Technical Skills

Qualified applicants are expected to meet all admission criteria as well as perform essential functions. Students requesting reasonable accommodations to meet these criteria must inform the Program Director in writing of the need for accommodations at the time of admission. The student is expected to file the appropriate forms to document the need for accommodation with the Services for Students with Disabilities Office, DAMA 117, 575-527-7548.

Functional Ability Category Representative Activity/Attribute Examples
Gross Motor Skills
  • Move within confined spaces
  • Sit and maintain balance
  • Stand and maintain balance
  • Reach above Shoulders
  • Reach below waist
Function in an ICU environment: move about an ICU room in order to perform procedures on the patient. Must also read patient chart, equipment settings, and/or equipment displays. Sit to record findings. Change equipment settings above head and below waist, plug electrical appliances into wall outlets.
Fine Motor Skills
  •  Pick up objects with hands
  • Grasp small objects with hands
  • Write with pen or pencil
  • Key/type
  • Pinch/pick or otherwise work with fingers
  • Twist
  • Squeeze with finger
Lift medication vials to eyes to read. Squeeze medication vials to empty. Squeeze Ballard suction catheter button. Grasp hold and read small instruments such as volume measuring devices. Write in patient chart. Record patient data in record. Change settings on equipment by turning knob and observing change.
Physical Endurance
  • Stand in place for prolonged periods
  • Sustain repetitive movements
  • Maintain physical tolerance for 8 or 12 hour periods
  • Ability to perform activities day, evening and night
Stand and perform repetitive procedures on patients such as Chest Physical Therapy and CPR. Repeat this procedure periodically throughout an 8-hour shift.
  • Detect odors from patients
  • Detect smoke
  • Detect gases or noxious smells
 Assess for noxious odors originating from the patient or environment (gas or smoke).
Physical Strength
  • Push and pull 25 pounds
  • Support 25 pounds
  • Lift 25 pounds
  • Carry equipment/supplies
  • Use upper body strength
  • Squeeze with hands
Assist patient from bed to chair. Hoist patient up in bed. Move patient from stretcher to bed and back. Carry medications, pulse oximeter, stethoscope or other equipment to patient room. Push ventilator or other heavy equipment to patient room. Push ventilator or other heavy equipment from respiratory care department to patient room. Move other equipment such as Pulse Oximeter, IPPB, IPV machine. Lift equipment from bed height to shelf height above chest level.
  • Twist
  • Bend
  • Stoop/squat
  • Move quickly
  • Climb
  • Walk
Turn to change settings on monitor while standing at patient bedside. Behind to change equipment settings on floor, at knee level, waist level, chest level, eye level, and above head. Gather equipment and manually resuscitate patient without delay. Make rapid adjustments if needed to ensure patient safety. Make way to patient room if an emergency is called using stairs.
  • Hear normal speaking level sounds
  • Hear faint voices
  • Hear faint body sounds
  • Hear in situation when not able to see lips
  • Hear auditory alarms
Listen to patient breath sounds to determine if patient is breathing. Listen to heart sounds to determine if heart is beating. Determine the intensity and quality of patient breath sounds in order to help determine a diagnosis. Hear audible alarms such as a ventilator alarm. Hear overhead pages to call for emergency assistance.
  • See objects up to 20 inches away
  • See objects up to 20 feet away
  • Use depth perception
  • Use peripheral vision
  • Distinguish color
  • Distinguish color intensity
Read patient chart to determine correct therapy. Visually assess patient color to assess for hypoxia. Read settings on monitors and other equipment. Visually assess for changes. Confirm settings visually such as with ventilator display.
  • Feel vibrations
  • Detect temperature
  • Feel differences in surface characteristics
  • Feel differences in sizes/shapes
  • Detect environmental temperature
Assess patient by feeling for patient pulse, temperature, tactile fremitus, edema, and subcutaneous emphysema.
  • Read and understand written documents
Read and interpret physician orders, physician, therapist and nurse’s notes. Read from a computer monitor. Gather data reasonably accurate and in a reasonable amount of time to ensure safe and effective patient care relative to other caregivers.
Math Competence
  • Read and understand columns of writing
  • Read digital displays
  • Read graphic printouts
  • Calibrate equipment
  • Convert numbers to and from metric system
  • Read graphs
  • Tell time
  • Measure time
  • Count rates
  • Use measuring tools
  • Read measurement marks
  • Add/subtract/multiply/divide
  • Compute fractions
  • Use calculator
Read and interpret patient graphic charts and graphic displays. Perform basic arithmetic functions in order to calculate minute ventilation, convert temperature, correctly place graduate tubing, and other functions.
Emotional Stability
  • Establish appropriate emotional boundaries
  • Provide emotional support to others
  • Adapt to changing environment/stress
  • Deal with the unexpected
  • Focus attention on task
  • Monitor own emotions
  • Perform multiple responsibilities concurrently
  • Handle strong emotions
Provide for safe patient care despite a rapidly changing and intensely emotional environment. Perform multiple tasks concurrently, example: delivery of medication or oxygen in one room while performing an arterial blood gas in another such as in an emergency room environment. Maintain enough composure to provide for safe and effective patient care despite crisis circumstances.
Analytical Thinking
  • Transfer knowledge from one situation to another
  • Process information
  • Evaluate outcomes
  • Problem solve
  • Prioritize tasks
  • Use long-term memory
  • Use short-term memory
Evaluate different sources of diagnostic information to help arrive at a patient diagnosis. Evaluate priorities in order to provide for the most appropriate care. Appropriately evaluate data in order to notify physicians and nursing when necessary.
Critical Thinking
  • Identify cause/effect relationships
  • Plan/control activities for others
  • Synthesize knowledge and skills
  • Sequence information
Evaluate different sources of diagnostic information to help arrive at a patient diagnosis and treatment. Evaluate data in order to formulate an appropriate action plan.
Interpersonal Skills
  • Negotiate interpersonal conflict
  • Respect differences in patients, fellow students, and members of the health care team
  • Establish rapport with patients, fellow students, and members of the health care team
Communicate effectively with disagreeable patients, family doctors and nurses, and other staff in order to attempt to meet therapeutic goals for the patient.
Communication Skills
  • Teach
  • Explain procedures
  • Give oral reports
  • Interact with others
  • Speak on the telephone
  • Influence people
  • Convey information through writing
 Communicate effectively and appropriately with doctors, nurses, patients, family and other staff in order to provide for most effective and efficient patient care.