The anesthesiologist assistant master of health science degree signifies that the holder is prepared for entry into the practice of anesthesiology as a member of the anesthesia care team. It follows that the graduate must have the knowledge, skills and abilities to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to deliver anesthesia throughout a wide spectrum of surgical procedures, patient ages and all degrees of illness. In the education of anesthesiologist assistant students, the University must judge not only the scholastic accomplishments but also consider the student's current physical and emotional status, "medical condition(s)", and drug-induced impairments that may pose obstacles to the safe application of the student's knowledge and skills or prevent the delivery of optimum patient care during patient management in the perioperative period.
"Medical condition" includes physical, physiological, mental or psychological conditions or disorders, such as, but not limited to chronic and/or uncorrected orthopedic, visual, speech, or hearing impairments, seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis or other neuromuscular disorders, behavioral health illness, dementia, drug addiction/use and alcoholism.
In accordance with University policy and as delineated by federal and Connecticut law, the University does not discriminate in admissions, educational programs or employment against any individual on the basis of that individual's disability, as long as the disability does not preclude maintaining the highest standards of safe patient care. The University will make good faith efforts to provide reasonable accommodation as required as long as the student meets the technical standards for safe delivery of anesthesia care as outlined below.
Quinnipiac anesthesiologist assistant students must possess the intellectual ability to learn, integrate, analyze and synthesize data. They must have functional use of the senses of touch, vision, hearing, and equilibrium. Anesthesiologist assistant students must have sufficient motor function capabilities to meet the demands of the anesthesiologist assistant program and the demands of delivering safe and efficacious patient care.
To undertake and successfully complete the anesthesiologist assistant program, as well as to function successfully as an anesthetist after graduation, an individual must meet certain fundamental physical, cognitive, and behavioral standards. The requisite technical skills include, but are not limited to the following:
- Effectively communicating verbally with patients and their family members and with other healthcare professionals in normal situations and times of stress.
- Reading and comprehending written parts of the medical record and other patient care documents in a timely manner in order to safely and effectively participate in the delivery of anesthesia care.
- Interact with patients, including, but not limited to, obtaining a preoperative history, review of the medical record, use of appropriate instruments in the performance of a perioperative anesthesia related physical examination, and interpretation of the findings in preparation for delivery of anesthesia care.
- Develop a comprehensive anesthesia medical record for the current anesthetic episode that will be useful to others who care for the patient both interoperatively and postoperatively.
- Having sufficient motor skills, coordination and "fine" dexterity of both upper extremities to perform delicate manual operations required of diagnostic and therapeutic tasks. Perform invasive procedures on patients in a timely manner so as to insure the safety and well-being of the patients in the operating room and perioperative care environments. These tasks include, but are not limited to, peripheral and central venous catheterization, arterial puncture and cannulation, breathing bag-and-mask ventilation, placement of oral and nasal airways, laryngeal mask airway insertion and management, and endotracheal intubation.
- Participate in physical activities as required for patient care in the operating room, preoperative holding area, postoperative care unit, and intensive care unit. Having sufficient strength, motor skills, and coordination to lift, move, and position patients as required for the type of anesthetic being delivered, surgical procedure being performed, or other specialized positioning such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
- Move quickly and sure-footedly to assure patient safety and rapid application of emergency procedures as may arise during the course of an anesthetic episode.
- Recognize colors of leads and other electronic signals found on the various types of monitoring equipment used in the preoperative holding area, operating room, postoperative care unit, and intensive care unit; demonstrate the ability to work with safety and accuracy in both "light" and "dark" conditions; and recognize details at both distant and close settings.
- Have the ability to multitask, which includes: hearing, processing, and interpreting multiple conversations, and monitoring signals, alarms, instructions, operation of the anesthesia delivery system, all while providing direct patient care in fast-paced patient care settings (e.g., operating room, intensive care unit, emergency room).
- Demonstrate characteristics that, by implication, suggest that the student has the ability to function in complex social and personal roles and in delicate interpersonal relationships; demonstrate the ability to manifest honesty, reliability, genuineness, warmth and empathy while controlling impulses and maintaining good judgment even under physically and emotionally exhausting conditions.
- Recognizing and differentiating colors of signals displayed on monitors; being able to work in both light and dark conditions as exist in patient care areas (e.g., operating room, radiology suite, endoscopy suite); being able to recognize details of objects both near and far.
- Having the abilities to make measurements, calculations, reason, analyze and synthesize patient data and solve problems. The student must also be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.
- Having the emotional health required for full utilization of his/her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationship with patients.
- Students and practitioners must possess sufficient emotional stability to withstand stress, display flexibility, and to function in the face of uncertainty inherent in the clinical problems of many patients.
- Having no impairment that would preclude continuous performance of all of the above activities or any and all of the other activities that are an integral part of an anesthesiologist assistant's participation in the anesthesia care team.
The anesthesiologist assistant program welcomes questions or inquiries from individuals with disabilities regarding these standards and their application to each individual's unique situation. In each case, a determination can be made as to whether the individual is qualified for admission to the program and if reasonable accommodations can be made. While the program is prohibited by federal law from making inquiries about specific disabilities prior to admission, applicants who are selected for admission must be prepared to meet the performance standards in order to complete the program.