Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine

Technical Standards

College of Veterinary Medicine
Faculty Document #93-5(a)

The Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine (PVM) will make appropriate accommodations to facilitate enrollment and participation of qualified individuals with temporary or permanent disabilities. PVM has established these technical standards in an effort to provide a framework to balance several competing interests: (1) the rights of students; (2) the safety of students, their co-workers, and veterinary patients; (3) the significant clinical training component of the PVM curricula; and (4) the requirements imposed upon PVM for accreditation by the American Veterinary Medical Association. These competing interests and the nature of veterinary educational activities may prevent some prospective students with disabilities and students with disabilities from qualifying for enrollment or continued enrollment and may limit access to the academic programs of PVM.

The technical standards set forth in this document are the minimum standards that allow an individual to perform at the lowest acceptable level in the required activity having the highest, greatest, or most complex requirement for the designated sense, function or characteristic.  Applicants and students must be able to satisfy, with or without the use of appropriate auxiliary aids (including prosthetic devices), the following technical standards which relate to physical abilities.  If one aid or prosthetic device interferes with a second aid or prosthetic device needed to carry out a single act, then the individual may be restricted in meeting the technical standard. 

I. Body Senses:

A. Vision

    1. An individual must be able to observe movement at a distance ranging from 30-45 centimeters to 15-20 meters at a discrimination level that permits detection of subtle differences in movement of the limbs in animals.  Application:  Slight right front lameness in a horse at trot; abnormal head posture in a parakeet; monitoring respiratory rate during anesthesia; ability to read anesthesia monitoring equipment. 
    2. An individual must be able to discriminate shades of black and white patterns in which the band is no more than 0.5 mm in width.  Application:  Bacterial hemolysis on a blood agar plate; density patterns on a radiograph; ability to see ECG tracing. 
    3. Depth perception must allow detection of a 0.5 cm elevation which is no more than 1 cm in diameter on a slightly curved surface having a slightly irregular surface.  Application:  Tissue swelling on the hip on a smooth-haired dog; suturing tissues. 

B. Hearing

    1. An individual must be able to perceive the natural or amplified human voice without lip reading.  Application:  Oral communication in a surgery room with all occupants wearing surgical masks. 
    2. An individual must be able to perceive the origin of sound. Application: Movement of large animals in a pen or corral; monitoring multiple patients in an ICU. 

C. Proprioception

    1. An individual must be able to determine the position of one hand extended from the body within + 10° when the arm is extended in any direction, the eyes are closed, and the individual is standing.  Application:  Rectal palpation on both large and small animals; intrathoracic or intra-abdominal surgery on both large and small animals; endotracheal intubation; intravenous injection. 
    2. An individual must be able to differentiate between four round semisolid objects having diameters of 0.5, 1, 1.5, and 2 cm and judge the shape and consistency of objects when the arm is extended and the eyes are closed.  Application:  Determining size of the follicle or corpus luteum on the bovine ovary by rectal palpation; assisting in surgery; rectal palpation in dogs; lymph node palpation; palpation of trachea to determine proper endotracheal tube size. 

II. Body Function:

A. Speech

    1. An individual must be able to speak English and be understood by others who cannot see the lips or facial expressions of the individual.  Application: Oral communications in a surgery room where all occupants are wearing surgical masks; managing a patient with cardiac arrest. 

B. Coordinated movement

    1. An individual must be able, when communicating with other individuals by speech, either in person or by telephone, to make legible written notes in English within the margins and space provided on the appropriate forms.  Application: Completing medical records and charts; anesthesia records. 
    2. An individual must be able to hold surgical instruments in one hand and perform fine movements with such instruments.  Application:  Make a single, clean 3 cm incision of + 0.5 cm through the skin of a dog; induce and monitor general anesthesia in an animal patient; place intravenous catheters. 
    3. An individual must be able to hold, manipulate, or tie materials ranging from a cloth patch to a very fine string.  Application:  Hold and manipulate a surgical sponge; tie a 00 silk suture; endotracheal intubation; intravenous injection; catheterize animals to obtain sample of urine; apply bandages.
    4. An individual must be able to move his/her entire body a distance of no less than three meters within two seconds of a signal to do so.  Application:  Movement from danger while handling animals in confined spaces. 

C. Physical stamina

    1. An individual must be able to lift objects and/or animals weighing 0-5 pounds constantly; 5-20 pounds frequently; 20-50 pounds occasionally.  An individual must be able to lift all of the above to a height of one meter and carry the object or animal for a distance of two meters.  Application: Placing a dog on a surgery table; lifting the leg of an adult horse to conduct a physical examination of the foot; lifting and carrying a bag weighing approximately 35 pounds of drugs, equipment and supplies from an ambulatory service vehicle to an animal patient in a nearby barn or lot; restrain a small animal patient for a medical procedure; restrain horses and cattle by halter, twitch, nose tongs and other techniques; administer oral medication to ruminants by balling gun or dose syringe. 

D. Allergy and/or fear

    1. An individual must be able to have sustained contact with multiple species of animals and the environments in which they are housed and treated.  During such contact, the individual must be able to carry out routine medical care on such animals

    Questions? Contact Admissions:

    Phone: (765) 494-7893
    Email: pvmstudentservices@purdue.edu

    Corresponding Address: 

    Purdue Veterinary Medicine
    Student Services Center
    625 Harrison Street
    West Lafayette, IN 47907

    Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, 625 Harrison Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-7607

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