Technical Standards

Technical Standards for students in the College of Health Professions

The goal of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, College of Health Professions (COHP) is to prepare students for the practice of the professions of cytotechnology, dental hygiene, health information management, Medical Laboratory Science, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. This includes undergraduate education and graduate education, where applicable. Modern health professions education requires that the accumulation of scientific knowledge be accompanied by the simultaneous acquisition of essential skills, functions and professional attitudes and behavior. The faculty of the College of Health Professions have a responsibility to graduate the best possible practitioners and graduate students; therefore, admission to educational programs in the College is offered only to those who present the highest qualifications for education and training in the art and science of the respective health professions.

Applicants to programs of the College must possess the following general qualities: critical thinking, sound judgment, emotional stability and maturity, empathy, physical and mental stamina, and the ability to learn and function in a wide variety of didactic and clinical settings. Graduates of the College must have the minimal skills, essential functions and knowledge to function in a broad variety of clinical settings, while rendering a wide spectrum of healthcare services.

The faculty of the COHP have a responsibility for the welfare of the patients treated or otherwise affected by students enrolled in the College as well as for the educational welfare of its students relative to the educational programs of the College. In order to fulfill this responsibility the Committees on Admissions for the various professional programs of the College maintain that certain minimal technical standards must be present in applicants to the various educational programs of the College. Candidates for the bachelor or science degree, as well as those enrolled in any graduate education programs of the College, must have the following essentials: motor skills; sensory/observational skills; communication skills; intellectual-conceptual, integrative, and quantitative abilities; and behavioral/social skills and professionalism.

The Committees on Admissions, in accordance with Section 504 of the 1973 Vocational Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (PL101-336) have established the aforementioned essential functions of students in the educational programs offered by the COHP at 930 Madison Ave., 6th floor or the Office of Students with Disabilities, Student Academic Support Services at 8 S. Dunlap, Room BB9, General Education Building.

These Committees on Admissions will consider for admission applicants who demonstrate the ability to perform, or to learn to perform, the essential skills listed in this document. The College must ensure that patients are not placed in jeopardy by students with impaired intellectual, physical or emotional functions. Students will be judged not only on their scholastic accomplishments, but also on their physical and emotional capacities to meet the full requirements of the College’s curricula and to graduate as skilled and effective practitioners.

The essential abilities 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. The responsibility for the purchase of prosthetic or orthotic devices serving a student in meeting the abilities noted remains with the student and/or agency supporting the student. The College will assist with this accomplishment, as required by law and institutional policy.

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 curriculum and meet the standards described herein for the program in which the student is enrolled. Possible accommodations include opportunities for individual and group counseling, peer counseling, linkages with community services, faculty advisory committees whose members are aware of disabled students and their needs, career counseling, assistance with job searches and interview skills, and extended test taking time, if and when appropriate. Students seeking accommodations should initiate their request in the Office of the Dean, COHP.

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In addition to the general standards described above, each professional program requires additional specific standards as follows:

Additional Specific Technical Standards for Medical Laboratory Science Students

Once enrolled in the Program in Medical Laboratory Science, students must meet the full requirements of the curriculum, including the demonstration of the skills described herein for the College and the Program, in order to progress through the curriculum and to graduate.

General Standards

  • Ability to assess and make appropriate judgments regarding lab services and patient outcomes.
  • Ability to prioritize and perform laboratory testing.
  • Ability to adapt to a variety of patient care situations, including crises.
  • Ability to communicate effectively in English, orally and in writing.
  • Ability to participate in discussion in the classroom, the clinical arena and with colleagues and patients.
  • Ability to acquire information developed through didactic instruction and clinical experiences.
  • Ability to understand reading assignments and to search and evaluate literature.
  • Ability to prepare written assignments and maintain written records.
  • Ability to perform duties and assignments in a timely fashion while under stress and in a variety of settings.
  • Ability to meet deadlines.
  • Ability to use the computer for instructional assignments and patient care activities.

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Additional Specific Standards

  • Physical And Motor Skills
    • Dexterity with both wrists, hands and arms, and dexterity with all fingers.
    • Ability to grasp, pinch, push, pull, finger, hold, extend, rotate, cut.
    • Ability to obtain and/or verify patient samples.
    • Possess sufficient stamina to tolerate physically taxing workloads.
    • Ability to operate/manipulate and effectively evaluate the status of laboratory instruments and equipment.

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  • Sensory Skills
    • Visual acuity (corrected to 20/40); visual perception with respect to depth and color.
    • Ability to palpate.

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  • Cognitive, Integrative, Quantitative Skills
    • Ability to measure, calculate, analyze, interpret, synthesize and evaluate as applicable to clinical laboratory practice.
    • Ability to solve one or more problems within specific time frames, which are often short.
    • Ability to comprehend spatial relationships.

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  • Affective, Behavioral and Social Skills
    • Ability to function as part of a team (communicate effectively in English, consult, negotiate, share, delegate.)
    • Ability to delegate to and supervise others.
    • Adherence to safety guidelines for self and others.
    • Compliance with standards and regulations required by external agencies.
    • Ability to follow instructions/procedures with accuracy and precision
    • Ability to maintain intellectual and emotional stability and maturity under stress, while also maintaining appropriate performance standards.
    • Learn and exhibit professional attributes.

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revised: 08/03/2007

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Department of Clinical Lab Sciences

930 Madison - Suite 664
Memphis, Tennessee 38163
Phone: 901-448-6304