Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

Essential Cognitive & Physical Functions for Nursing Programs

In order to meet the program competencies, and for successful completion of the objectives  for each nursing course, a student must be able to:

Visually observe changes in a patient’s status, as well as unsafe environmental condition. Visual Acuity must possess a.) near clarity of vision at 20 inches or less and b.) far clarity of vision at 20 feet or more;

Hear sounds of spoken verbal communication, as well as sounds that indicate changes in the patient’s physiological condition (i.e. breath sounds, blood pressure, apical pulse.);

Speak to focal clients and members of the health team utilizing effective verbal communication skills;

Demonstrate tactile ability sufficient to assess a patient’s pulses, as well as changes in a patient’s physiological status (i.e. changes in skin temperature, edema, etc.);

Smell odors that indicate changes in physiological status of the patient, or unsafe environmental conditions;

Read and cognitively comprehend written course materials, patient care documents, and health care institution policies and procedures;

Write utilizing a legible and concise documentation style which is readable and in the English language;

Calculate accurately in order to administer correct medication dosages, count a pulse, count respirations, and determine intake and output;

Move freely to observe and assess patients and perform emergency patient care; this includes having full manual dexterity of the upper extremities, including neck and shoulders, and unrestricted movement of both lower extremities, back, and hips  in order to assist in all aspects of patient care, and the ability to touch the floor to remove environmental hazards (i.e. patient hygiene, application of restraints, and nursing procedures such as urinary bladder catheterization and parenteral injections);

Lift and/or support at least 75 pounds in order to reposition, transfer, and ambulate patients safely;

Demonstrate cognitive learning in relation to new procedures through clinical application;

Interpret physician orders accurately through verbal and written communication, and carry through with appropriate psychomotor clinical application.

**If a student should present with any physical or cognitive limitation, each case will be reviewed on an individual basis.  Reasonable accommodations will be made if possible.