Pharmacy Program Technical Standards

All students entering into the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences must meet all of the eligibility requirements for admission. Because of the nature of the program, in addition to the academic requirements of the program, several additional requirements have been set in place to assure that students receive the highest quality educational experience while simultaneously assuring the safety of their patients and the general public. Final consideration regarding compliance with all technical standards is based upon patient safety, which is a primary focus within the pharmaceutical education curriculum and process.

It is expected that students will adhere to these technical standards in every aspect of the program. These standards are consistent with the expectations stated in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Students with questions can contact a member of Student Affairs or the Director of Admissions for further details and clarifications.

All students entering into the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences must have:

  1. An up-to-date record of immunizations on file with the FDU Office of Student Health Services. Because students will be practicing in a number of different public-health settings, immunization is of critical importance to prevent the spreading of certain communicable diseases. For a list of required immunizations, you may consult the assistant dean for student affairs or a member of Experiential Education.
  2. A successful criminal background check. All students must authorize the school to perform a criminal background check prior to admission into the school. All students may be subject to additional background checks as the requirements of the school, or its practice-experience providers, dictate. The results of the background check(s) may be shared with the school’s practice-experience providers. A student’s eligibility to enroll in, or disqualification from, the program will be made on an individual basis. No single type of offense will be used as an automatic rescission of acceptance or reason for dismissal. However, the school may rescind an offer of admission to the program if an applicant’s background history check reveals that the applicant has committed a serious offense. Serious offenses include, but are not limited to, felonies, drug offenses, forgery, assault, abuse and neglect.
  3. Regular access to transportation. As part of their program, students will regularly travel off-site to practice experiences throughout New Jersey and the region. For this reason, it is essential that a student have regular, on-demand access to transportation to complete the practice-experience component of the program.
  4. Health care insurance. All students are required to possess and maintain a health care insurance policy during their enrollment in the program.

Additionally, due to the interactive, critical and technical nature of pharmacy, there are several additional criteria that a candidate must meet in order to complete the classroom, laboratory and practical aspects of the program.

  1. Sensory and Observational. Students must be able to observe demonstrations and conduct exercises in a variety of areas related to contemporary pharmacy practice, including, but not limited to:
    • Monitoring of drug response and preparation of specialty-dosage forms;
    • Observation of demonstrations and experiments in the basic and pharmaceutical sciences, medical illustrations and models;
    • Observation of patients accurately at a distance and close at hand, noting nonverbal as well as verbal signals;
    • Vision-related observation including, but not limited to,
      • visualizing and discriminating findings on monitoring laboratory and diagnostic tests;
      • reading written and illustrated material;
      • discriminating numbers and patterns associated with diagnostic and monitoring instruments and tests;
      • observing the activities of technical staff operating under their supervision;
      • reading information on a computer screen and small print on packages or package inserts;
      • distinguishing shapes, colors, markings, and other characteristics of small objects (e.g., different dosage forms); and
      • competently using instruments for monitoring drug response; and
    • Utilization of other sensory modalities for physical assessment and dispensing, and other forms of practice.
  2. Mobility. Students must have the capacity to:
    • Demonstrate fine and gross motor skills and coordination for the purposes of preparing, compounding and administering medications; interacting with and caring for patients and operating equipment essential to the practice of pharmacy including, but not limited to, compounding prescriptions, filling prescriptions, counting prescription medications, administering medications, preparing intravenous products and administering intramuscular and subcutaneous injections. The student must be able to conduct a physical assessment of a patient by palpation, auscultation and other diagnostic maneuvers. Other motor activities include performing first aid and/or cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the clinical setting.
    • Show an ability to function and maneuver within a practice setting, demonstrating the necessary dexterity, stamina, stability and mobility while standing, sitting and walking (either alone or assisting patients in need of support).
    • Move or position a patient in a manner that facilitates physical assessment or diagnosis.
    • Utilize computer-based information systems with adequate motor function to perform data entry and analysis.
    • Respond promptly to urgencies within the practice setting requiring rapid and accurate preparation of appropriate emergency medication and preparation of sterile intravenous medications.
  3. Cognition. All students must be able to perform the following, but not limited to:
    • Assess, measure, calculate and analyze and process relevant data and facts for the purposes of problem solving and decision making;
    • Concentrate for extended periods of time, often in the presence of distractions and high levels of volume;
    • Demonstrate the ability to multitask in a stimulating and stressful environment;
    • Show the ability to solve problems involving scientific principle and observation with proficiency and accuracy;
    • Calculate appropriate dosages for a variety of patient-specific conditions;
    • Retain and recall critical information in an appropriate manner; and
    • Interpret graphs or charts describing biologic, economic or outcome relationships.
  4. Behavioral. Students within the program must:
    • Possess the emotional health and stability to fully utilize their intellectual abilities, exercise good decision-making; sound judgment skills at all times, and develop effective relationships with patients and inter-professional colleagues;
    • Demonstrate the ability to work focused and poised in emergency situations coping and adapting to changing environments and displaying flexibility and function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the academic and clinical environments for the safety of their patients and the general public;
    • Respect and adhere to the American Pharmacists Association Oath of a Pharmacist and code of ethics stated therein;
    • Always maintain a level of professionalism and respect for faculty, colleagues and patients; and
    • Recognize differences in culture, values and ethics among patients, faculty, peers, clinical and administrative staff and colleagues.

Adhering to these technical standards

Enrolled students are expected to maintain and demonstrate all technical standards through their program and in course work, interaction with peers and faculty and in their introductory and advanced pharmacy practice experiences as referenced in experiential syllabi.

The ability to maintain the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Technical Standards is a separate component from academic progression; therefore only maintaining a passing grade point ratio is not sufficient.

Enrolled students who are unable to meet one or more of the foregoing standards are subject to action (such as remediation, counseling or dismissal).

A student with a medically diagnosed disability may function in the program as long as the condition is under sufficient control to allow meeting the above listed standards with or without reasonable accommodation. Reasonable accommodation means services provided to individuals with documented disabilities that remove or lessen the effect of disability- related barriers. Individuals with documented disabilities who think they may be unable to satisfy one or more of the foregoing standards due to their disability should contact the Office of Disability Support Services at 973-443-8079 to discuss if reasonable accommodations to meet the Fairleigh Dickinson University School of Pharmacy Technical Standards can be made. Reasonable accommodations are only available to individuals with medically diagnosed documented disabilities. The Office of Disability Support Services will work in conjunction with the School of Pharmacy in evaluating and responding to all requests.

Please note: Due to the student’s need to engage with third-party partners in the provision of experiential education portion of the curriculum, it may not be possible for certain accommodations to be met and provided. This could result, under specific circumstances, in a student’s inability to progress through this course work or successfully complete the curricular requirements leading to the doctor of pharmacy degree.