College Catalog

Course Descriptions

Professionalism and Ethics in Physician Assistant Practice I

PHA301

First in a three-part series. Fundamental principles of ethics as they are applied during the physician assistant-patient-physician encounters. Professional and ethical evaluation of clinical dilemmas is encouraged through discussion and analysis of issues commonly encountered in the physician assistant scope of practice. Study focuses on the various theories of ethics, beneficence, nonmaleficence, principles of autonomy, informed consent, and issues dealing with the dying patient. Basic principles for gaining and maintaining the confidence of the patient, the trust of professional associates and the support of the community are emphasized. 1 Credit (1 Lecture) Fall Only.

Professionalism and Ethics in Physician Assistant Practice II

PHA302

Second in a three part series, applying the fundamental principles of ethics to clinical dilemmas encountered in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. With emphasis on the physician assistant-patient-physician relationship, exploration includes the ethical and professional issues faced during diagnostic evaluation of patients and in the research setting. Discussion and analysis of issues encountered in the physician assistant scope of practice encourages both professional and ethical (theory based) evaluation of clinical dilemmas. Basic principles for gaining and maintaining the confidence of the patient, the trust of professional associates, and the support of the community are emphasized. 1 Credit (1 Lecture) Prerequisite(s): PHA301. Spring Only.

Professionalism and Ethics in Physician Assistant Practice III

PHA303

Last in a three-part series that focuses on applying ethics in clinical, community, and research environments. Discussion addresses issues of reproductive health, genetics, and research settings to develop comprehension, applied problem-solving skills, and leadership skills. Discussion and analysis of issues encountered in the physician assistant scope of practice encourages both professional and ethical evaluation of clinical dilemmas and community activities. 1 Credit (1 Lecture) Prerequisite(s): PHA302. Summer Only.

Clinical Laboratory Medicine

PHA305

Introduction to common laboratory procedures used to identify pathophysiologic processes commonly encountered in both ambulatory and hospital settings. Study includes the appropriate technique for performing these tests as well as the appropriate rationale for ordering them. Emphasis on interpretation of laboratory results and possible treatment options. Communication of laboratory results to other health care providers and indications for patient referral are stressed. Laboratory work includes various techniques and applications discussed in lecture. 3 Credits (2 Lecture - 3 Lab) Prerequisite(s): HTH333 and PHA301 and PHA311 and PHA316 and PHA322 and PHA326 and PHA347. Spring Only.

History Taking/Interviewing Techniques

PHA311

Techniques of patient interviewing and medical history taking as they apply to pediatric, adult, and geriatric patients in a variety of settings. The components of a complete medical history are introduced in the classroom setting and then reinforced with practical application in a laboratory environment. An attitude of respect for others, adherence to the concepts of privilege and confidentiality in communicating with patients, and a commitment to the patient's welfare are reinforced.(Formerly PHA310) 2 Credits (1 Lecture - 3 Lab) Fall Only.

Medical Physiology/Pathophysiology

PHA316

Study of the function and regulation of the organ systems of the body and physiological integration of the systems to maintain homeostasis, clearly differentiating between normal/medical physiologic process and pathophysiology. Course content includes the physiologic principles and control mechanisms that maintain homeostasis; neural and hormonal homeostatic control mechanisms; and the musculoskeletal, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, urinary, immune, reproductive, and endocrine systems. The pathophysiology material is divided into two segments. The first segment covers general principles and mechanisms of disease such as cellular damage and repair, immune response, neoplasia, effects of changes in fluid balance, etc. The second segment emphasizes individual diseases of various organs and systems of the body. Clinical scenarios are incorporated throughout the course where appropriate to assist students in correlating normal/medical physiology with the pathophysiologic outcomes they may encounter in the clinical setting. (Formerly PHA315) 5 Credits (5 Lecture) Corequisite(s): HTH333. Fall Only.

Pharmacology I

PHA322

Principles of clinical pharmacology and pharmacotherapeutics appropriate for common medical problems encountered in clinical practice. Study includes patient instruction/counseling regarding compliance with prescribed therapeutic regimens, the proper technique for writing prescriptions, and the rules and regulations that govern physician assistant prescriptive privileges. Additional topics include the cost of medications and generic alternatives. Course work integrates with the material concurrently presented in the Clinical Medicine series. 2 Credits (2 Lecture) Corequisite(s): PHA347. Fall Only.

Clinical Procedures I

PHA326

First in a three-part series, covering the diagnostic and therapeutic procedures that are routinely performed by physician assistants in clinical practice. Procedures likely to be performed in both inpatient and outpatient settings are covered, with emphasis on those used in primary care and emergency medicine. Therapeutic procedures used in response to life threatening situations are also addressed. A portion of the laboratory sessions are devoted to identification, diagnosis, and treatment of dermatologic conditions. (Formerly PHA327) 1 Credit (0 Lecture - 3 Lab) Fall Only.

Clinical Procedures II

PHA336

Second in a three-part series, covering the diagnostic and therapeutic procedures that are routinely performed by physician assistants in clinical practice. Procedures likely to be performed in both inpatient and outpatient settings are covered, with emphasis on those used in primary care and emergency medicine. Additional procedures include those used in response to life threatening situations. Course content integrates with the material concurrently presented in clinical medicine course. Lectures include descriptions of procedures as well as their indications, contraindications, and possible complications. Laboratory work involves supervised practice of the procedures on models and/or classmates. Documentation, including progress and procedure notes in the Subjective, Objective, Assessment, Plan (SOAP) format, is incorporated and critiqued. (Formerly PHA337) 3 Credits (1 Lecture - 6 Lab) Prerequisite(s): PHA326. Spring Only.

Physical Assessment I

PHA339

First in a two-part study of the development of complete physical examination skills, recognition of normal and abnormal findings, documentation of the entire exam in a systematic fashion, and oral presentation of physical exam data. Emphasis on assessment of the pediatric patient is included. Laboratory sessions provide opportunity for supervised "hands-on" practice of the material covered in lecture. Course work is divided into components organized by body systems and integrates with the material concurrently presented in the Clinical Medicine series and Pediatrics. (Formerly PHA338) 3 Credits (1 Lecture - 6 Lab) Corequisite(s): PHA358 and PHA369. Spring Only.

Pharmacology II

PHA342

Principles of clinical pharmacology and pharmacotherapeutics appropriate for common medical problems encountered in clinical practice. Study includes patient instruction/counseling regarding compliance with prescribed therapeutic regimens, the proper technique for writing prescriptions, and the rules and regulations that govern physician assistant prescriptive privileges. Additional topics include the cost of medications and generic alternatives. Course work integrates with the material concurrently presented in the Clinical Medicine series. 2 Credits (2 Lecture) Prerequisite(s): PHA322. Corequisite(s): PHA369. Spring Only.

Principles of Clinical Medicine I

PHA347

First in a three-part series, using a systems approach to study the disease entities commonly encountered in ambulatory and hospitalized patients. Focus is on understanding illness, particularly the criteria for making a diagnosis (including an understanding of signs and symptoms), and developing and implementing the appropriate patient management plan. Analyses include evaluating normal and abnormal laboratory, diagnostic, and radiographic findings, when appropriate. Additional topics include issues related to the appropriate referral of patients. Principles and guidelines for organizing and developing a structured approach to thinking about patient care are addressed during lecture, with practical application in a simulated patient scenario format. The scenarios are complete and require thorough decision making at all levels, from patient presentation to treatment or referral, as appropriate. Exercises that involve review and interpretation of current medical literature promote development of lifelong learning skills. (Formerly PHA346) 5 Credits (3 Lecture - 6 Lab) Corequisite(s): HTH333 and PHA316 and PHA322. Fall Only.

Psychopathology

PHA348

Presentation providing a clinical understanding of the medical manifestations of thalamic, limbic, and cortical illness. The psychiatric illnesses most common to primary care practice are reviewed. Guidelines for diagnosis and pharmacological and behavioral treatment strategies are a primary focus. Topics include behavioral health maintenance and restoration, normative and pathological adaptations to stress, and issues related to death and dying. Additional discussion includes the counseling skills used to help patients cope with stress, illness and injury, treatment compliance, and the pharmacologic and cognitive principles of modifying brain-behavioral systems. 1 Credit ( .50 Lecture - 1.50 Lab) Prerequisite(s): HTH333 and PHA301 and PHA311 and PHA316 and PHA322 and PHA326 and PHA347. Spring Only.

Community and Public Health

PHA352

Study employing a combination of lecture, guest speakers, and site visits (based on availability) to help orient the student to issues in public health and to the social service agencies available as referral sites for patients. Topics covered include services and facilities that address issues such as the maintenance of health, disease prevention, emotional problems of daily living, substance abuse, and family planning. Emphasis on issues related to the provision of health care to a culturally diverse population. The cultural backgrounds of patients and their community and public health needs are explored, and students will participate in activities and/or assignments that emphasize the impact of ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation on the community and health care. Course work includes a minimum of 12 pages of formal documentation written throughout the course as well as informal writing assignments. This documentation helps students develop their understanding of the material and their counseling and referral skills. 2 Credits (2 Lecture) (Cultural Diversity, Writing Enriched) Summer Only.

Issues in Physician Assistant Practice

PHA353

Historical review of the physician assistant profession and the role that physician assistants perform in the current healthcare delivery system. The range of responsibilities and functions of physician assistants, as well as the nature of their relationship to physicians and other healthcare providers is explored. Current legal regulations affecting PA practice is reviewed. Classroom discussions focus on professional, medical-legal, and political factors currently impacting the profession. (Formerly PHA 354) 1 Credit (1 Lecture) Corequisite(s): PHA352. Summer Only.

Pediatrics

PHA358

Study of the issues of childhood development and the childhood medical illnesses encountered in general pediatric practice. Course work is broadly focused, from infancy through childhood and adolescence. Emphasis is on the normal growth and development of a well child. Topics include clinical presentations of infections; skin disorders; behavior; nutrition; ear, nose, and throat disorders; GI complaints; pulmonary, orthopedic, urological, genetic, and neurological conditions; and ethical issues surrounding child abuse, genetic disorders, and management of chronic illnesses. Clinical correlations of pediatric diagnoses are presented in a case-based format during laboratory sessions reinforcing lecture material. Course work integrates with material concurrently covered in Physical Assessment I, PHA 339. (Formerly PHA351) 1 Credit ( .50 Lecture - 1.50 Lab) Corequisite(s): PHA339. Spring Only.

Clinical Procedures III

PHA359

Final course in a three-part study of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures performed by physician assistants in clinical practice. Documentation of procedure notes and patient counseling regarding the procedures is incorporated and critiqued. Skills covered integrate with the material concurrently presented in the Clinical Medicine series and the Principles of Emergency Medicine and Surgery. Course content also continues the learning outcomes first introduced in Clinical Procedures. Students are exposed to various technological advances in surgery and are expected to relate their use in medicine today as pertinent to the treatment of disease processes. (Formerly PHA357) 3 Credits (1 Lecture - 6 Lab) Prerequisite(s): PHA336. Corequisite(s): PHA372 and PHA380. (Science, Technology and Society) Summer Only.

Clinical Pharmacology III

PHA362

Principles of clinical pharmacology and pharmacotherapeutics appropriate for common medical problems encountered in clinical practice. Study includes patient instruction/counseling regarding compliance with prescribed therapeutic regimens, the proper technique for writing prescriptions, and the rules and regulations that govern physician assistant prescriptive privileges. Additional topics include the cost of medications and generic alternatives. Course work integrates with the material concurrently presented in the Clinical Medicine series. 1 Credit (1 Lecture) Prerequisite(s): PHA322 and PHA342. Corequisite(s): PHA372 or PHA367. Summer Only.

Principles of Clinical Medicine II

PHA369

Continuation of the clinical medicine series in which lecture and lab are combined to address diseases affecting the respiratory, cardiovascular, renal systems, and gastrointestinal tract. Also addressed are diseases affecting the eyes, ears, nose, and throat. Normal and abnormal laboratory, diagnostic, and radiographic findings are incorporated, when appropriate. Principles and guidelines for organizing and developing a structured approach to thinking about patient care are addressed during lecture, with practical application in a simulated patient scenario format. The scenarios are complete and require thorough decision making at all levels, from patient presentation to treatment or referral, as appropriate. Development of patient management plans and interpretation of medical literature are highlighted. (Formerly PHA366) 6 Credits (4 Lecture - 6 Lab) Prerequisite(s): PHA347. Corequisite(s): PHA336 and PHA339 and PHA342. Spring Only.

Physical Assessment II

PHA371

Second in a two-part study of the development of the complete physical examination skills, recognition of normal and abnormal findings, documentation of the entire exam in a systematic fashion, and oral presentation of physical exam data. Laboratory sessions provide supervised "hands-on" practice of the material covered in lecture. Emphasis is on assessment of the geriatric patient. Course work is divided into components organized by body systems, and the physical examination techniques integrate with the material concurrently presented in the Clinical Medicine series. (Formerly PHA368) 2 Credits (1 Lecture - 3 Lab) Prerequisite(s): PHA339. Corequisite(s): PHA372. Summer Only.

Principles of Clinical Medicine III

PHA372

Continuation of the clinical medicine series in which lecture and lab are combined to address diseases affecting the reproductive, musculoskeletal, rheumatoid/autoimmune, and neurological systems. Development of patient management plans and interpretation of medical literature is continued. Analyses include normal and abnormal laboratory, radiographic, diagnostic findings, when appropriate. Special topics in clinical medicine include human sexuality, HIV infection, diseases of aging, and sports injuries. Principles and guidelines for organizing and developing a structured approach to thinking about patient care are addressed during lecture, with practical application in a simulated patient scenario format. The scenarios are complete and require thorough decision making at all levels, from patient presentation to treatment or referral, as appropriate. (Formerly PHA367) 5 Credits (3 Lecture - 6 Lab) Prerequisite(s): PHA369. Corequisite(s): PHA359 and PHA362 and PHA371. Summer Only.

Principles of Emergency Medicine and Surgery

PHA380

Exploration of the concepts of surgery and emergency medicine. The surgical component introduces the physical environment of the operating room and the standard protocol and procedures associated with surgery. Emphasis is on synthesizing the information from the surgical perspective of pre-, intra-, and post-operative management of surgical patients, and core fundamentals of perioperative care. The emergency medicine component emphasizes the emergent care of life-threatening illness and injury. The skills taught are integrated with the material concurrently presented in the Clinical Medicine and Clinical Procedures series. 1 Credit (1 Lecture) Corequisite(s): PHA359 and PHA362. Summer Only.

Physician Assistant Internship Seminar I

PHA409

Seminar presented in conjunction with the Clinical Internship I - III upon return to campus that emphasizes lifelong learning, beginning with the ability to ask relevant clinical questions concerning the patient care afforded during the internship. The PICO (Patient population, Intervention, Comparison, and Outcome) format is used to develop evidence-based medicine queries that require literature searches to provide an answer. Course work results in clinical questions that will be used to write the Capstone Paper. 1 Credit (1 Lecture) Prerequisite(s): PHA303 and PHA352 and PHA353 and PHA359 and PHA362 and PHA371 and PHA372 and PHA380.

Family Practice Internship

PHA411

Internship experience that allows for direct patient contact to evaluate, diagnose, monitor, treat, and educate patients under the direct supervision of a licensed medical practitioner. A minimum of 48 hours/week is required; however, evening and weekend hours of patient care are expected. Experience in applying the knowledge learned in the didactic year to the clinical setting is essential to learning the practice of medicine. Placement options are determined by the program. 4 Credits (0 Lecture - 20 Internship) Prerequisite(s): PHA303 and PHA352 and PHA353 and PHA359 and PHA362 and PHA371 and PHA372 and PHA380.

Internal Medicine Internship

PHA412

Internship experience that allows for direct patient contact to evaluate, diagnose, monitor, treat, and educate patients under the direct supervision of a licensed medical practitioner. A minimum of 48 hours/week is required; however, evening and weekend hours of patient care are expected. Experience in applying the knowledge learned in the didactic year to the clinical setting is essential to learning the practice of medicine. Placement options are determined by the program. 4 Credits (0 Lecture - 20 Internship) Prerequisite(s): PHA303 and PHA352 and PHA353 and PHA359 and PHA362 and PHA371 and PHA372 and PHA380.

Emergency Medicine Internship

PHA415

Internship experience that allows for direct patient contact to evaluate, diagnose, monitor, treat, and educate patients under the direct supervision of a licensed medical practitioner. Initiative to see patients independently and perform clinical procedures is required to demonstrate ongoing clinical competency in emergent care. A minimum 48 hours/week and a maximum of 80 hours/week, including overnight and weekend shifts, are required. Experience in applying the knowledge learned in the didactic year to the clinical setting is essential to learning the practice of medicine. Placement options are determined by the program. 4 Credits (0 Lecture - 20 Internship) Prerequisite(s): PHA303 and PHA352 and PHA353 and PHA359 and PHA362 and PHA371 and PHA372 and PHA380.

Psychiatry Internship

PHA416

Internship experience that allows for direct patient contact to evaluate, diagnose, monitor, treat, and educate patients under the direct supervision of a licensed medical practitioner. Experience in applying the knowledge learned in the didactic year to the clinical setting is essential to learning the practice of medicine. Placement options are determined by the program. 3 Credits (0 Lecture - 15 Internship) Prerequisite(s): PHA303 and PHA352 and PHA353 and PHA359 and PHA362 and PHA371 and PHA372 and PHA380.

Surgery Internship

PHA417

Internship experience that allows for direct patient contact to evaluate, diagnose, monitor, treat, and educate patients under the direct supervision of a licensed medical practitioner. A minimum of 48 hours/week and a maximum of 80 hours/week with overnight and weekend calls may be required. OR exposure and pre- and post-op patient encounters are required to demonstrate clinical competency. Experience in applying the knowledge learned in the didactic year to the clinical setting is essential to learning the practice of medicine. Placement options are determined by the program. 4 Credits (0 Lecture - 20 Internship) Prerequisite(s): PHA303 and PHA352 and PHA353 and PHA359 and PHA362 and PHA371 and PHA372 and PHA380.

Elective Internship

PHA418

Internship experience that allows for direct patient contact to evaluate, diagnose, monitor, treat, and educate patients under the direct supervision of a licensed medical practitioner in a medical, surgical, or subspecialty clinical setting under the direct supervision of a licensed medical practitioner. A minimum of 40 hours/week is required; however, overnight and weekend calls may be required. Experience in applying the knowledge learned in the didactic year to the clinical setting is essential to learning the practice of medicine. Placement options are determined by the program. 3 Credits (0 Lecture - 15 Internship) Prerequisite(s): PHA303 and PHA352 and PHA353 and PHA359 and PHA362 and PHA371 and PHA372 and PHA380.

Obstetrics and Gynecology Internship

PHA419

Internship experience that allows for direct patient contact to evaluate, diagnose, monitor, treat, and educate patients under the direct supervision of a licensed medical practitioner. A minimum of 48 hours/week is required; however, evening and weekend hours are expected. Experience in applying the knowledge learned in the didactic year to the clinical setting is essential to learning the practice of medicine. Placement options are determined by the program. 4 Credits (0 Lecture - 20 Internship) Prerequisite(s): PHA303 and PHA352 and PHA353 and PHA359 and PHA362 and PHA371 and PHA372 and PHA380.

Pediatrics Internship

PHA421

Internship experience that allows for direct patient contact to evaluate, diagnose, monitor, treat, and educate patients under the direct supervision of a licensed medical practitioner. A minimum of 40 hours/week is required. Experience in applying the knowledge learned in the didactic year to the clinical setting is essential to learning the practice of medicine. Placement options are determined by the program. 3 Credits (0 Lecture - 15 Internship) Prerequisite(s): PHA303 and PHA352 and PHA353 and PHA359 and PHA362 and PHA371 and PHA372 and PHA380.

Physician Assistant Internship Seminar II

PHA422

Seminar presented in conjunction with the Clinical Internship IV-VI upon return to campus that emphasizes lifelong learning by developing the skills needed to thoroughly and effectively search the Internet and other available medical databases. PICO (Patient population, Intervention, Comparison, and Outcome) format is used to develop evidence-based medicine queries that require literature searches to provide an answer. Emphasis on evaluating types of research articles and keywords that best answer specific clinical questions. Full text, original research articles are the basis of group discussion. Course work includes the development of bibliographies in preparation for the written Capstone project. 1 Credit (1 Lecture) Prerequisite(s): PHA409.

Clinical Preceptorship

PHA490

Internship experience that allows for direct patient contact to evaluate, diagnose, monitor, treat, and educate patients under the direct supervision of a licensed medical practitioner in a family practice, internal medicine, or urgent care setting. A minimum of 48 hours/week is required; however, evening and weekend hours are expected. Experience in applying the knowledge learned in the didactic year to the clinical setting is essential to learning the practice of medicine. Placement options are determined by the program. 4 Credits (0 Lecture - 20 Internship) Prerequisite(s): PHA303 and PHA352 and PHA353 and PHA359 and PHA362 and PHA371 and PHA372 and PHA380.

Senior Capstone

PHA496

Culminating project that promotes the lifelong learning process through completion of a written research paper that integrates asking appropriate clinical questions, searching for relevant answers, and interjecting one's own medical opinion. PICO (Patient population, Intervention, Comparison, and Outcome) format is used to develop evidence-based medicine queries that require literature searches to provide an answer. Project results in a 15-page document written for potential publication in physician assistant journals. 1 Credit (1 Lecture) Prerequisite(s): PHA409 and PHA422. (Cultural Diversity, Writing Enriched)

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