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Technical Standards

The following technical standards ensure that our students possess the knowledge and skills to function in clinical situations and provide patient care.

The Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice degree signifies that the holder is an anesthetist prepared for entry into the practice of nurse anesthesia, thus it follows that graduates must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. This document delineates the cognitive, affective and psychomotor skills deemed essential to the completion of the program.

If a student is not able to demonstrate the following skills and abilities, it is the responsibility of the student to request an appropriate accommodation. The University will provide reasonable accommodation as long as it does not fundamentally alter the nature of the nurse anesthetist program. The essential technical standards presented in this document are prerequisite for matriculation, subsequent promotion from year to year, and ultimately graduation from the KU nurse anesthesia degree program.

These standards pertain to all matriculated students. All required courses in the curriculum are necessary in order to develop essential skills required to become a competent nurse anesthetist and to protect the health and safety of patients. Therefore, all students admitted to the nurse anesthesia program must be able to meet the following requirements and expectations with or without accommodation(s). Students are required to sign and return the technical standards acknowledgement form with their letter accepting a position in the program.

NOTE: Reasonable accommodation will be considered and may be made to qualified students who disclose a disability, so long as such accommodation does not significantly alter the essential requirements of the curriculum and the training program, or significantly affect the safety of patient care. Students who disclose a disability are considered for the program if they are otherwise qualified. Qualified students with a disability who wish to request accommodation should provide appropriate documentation of disability and submit a request for accommodation to the KU Office for Academic Accommodations.

1. Intellectual-Conceptual and integrative and Quantitative Abilities. The nurse anesthesia student must be able to:

  • use reason, analysis, calculations, problem solving, critical thinking, synthesis, self-evaluation and other learning skills to acquire knowledge, comprehend and synthesize complex concepts
  • comprehend three dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures
  • identify significant findings from history, physical examination, and laboratory findings to determine the appropriate sequence of events to implement effective clinical treatments in a timely manner
  • acquire and develop clinical reasoning and judgment skills under pressure
  • interpret information derived from auditory, visual, written, and other visual data to determine appropriate patient management plans
  • recall and retain information in an efficient and timely manner
  • demonstrate proficiency in both oral and written English language and communicate knowledge to others when indicated
  • effectively analyzing complex clinical situations such as cardiac or pulmonary arrest or airway obstruction
  • effectively function as an attentive, productive and constructive member of a healthcare team
  • demonstrate self-awareness and self-assessment of one's abilities and deficiencies or limitations and request help when needed.

2. Observational Skills. The nurse anesthesia student must be able to:

  • observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences, including but not limited to, physiologic and pharmacologic demonstrations in animals, microbiological cultures, microscopic studies of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states.
  • observe a patient accurately at a distance or close at hand
  • discriminate variations in human responses to disease using visual (including color), auditory , tactile and other sensory cues
  • discriminate changes in monitoring devices and alarms using visual and auditory senses
  • students must have visual acuity within normal ranges of motor facility appropriate to work within the confines of anesthetizing areas (with electronic monitoring and ventilatory equipment).

3. Communication. The nurse anesthetist student must be able to:

  • speak, to hear and to observe patients in order to elicit information, describe changes in mood, activity and posture, and perceive nonverbal communications.
  • communicate effectively and sensitively with patients, including not only speech but reading and writing.
  • communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written form with all members of the health care team.
  • have hearing activity within normal ranges of motor facility appropriate to work within the confines of anesthetizing areas (with electronic monitoring and ventilator equipment).

4. Professional, Behavioral and Social Attributes. The nurse anesthesia student must be able to:

  • possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his/her intellectual abilities
  • exercise good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant the diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature sensitive and effective relationships with patients.
  • tolerate physically and emotionally taxing workloads
  • maintain composure and emotional stability during periods of high acute stress as well as periods of chronic stress
  • adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients.
  • display compassion, integrity, concern for others, open-mindedness, interpersonal skill, self-discipline, focus and motivation
  • accept criticism and respond by appropriate behavior modification
  • use supervision appropriately, and act independently when indicated

5. Motor and tactile function. The nurse anesthesia student must be able to:

  • elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers
  • physically do basic laboratory tests and to read EKGs and x-rays
  • execute both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and functional motor movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients (ex: cardiopulmonary resuscitation, administration of intravenous medication, the application of pressure to stop bleeding, the opening of obstructed airways and the suturing of simple wounds
  • physically respond to emergency calls without locomotion or transportation limitation
  • document that no disease process exists which predisposes them to hepatic disorders

Academic Accommodation Services
913-945-7035 (711 TTY)
Room 1006 Dykes Library

KU School of Health Professions

University of Kansas Medical Center
Department of Nurse Anesthesia Education
Mailstop 2020
3901 Rainbow Blvd
Kansas City, KS 66160
913-588-6612 • 711 TTY