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Technical Standards for Nurse Anesthesia

TECHNICAL STANDARDS FOR ADMISSION, ACADEMIC PROGRESSION, AND GRADUATION

The Nurse Anesthesia Program strives to educate students who are competent, vigilant, caring nurse anesthetists, able to think critically, and incorporate the newly acquired knowledge and evidence to provide safe anesthesia care across the lifespan in rapidly changing healthcare environments. As such, the program faculty has determined that certain technical standards are requisite for admission, progression and graduation from the program.

An individual must be able to independently, with or without reasonable accommodation, meet the following technical standards of general abilities and those specifically of observation; communication; motor; intellectual, conceptual, integrative, and quantitative abilities; as well as essential behavioral and social attributes. Individuals unable to meet these technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodation, are counseled to pursue alternate careers.

General abilities: The student is expected to possess functional use of the senses of vision, touch, hearing, taste, and smell so that data received by the senses may be integrated, analyzed, and synthesized in a consistent and accurate manner. A student must also possess the ability to perceive pain, pressure, temperature, position, vibration, position equilibrium, and movement that are important to the student’s ability to gather significant information needed to effectively evaluate patients.

Observational Ability: The student must have sufficient capacity to make accurate visual observations and interpret them in the context of laboratory studies and patient care activities.

Communication Ability: The student must communicate effectively verbally and non-verbally to elicit information; describe changes in mood, activity, posture; and perceive non-verbal communications from patients and others. Each student must have the ability to read and write, comprehend and speak the English language to facilitate communication with patients, their family members, and other professionals in health care settings where written medical records, verbal presentations, and patient counseling and instruction are integral to effective medical practice and patient care. The student must communicate effectively verbally and in writing with instructors and other students in the classroom setting, as well.

Motor Ability: The student must be able to perform gross and fine motor movements with sufficient coordination needed to perform complete physical examinations utilizing the techniques of inspection, palpation, percussion, and auscultation, and other diagnostic maneuvers. A student must develop the psychomotor skills reasonably needed to perform or assist with procedures, treatments, administration of medication, management and operation of diagnostic and therapeutic medical equipment utilized in the general and emergent care of patients required in practice as a nurse anesthetist. The student must be able to maintain consciousness and equilibrium; have sufficient levels of postural control, neuromuscular control, and eye-to-hand coordination; and to possess the physical and mental stamina to meet the demands associated with extended periods of sitting, standing, moving, and physical exertion required for satisfactory and safe performance in the clinical and classroom settings.

Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities: The student must be able to develop and refine problem-solving skills that are crucial to practice as a nurse anesthetist. Problem solving involves the abilities to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of structures; to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize objective and subjective data; and to make decisions that reflect consistent and thoughtful deliberation and sound clinical judgment. A student must have the capacity to read and comprehend medical literature. Each student must demonstrate mastery of these skills and the ability to incorporate new information from peers, teachers, and the medical literature to formulate sound judgment in patient assessment and diagnostic and therapeutic planning.

Behavioral and Social Attributes: Flexibility, compassion, integrity, motivation, effective interpersonal skills, and concern for others are personal attributes required of those in nurse anesthesia practice. Personal comfort and acceptance of the role of a dependent practitioner functioning under supervision is essential for training and practice as a student nurse anesthetist. The student must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of the student’s intellectual abilities; the exercise of good judgment; the prompt completion of all responsibilities in the classroom setting, as well as those in the clinical setting, attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients; and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients and other members of the health care team. Each student must have the emotional stability required to exercise stable, sound judgment and to complete assessment and interventional activities. The ability to establish rapport and maintain sensitive, interpersonal relationships with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural and intellectual backgrounds is critical for practice as a nurse anesthetist. The student must be able to function effectively under stress; adapt to changing environments; display flexibility; accept and integrate constructive criticism given in the classroom and clinical settings, effectively interact in the clinical setting with other members of the healthcare team; and learn to function cooperatively and efficiently in the face of uncertainties inherent in clinical practice.

Ability to Manage Stressful Situations: The student must be able to adapt to and function effectively to stressful situations in both the classroom and clinical settings, including emergency situations. Students will encounter multiple stressors while in the nurse anesthesia program. These stressors may be (but are not limited to) personal, patient care/family, faculty/peer, and or program related.

In accordance with law and Drexel University policy, no qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of that disability, be excluded from participation in Drexel University programs or activities. Drexel University will provide reasonable accommodation to a qualified individual with a disability.

To obtain accommodations, individuals must request them from the Office of Student Disability Services that can be contacted at the following address:


Office of Disability Services
3201 Arch Street, Suite 210, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Mailing Address:
3141 Chestnut Street, 81-210, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: 215.895.1401
TTY 215.895.2299 (Reserved for those who are deaf or hard of hearing)
Fax: 215.895.1402
E-mail: disability@drexel.edu

News & Events

 

09/28/20

Alumni Spotlight- Natt Fiumara-soloAfter 18 years in the business world, Natt Fiumara knew he wanted to lean in toward a significant shift, one that would allow him to help people with addictions. Having managed a substance-use disorder, Fiumara was able to see first-hand the immediate need for counselors that were specialists in addictions, competent and empathetic. Searching for programs that might fit his new career direction, he discovered the online Master of Science in Addictions Counseling at CNHP, and decided that this was the right fit. During the program, Fiumara was motivated by the evidence-based curriculum, focused on actionable treatment and innovative approaches.

Inspired by the faculty, particularly, Abby Dougherty, PhD, and Holly Sawyer, PhD, Fiumara took courses that included Trauma and Families, Treatment Planning and Relapse Prevention, and Research Methods in Behavioral Sciences. Faculty shared candid feedback and were transparent about the challenges and expectations in the profession. Case studies and course work dealt with real examples, allowing the students to engage content that would directly relate to their future practice and prepare them for the important work ahead.

During the program, Fiumara engaged with his classmates, who all shared an intentional focus on helping those with addictions. The class was taught exclusively online, and Fiumara and his classmates connected over life experiences and weekly discussions. A professional and supportive environment allowed students to thrive in their pursuit of their educational goals.

Alumni Spotlight- Natt Fiumara

There is great need for addictions counselors, as Fiumara immediately discovered in his job search. His last day of class coincided with his first day of work in his new role as a counselor at a methadone clinic in Baltimore. In a city hit hard by the opioid epidemic, Fiumara devotes extraordinary time and energy to connect with his patients, help them unpack their trauma, and build trust with each person. The opioid epidemic has had devastating consequences in the United States. According to the Department of Health and Human Services in 2018, 10.3 million people in the U.S. misused prescription opioids, 808,000 people used heroin, and around 130 people died a day because of opioid-related drug overdoses. These are not just painful numbers; these are real people that Fiumara works with every day. Their stories are more than statistics, and Fiumara is focused on seeing what is right in each situation, rather than only what is wrong.

09/28/20

Aviva-Mandel-CHOP-co-opAs a high school student who gravitated toward science and medicine, deciding to attend Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions (CNHP) was a focused decision for Aviva Mandel. With a direct curricular path into nursing and the opportunity to gain 18 months of work experience prior to graduation, these distinctive academic and professional hallmarks of CNHP have propelled Mandel toward her goals.

Mandel is beginning her final year at Drexel as a student in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, with a minor in exercise science. It was during her second year in the Foundations of Nursing Practice course, which centers on the concepts, skills and attitudes fundamental to professional nursing practice within a framework of clinical decision-making, that she decided that nursing was the right fit for her. The class combined lecture and lab, with particular emphasis on nurse/patient relationship-based care and hands-on experiences.

Professional working experience is central to Drexel’s distinctive educational model. Cooperative Education (co-op), provides students with up to 18 months of real-world work experience with industry leaders, while building an impressive résumé before graduation. This allows students to test-drive careers and see firsthand how the knowledge they've gained in the classroom is applied in the field.

Mandel chose the program that offered her a five-year program, including three distinctive co-op opportunities and 18-months of work experience. Each co-op helped her better understand the type of career she feels most connected to: one that allows her to establish meaningful relationships, helping younger patients to achieve the best health outcomes possible. Her first co-op placement was at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), where she shadowed care providers in the postanesthesia care unit (PACU); her second co-op was at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in the transplant unit, where she worked with patients recovering from organ transplants and bariatric surgery; and her last co-op placement brought her back to CHOP, where she spent time in general rehabilitation with children who had been impacted by stroke, traumatic brain injury and other life altering events. This placement allowed Mandel to connect with her patients to see how their health and wellness improved with excellent care over time.Aviva-Mandel-trail

Support from faculty has been an important part of her Drexel experience, specifically engaging with Tasha Martin-Peters, MSN, who is an assistant clinical professor. Mandel was able to connect with Martin-Peters about different fields in nursing, learned important tips to think about as a future practitioner and appreciated her openness to student questions and concerns.

Beginning in her second year and continuing through her fifth, Mandel serves as a tutor for first-year students through the Center for Learning and Academic Success Services. In this role, she helps students, often in their first anatomy and physiology class gain the confidence and knowledge needed to be successful in this challenging course. Mandel has also connected with resource offices on campus, who support her academic goals as a student with dyslexia.

An active student on campus, Mandel is a member of the rock climbing community, where she excels as a top rope climber at the Drexel Recreation Center. Mandel is also part of the inclusive Hillel community at Drexel.

09/28/20

Chris Recinto tuxedo headshotAs a third-year student in Drexel’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, Chris Recinto has explored his broad interests in healthcare and found a connection to nursing. In high school, Recinto was interested in healthcare but was still deciding on a specific application for this potential career path. After exploring the pre-med curriculum, Recinto decided that the diverse specialties and career opportunities in nursing were a better fit. Discovering many points of intersection with business, engineering and the natural sciences, Recinto has excelled in a four-year with one co-op plan, which enables him work for six months during his third year of college.

Advancing through the curriculum, Recinto took Anatomy and Physiology 102 with Michael Kirifides, PhD, an assistant professor in the Health Sciences program, who specializes in the nervous system. In this class students are encouraged to expand their knowledge on the norms of the human body under the foundational premise that form and function are directly related. The course consists of both lab and lecture, where students are able to participate in practical examinations of microscopic sections, tissues and organs and the anatomical layout of various cadavers. Through this course, Recinto became very interested in the nervous system and is seeking a co-op experience that can connect him with this specialized area.

Chris-Recinto-groupSupport from faculty has also been an important part of the experience Recinto has had at the College of Nursing and Health Professions. Whether seeking opportunities outside of the classroom, or reaching out for guidance, faculty have been there to support his goals. For example, Assistant Clinical Professor Jane Donovan, PhD, went out of her way to spend time with Recinto and other students to discuss any academic questions, concerns and highlighted the importance of practice and emotional intelligence. His experience with faculty has helped frame a real-world approach to his future career with support along the way.



Chris, handstand with a friend, in front of City Hall in Philadelphia

As a new student on campus, Recinto initially connected with a group of friends during their new student orientation week. This close group of friends also lives in a shared learning community, part of their residential experience on Drexel’s campus. Whether making Oreo truffles, visiting the Franklin Institute, walking around Philadelphia or ice skating in the city, the friendships they have built are a meaningful part of their Drexel experience and a source of joy and support. On campus, Recinto participates in the Dragon Run Club, the Drexel Student Nurses’ Association and is a member of the Beta Chi Theta fraternity. As a leader on campus, Recinto wants to welcome all new students to Drexel and looks forward to connecting with the future dragons.

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