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Essential Functions

The faculty is responsible for development and implementation of a pharmacy curriculum designed to educate competent, caring pharmacists with strong communication skills, character and commitment to the community and dedication to lifelong learning.

Preparation and training to become a pharmacist requires each student to understand and meet the essential functions required for admission, continuation and graduation as identified below. The faculty has developed the course requirements and activities to provide critical elements of training. It is expected that students will participate in all course activities and must not be subject to any legal condition that would bar participation (including but not limited to lectures, seminars, laboratories, clinics, physical examinations, patient procedures) and adhere to individual clinical site rules and regulations as well as College of Pharmacy policies regarding these activities.

A candidate for the pharmacy degree must be able to demonstrate intellectual-conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities; skills in observation, communication and motor functions; and mature behavioral and social attributes. Technological compensation and/or reasonable accommodation can be made for some handicaps in some of these areas, but a candidate should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner without a trained intermediary. The use of a trained intermediary means that a candidate’s judgment must be mediated by someone else’s power of selection and observation.


The candidate must be able to:

  • observe lectures, demonstrations, experiments and practice-based activities
  • observe physiologic and pharmacologic demonstrations, evaluation of microbiologic cultures and microscopic studies of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathologic states;
  • observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand; observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision and somatic sensation. It is enhanced by the functional use of the sense of smell;
  • read information on a computer screen;
  • remain fully alert and attentive at all times in clinical settings; and
  • evaluate visible patient signs and symptoms for the purposes of triaging patient complaints and monitoring drug therapy.



The candidate must be able to:

  • communicate effectively, sensitively and at an appropriate pace with patients, caregivers and members of the healthcare team;
  • speak, listen and read in order to elicit information and write in the English language;
  • effectively communicate with instructors and peers;
  • communicate with healthcare practitioners specifically about his/her patients in review of recommendations concerning verbal and written drug therapy orders;
  • elicit information from patients and perceive and describe nonverbal communications from patients such as change in mood, activity and posture; and
  • teach patient skills when dealing with drug administration devices (i.e., inhalers) or use of home diagnostic kits.



The candidate must be able to:

  • have sufficient motor function to execute all aspects of processing multiple types of drug orders and compounding of medications;
  • engage in safe and aseptic handling of sterile preparations;
  • safely and effectively operate appropriate equipment (e.g., microscope, computer keyboard, glucose monitors, peak flow meters);
  • engage in basic physical assessment activities including palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic maneuvers. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and functional use of the senses of touch and vision; and
  • perform CPR.



The candidate must be able to:

  • solve problems involving measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, synthesis and evaluation rapidly in a multi-task setting;
  • comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of structures;
  • synthesize knowledge and integrate the relevant aspects of a patient’s history, physical findings and monitoring studies; and
  • be able to use information to develop drug therapy and monitoring plan in a reasonable amount of time.



The candidate must be able to:

  • possess the emotional health required for full use of his/her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment and the prompt and safe completion of all responsibilities;
  • adapt to change, display flexibility and learn to function in the face of uncertainties and stressful situations;
  • possess compassion, integrity, interpersonal skills, motivation, empathy and concern for others;
  • demonstrate ethical behavior;
  • function effectively in situations of physical and emotional stress;
  • accept appropriate suggestions and criticism and, if necessary, respond by modification;
  • exercise good judgment and prompt completion of all responsibilities involved in the pharmacist care of patients; and
  • have the capacity to develop mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients.

College of Pharmacy

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