Technical Standards


The goal of the Nurse Anesthesia (NA) Program is to develop graduates who are competent, caring nurse anesthetists possessing the skills of life-long learning, needed to incorporate new knowledge and methods into their practices and to adapt to a changing medical environment. The faculty has determined that certain technical standards are requisite for admission, progression, and graduation from the NA Program.

Physician Assistant a computer with studentsAn 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.

Physician Assistant with simulated patientMotor 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