What is Pathophysiology?

As a nursing student, you will be required to take a core set of different courses before you can earn your degree and then test to earn your nursing credential. One of these classes is Pathopysiology. It helps those who will be caring for patients by teaching the student how the human body can be restored after a disease is diagnosed. Due to the nature of the subject, passing a required course in the subject area can be extremely difficult for even the most committed student. You will need to adopt good study habits and familiarize yourself with what you should expect before you even enroll. Here is a guide to the Pathophysiology course for nursing students to help you with your preparations.

What Does the Study of Pathophysiology Pertain To?

Pathophysiology, which may also be referred to as physiopathology, is the study of diseased organs and how the disease disarranges the organ’s function. This abnormal functioning of organs may be due to disease or to other syndromes that can affect mechanical and physical functions. The focus of pathphysiology is much different than the study of pathology, which some students mistakenly use interchangeably. Pathology focuses on the physical changes that are caused by diseased organs. Pathophysiology focuses more on malfunctions that may be measurable but hard to observe with the naked eye.

What is the Purpose of Taking a Course in Pathphysiology?

A nursing professional’s main responsibility is to care for patients so they can stay comfortable and healthy. It is important that a nurse is able to identify medical issues and then develop a treatment plan in coordination with physicians and other staff. If the patient has a disease or a syndrome that can damage the organs and the way that they function, knowing the steps to take to restore them back to good health is critical. Since nurses will technically use pathopysiology whenever they work with a patient, passing coursework that is focused on this study is crucial.

What Will You Study When Taking a Pathophysiology Course?

A course in Pathophysiology teaches students how they can identify the abnormal functions that are caused by disease. The professor will teach you:

  • the principles of the study
  • how to use critical thinking skills to apply these principles
  • how to explain the effects of disease
  • risks in the environment that lead to disease
  • different factors that can affect healing

It is also common to perform diagnostic testing as a simulation so that the student will be able to connect the relationship between symptoms and abnormalities. Because there is so much to cover in this course, you need to start a study plan early on.

Related: What is Practical Nursing?

You do not have to work in a specific specialty in pathology or etiology to have a need to learn pathophysiology. All nurses will work with patients who have a medical condition that will lead to abnormalities in organ functions. So it is an overall requirement for all nursing degrees from CCNE accredited schools. Make sure that you choose to take this course when you have a lighter load so that you can spend more time on the curriculum. By doing this, you can really put your focus on a subject area that matters so much.