to comply with ARC-PA standards, NDMU, and Hospital policies. The NDMU Department of PA Studies will make every attempt to notify its students of these changes in a timely manner
b.) (As the NDMU PAS Program does not offer or support any curricular components that involve international travel, the program does not possess a travel health policy.)
1 CDC. Immunization of Health-Care Personnel: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR, 2011; 60(RR-7).
2 CDC. Prevention of Hepatitis B Virus Infection in the United States. Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. MMWR, 2018; 67(RR1):1–30.
3 IAC. Pre-exposure Management for Healthcare Personnel with a Documented Hepatitis B Vaccine Series Who Have Not Had Post-vaccination Serologic Testing. Accessed at www.immunize.org/catg.d/p2108.pdf.