The University of Tampa Physician Assistant Medicine
The program graduate competencies represent the knowledge, interpersonal, procedural skills, professional behaviors, clinical reasoning and problem-solving abilities required for graduation from the UT PA program.
The competencies were informed by the PAEA “Core Competencies for New Physician Graduates.” This is a guidance document for PA curriculum developers and educators that combines knowledge, skills and abilities associated with the recognized competencies necessary for practice readiness of new PA graduates.
The faculty of UT’s PA program review, revise and approve the program competencies annually. This process ensures that the competencies are representative of current standards of medical care and education and are reflective of the PA program’s mission and goals.
PATIENT-CENTERED PRACTICE KNOWLEDGE:
Graduates will be able to gather essential and accurate information through history-taking, physical examination, ordering and interpretation of diagnostic tests, appropriately document a clinical encounter, develop a differential diagnosis, determine a diagnosis and apply an evidence-based treatment plan that incorporates patient preference.
In various practice settings and types, graduates will be able to research appropriate literature with use of technology to search common medical databases to locate, appraise and assimilate evidence from scientific studies to inform clinical reasoning to individual patient problems, further ascertain clinical judgement, apply standard of care by utilizing knowledge of general medical sciences and incorporate the medical decision-making process to evaluate diverse patient populations across the lifespan with recognition of healthy versus ill health states, discerning the presentation as preventive, emergent, acute, chronic, rehabilitative, and palliative care.
Graduates will be able to develop therapeutic relationships with patients to counsel and educate them and their families, empowering them to participate in their care and enabling shared decision-making, while establishing a safe environment for patient care that integrates risk management and the prevention of medical errors or spread of infection.
SOCIETY AND POPULATION HEALTH:
Graduates will be able to recognize the cultural norms, needs, influences, socioeconomic, environmental, structural disparities and other population-level determinants affecting the health of the individual and community being served. Demonstrate integrity and cultural humility as well as sensitivity and responsiveness to a diverse patient population, including but not limited to diversity in gender, age, culture, race, religion, disabilities and sexual orientation.
Graduates will be able to apply principles of epidemiological sciences to the identification of health problems, barriers to health, risk factors, treatment strategies, resources and disease prevention/health promotion efforts for patients and society.
HEALTH LITERACY AND COMMUNICATION:
Graduates will be able to communicate effectively, avoiding discipline-specific terminology, with patients, families and the public, when appropriate with the use of interpreters and other communication devices to communicate in an equitable and respectful way across a broad range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds so that they can understand and make meaning out of the information conveyed to them, thus showing responsiveness to diverse culture health beliefs and practices, preferred languages and health literacy.
Graduates will be able to communicate effectively through written, electronic and spoken word with colleagues within one’s profession or specialty, other health professionals and health-related agencies to ensure safe and effective exchange of patient information.
Graduates will be able to demonstrate insight and understanding about age-specific human responses to illness, injury and/or stress that allow one to develop and manage interpersonal interactions, while demonstrating sensitivity, honesty and compassion in difficult conversations (about issues such as death, end-of-life issues, adverse events, bad news, disclosure of errors and other sensitive topics) in a culturally competent manner.
INTERPROFESSIONAL COLLABORATIVE PRACTICE AND LEADERSHIP:
Graduates will be able to collaborate with patients and other health professionals to provide patient-centered clinical care and public health interventions to optimize individual patient and population health.
Graduates will be able to apply relationship-building values and principles of team dynamics to perform effectively as a member of team in developing strategies to meet specific healthcare needs of patients and populations while articulating individual providers’ value to the individual patient and healthcare team.
PROFESSIONAL AND LEGAL ASPECTS OF HEALTHCARE:
Graduates will be able to recognize basis for informed consent and demonstrate respect for patient privacy and autonomy, abiding by current social media best practice standards and HIPAA policies, while identifying system failures and contributing to a culture of safety and improvement.
Graduates will be able to demonstrate professional behavior that encompasses the principles of honesty, integrity, empathy and respect, advocacy, self-awareness, personal accountability, teamwork, balance and avoidance of conflicts of interest, courtesy and compassion, in a pattern of moral and ethical interactions with others that highlight the needs of the patient over self-interest. Recognize one’s limits and establish healthy boundaries to support healthy partnerships reflecting on personal and professional limitations in providing care.
Graduates will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the PA profession, licensure, credentialing and laws and regulations regarding professional practice and its historical development and current trends. Understand the importance of continuing education to identify, analyze and implement new knowledge, clinical guidelines, standards of practice, technologies, products or services, and apply to individual patient care to improve patient outcomes.
HEALTHCARE FINANCE AND SYSTEMS:
Graduates will be able to demonstrate knowledge of appropriate documentation of care, coding, billing and reimbursement within various healthcare systems and settings, recognizing that healthcare is a business.
Graduates will be able to work effectively in health care delivery systems and settings, recognizing the impact of health policy on the delivery of care in various health settings to ultimately improve patient safety by participating in quality improvement activities through identification of system errors and implementation of evidence-based solutions.
CORE SKILLS AND PROCEDURES
While not inclusive, this list is representative of skills taught across the curriculum. Students may or may not perform the following skills, but they will have the opportunity to discuss essential information about the skill/procedure
Graduates will be able to:
- Gather a History and Perform Physical Examination
- Prioritize a Differential Diagnosis Following a Clinical Encounter
- Recommend and Interpret Common Diagnostic and Screening Tests
- Choose and Discuss Orders and Prescriptions
- Apply an Evidence-based Treatment Plan that Incorporates Patient Preference
- Appropriately Document a Clinical Encounter
- Provide an Oral Presentation of a Clinical Encounter
- Form Clinical Questions and Retrieve evidence to Advance Patient Care
- Give or Receive a Patient Handover to Transition Care Responsibility
- Collaborate as a Member of Interprofessional Team
- Recognize a Patient Requiring Urgent or Emergent Care and Initiate Evaluation and Management
- Obtain Informed Consent for Tests and/or Procedures
- Identify System Failures and Contribute to a Culture of Safety and Improvement
VASCULAR ACCESS AND OTHER PRACTICAL SKILLS
- Arterial puncture
- Peripheral IV catheterization
- Interosseous Access
- External Jugular catheterization
- Intramuscular, subcutaneous injections
- Foreign body removal from skin, eyes, nose and/or ears
- Visual acuity and color vision screening
- Eye examination (with fluorescein staining)
- Irrigation of the external auditory canal
- Anterior nasal packing
- Doppler assessment of peripheral pulses and/or prenatal fetal heart rate
- Perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, defibrillation and cardioversion, airway management and other life support skills according to ACLS guidelines (demonstrated through successful certification process)
- Basic life support (BLS) procedures
- Advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) procedures
- Pediatric cardiac life support (PALS) procedures
- Chest needle decompression/chest tube insertion
GI/GU AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH SKILLS
- Naso-Orogastric intubation and lavage
- Urinary bladder catheterization
- Collection of urethral, vaginal and/or cervical specimens for STI testing
- Collection of vaginal and cervical specimens for cytologic (PAP) examination
- Stool hemoccult sample collection and analysis
- Arthrocentesis/intra-articular injection of the large joints (knee)
- Lumbar puncture
- Aseptic technique
- Surgical scrub, gown and glove
- Administration of local anesthesia and/or digital nerve blocks
- Wound closure with sutures, liquid skin adhesive, steri-strips and/or staples
- Superficial wound incision and drainage and packing
- Wound care and dressing
- Skin punch, excisional and/or shave biopsy procedures
- Punch Biopsy
- One Hand Tie
ULTRASOUND SKILLS(including immersion course)
- FAST exam
- Vascular access
- Arterial Blood Gas
- Incision and drainage
(Graduate competencies reviewed and approved summer 2022)
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