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Human Services Technology/Animal Assisted Interactions Technical Standards

Critical Thinking/Problem-Solving Skills

Definition of Standards:

Ability to assess environmental, behavioral, or physical changes for potential problems, prioritize, report, and correct issues trough integration of information and situational details.

Examples of Standards:

Ability to perceive minute changes in clients, participants, environment, and/or animal during observation (ex: behavioral changes, safety challenges, access).

Distinguish which changes will impact the health or safety of animals or people (ex: spook conducive environmental changes, disruptive yelling, etc.).

Ability to bring a situation to the attention of the appropriate person in a timely manner while distinguishing emergency situations which require immediate attention.

Communication/Interpersonal Skills

Definition of Standards:

Work collaboratively with all HST: AAI students, program faculty, and other professionals in the classroom, off campus activities, lab and co-op setting.

Examples of Standards:

 Possess emotional maturity and professional judgement as it pertains to the care of the clients/participants, animals and others (e.g. side walkers) in the HST: AAI environment.

Actively contribute to a positive work and study environment by embodying the requirements of professionalism in the equine assisted care field.

Adherence to dress code, and safety policies.

Use of proper terminology, willingness to assist or peer teach as needed.

Coping Skills

Definition of Standards:

Ability to respond calmly and appropriately to directions in stressful environments and situations or impending deadlines.

Examples of Standards:

Function safely, effectively, and calmly, under stressful situations.

Ability to receive and quickly act upon verbal directions or correction during hands on activities.

Ability to maintain composure and adapt quickly to ever changing situations.

Demonstrate the ability to multitask and display flexibility in changing skills.

Ability to work in extreme temperatures both indoors and outdoors in all weather conditions.

Communication Skills

Definition of Standards:

Ability to communicate and respond effectively in English using verbal, non-verbal and written formats with HST: AAI students, clients/participants, program faculty and other animal care professionals.

Examples of Standards:

Ability to understand and use appropriate terminology when dealing with participants and professionals.

Translate medical and equine industry terminology into a context appropriate for client's understanding.

Ability to be professional, effective, and sensitive in all communication media with clients, colleagues, and other animal professionals.

 Keep accurate reports and records of procedures and changes using appropriate professional terminology, and the ability to exchange information at the same time, understand, and quickly execute complex instructions.

Mobility/Motor Skills

Definition of Standards:

Sufficient motor ability to execute the movement and skills required for safe and effective performance of equine-assisted activities and therapies.

Examples of Standards:

Ability to move up to 50lbs (e.g. tack such as saddles) without assistance.

Ability to position self and access supplies or animals quickly. to stand and walk for prolonged periods of time and run as necessary.

To handle animals, participants/clients, and instruments.

Muscular control required for safely demonstrating tacking and untacking, riding, side walking, leading, and training equines.

Sensory Abilities

Definition of Standards:

Sufficient auditory (hearing), visual, and tactile (touch) ability to monitor and work safely with animals and assess health needs of clients/participants as well as equines.

Examples of Standards:

Visual: Recognize and interpret facial expressions and body posturing, identify normal and abnormal patterns of movement/behavior.

Distinguish color and/or pattern differences in animals.

Recognize changes in skin, gums, or mucous membrane color or appearance.

Determine breath rate; good peripheral (side) vision.

Interpret and assess the environment and environmental changes up to 100 feet.

Auditory: Distinguish human and animal sounds (high/low pitched) in a sound rich environment.

Tactile: To use tactile (touch) sensation to determine pulse rate.

To perceive amount of pressure being applied to an animal while grooming, riding, handling, or restraining.

To perceive amount of pressure being applied to participant/client while assisting and restraining.

Behavioral/Emotional Skills

Definition of Standards:

Ability to demonstrate emotional stability, professional behaviors, and a strong work ethic in an emotional charged environment.

Examples of Standards:

Demonstrate initiative, flexibility, responsive, honesty, integrity, ethical behavior, trust and professionalism with both animals and people.

Have the personality suited to the belief that all participants/clients and animals deserve the highest standard of care.

Recognize personal limitations and request assistance as appropriate.

Amenable to learning to safely handle, restrain, and work with any equines and other animals as well as participants/clients.

Assist with or perform a wide variety of routine barn activities common to HST: AAI field (ex: routine cleaning of tack, grooming kits, stalls, or barn duties).

Assume different roles during a work period.