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Santa Monica College|Academic Programs|Health Sciences|Nursing|Nursing Student Orientation|Essential Functions Required of Nursing Students

Essential Functions Required of Nursing Students

Click Here to Download the Essential Functions Handout


Motor Capability:

  • Move from room to room and maneuver in small spaces.
  • Transfer patients who may require physical assistance.
  • Guard and assist patients with ambulation.
  • Lift and carry up to 50 pounds and exert up to 100 pounds of force for push/pull.
  • Squat, bend/stoop, reach above shoulder level, kneel, use standing balance, and climb stairs.
  • Use hands repetitively; use manual dexterity.
  • Adjust, apply, and clean therapeutic equipment.
  • Perform CPR
  • Travel to and from academic and clinical sites.

Sensory Capability:

  • Coordinate verbal and manual instruction.
  • Assess a patient 10 feet away to observe patient’s behavior and response to treatment.
  • Respond to a timer, alarm, or cries for help.
  • Monitor vital signs.
  • Auditory, visual, olfactory, and tactile ability must be sufficient to assess patient status and perform treatments (example: color changes in skin, hear heart and lung sounds, and smell malodorous drainage).

Communication Ability:

  • Communicate effectively in English with patients, families, and other health care providers, both verbally and in writing (example: explain treatment procedures, teach patient and families, document in charts).
  • Effectively adapt communication for intended audience.
  • Interact, establish rapport with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds.
  • Assume the role of a health care team member.
  • Function effectively under supervision.

Problem solving Ability:

  • Function effectively under stress.
  • Respond appropriately to emergencies.
  • Adhere to infection control procedures.
  • Demonstrate problem solving skills in patient care (measure, calculate, reason,prioritize, synthesize data.
  • Use sound judgment and safety precautions.
  • Address problems or questions to the appropriate person at the appropriate time.
  • Organize and prioritize tasks.
  • Follow policies and procedures required by clinical and academic settings.

Adapted with permission from Sierra College 4/04