According to Students with Disabilities: An Institutional Policy (1997, p. 8), all candidates for degrees at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston must be able to perform the following essential functions with or without reasonable accommodations:
- Observation (to include the various sensory modalities) - accurately observe close at hand and at a distance to gather data and learn skills.
- Communication - communicate effectively and efficiently; process and comprehend written material.
- Psychomotor Skills - execute the various tasks and physical maneuvers that are required within each program.
- Intellectual and Cognitive Abilities - measure, calculate, reason, analyze, synthesize, integrate, remember and apply information; comprehend three-dimensional relationships; and understand the spatial relationships of structures. Creative problem-solving and clinical reasoning require all of these intellectual abilities.
- Professional and Social Attributes - exercise good judgment and promptly complete all responsibilities required of each program; develop mature, sensitive, and effective professional relationships with others; tolerate taxing workloads; function effectively under stress; adapt to changing environments; display flexibility; and function in the face of uncertainties and ambiguities. Concern for others, interpersonal competence and motivation are requisite for all programs.
- Ethical Standards - demonstrate professional attitudes and behaviors; perform in an ethical manner in dealings with others. All programs require personal integrity and the adherence to standards that reflect the values and functions of the profession. Many programs also require the honoring of codes of ethics
In addition, students in the Master of Science/Dietetic Internship Program will need to perform the following essential cognitive, affective, and psychomotor functions, with or without reasonable accommodations:
- Process, retain, and integrate information from the following types of sources: oral delivery by instructor(s) or student(s); blackboard data and diagrams; printed material (handouts, journals, manuals, books, medical records, computer); overhead transparencies; slides; film and video segments; audio recordings; live demonstrations; one to one and group interactions in the classroom or clinic; lab specimens, instruments, equipment, and machinery; observation, movement, or manipulation of others' bodies; evaluation and treatment tools; and therapeutic activities.
- Complete coursework that may require: independent mobility to various locations on and off campus; individual, partnered, or group efforts; following written or oral instructions; recording personal opinions, knowledge, or ratings; verbalizing personal thoughts, feelings, and opinions; instructing others; presenting oral reports; facilitating group discussions; role playing; manipulating, lifting, and carrying evaluation and treatment materials; managing time effectively; close physical contact with others in simulated and clinical activities; exposure to hazardous materials and body fluids; and working with individuals with infectious diseases and terminal illnesses.
- Take and pass scheduled and pop quizzes, exams, and lab practicals in a variety of formats.
- Interact with others in a professional manner as defined in the Student Responsibilities and Professional Development Process.
- Perform in an ethical manner as described outlined by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Code of Ethics and the UTMB's Professional Charter.
During the Master of Science/Dietetic Internship Program, the student may be required to attend class or laboratory sessions that meet during the evening hours. Required clinical experiences may also involve relocation to other sites in Texas or surrounding states at the student's expense. During the program, the student will develop the ability to perform the following essential functions required of novice practitioners, with or without reasonable accommodations:
- Collaborate with members of a multidisciplinary healthcare team to develop a plan of treatment based on evaluative data that will prevent, treat, or minimize the risk of nutritional problems.
- Perform the Assessment, Diagnosis, Intervention, and Monitoring/Evaluation (ADIME) nutrition care process on patients and clients with diverse backgrounds.
- Document the practice process in a variety of formats.
- Function competently as part of a collaborative healthcare team.
- Function with competence and compassion in a variety of practice settings.
- Contribute to effective and ethical management practices.
- Contribute to the profession's continued growth through research and professional activities.