Essential Functions Required of Students
For Admission and Progression in
Surgical Technology

 Applicants and students should be able to perform these essential functions or with reasonable accommodations, such as the help of compensatory techniques and/or assistive devices, be able to demonstrate ability to become proficient in these essential functions.

Essential Function

Technical Standard

Some Examples of Necessary Activities (Not all inclusive)

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking ability sufficient for clinical judgment

Ability to identify cause-effect relationships in clinical situations: evaluate patient or instrument responses; synthesize data; draw sound conclusions.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural and intellectual backgrounds.

Ability to establish rapport with patients and colleagues.  Use therapeutic communication (attending, clarifying, coaching, facilitating, teaching).  Function (consult, negotiate, share) as a part of a team.

Communication Ability

Communication abilities sufficient for effective interaction with others in spoken and written English.

Ability to explain treatment procedures; initiate health teaching; document and interpret instructions.  Listen attentively.

Physical Endurance

Remain continuously on task for several hours while standing, sitting, moving, lifting and/or bending.

Ability to manually resuscitate patients in emergency situations or stand/walk for extended periods of time.  Turn, position, and transfer patients. Must be able to lift 25 lbs. standing erect, using only upper body strength for at least 1 minute.


Physical abilities sufficient to move from room to room and maneuver in small spaces; full range of motion; manual and finger dexterity; and hand-eye coordination.

Ability to move around in work area and treatment areas.  Position oneself in environment to render care without obstructing the position of other team members or equipment.

Motor Skills

Gross and fine motor skills sufficient to provide safe patient care and operate equipment.

Ability to use equipment and instruments with necessary dexterity.

Hearing Ability

Auditory ability sufficient to monitor and assess health needs.

Ability to hear alarms, emergency signals, muffled voices, auscultatory sounds and cries for help.

Visual Ability

Normal or corrected visual ability sufficient for patient observation and assessment, ability to discriminate between subtle changes in density (black and grey) or a color at low light.

Ability to observe patient responses, secretions, color.  Read thermometer, chart, computer screen, digital printouts, labels and gauges.

Tactile Ability

Tactile ability sufficient for physical assessment.

Ability to perform palpation, functions of physical examination and/or those related to therapeutic intervention.

Olfactory Ability

Olfactory senses (smell) sufficient for maintaining environmental and patient safety.

Ability to distinguish smells which are contributory to assessing and/or maintaining the patient’s health status or environmental safety.

Professional Attitude and Demeanor

Ability to present professional appearance and implement measures to maintain one’s own physical and mental health and emotional stability.

Ability to work under stressful conditions.  Be exposed to communicable diseases and contaminated body fluids.  React calmly in emergency situations.  Demonstrate flexibility.  Show concern for others.

Note:   Students requiring reasonable accommodations may contact the Office of Counseling and Career Development Services, Counselor for Students with Disabilities.

Adapted from Red Alert: The Americans with disabilities Act - Implications for Nursing Education (March '93).

Adapted from Red Alert: The Americans with disabilities Act - Implications for Nursing Education

 (March 93)