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inflammatory bowel diseases

In the book Pathophysiology Applied to Nursing Practice, Esther Chang and her co-authors detail the case of a 55-year-old, type 2 diabetes patient named Harry who regularly visits a foot clinic. His most recent visit revealed an ulcer on his heel with notable cellulitis. Tests conclude that Harry has a staph infection. He is admitted for antibiotic treatment and removal of the damaged tissue.

The pathophysiology of Harry’s condition involves an injury that includes dirt and debris (on his heel), and his diabetes reduces the delivery of immune system components, making him immunocompromised. So when Harry asks what’s happening to him, his nurse can better help him understand the nature of his disease and the reason for his hospital admittance.

NRSNG.com illustrates another case of nursing pathophysiology in its post, “What is Pathophysiology?” In this case, a patient asks a nurse why a two-hour troponin (a protein associated with muscle contraction) check is being done after blood had already been drawn previously. Thanks to knowledge of pathophysiology, the nurse can explain that doctors are trying to rule out heart issues. Troponin can be checked multiple times because hearts can be delayed when releasing the protein. If the tests are normal, the healthcare team can rule out heart stress.

Pathophysiology provides nurses with the means of walking their patients comfortably through the process of testing, diagnosing and treating their diseases. Nurses can do their jobs more effectively when they understand the different ways human organs and biological processes behave when disease is present.

About Duquesne’s RN to BSN Online Program

Duquesne University offers one of the top-ranked online RN-BSN programs in the nation and enables a registered nurse with an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a diploma in nursing to earn a BSN degree. In addition to pathophysiology, Duquesne’s RN-BSN curriculum includes genetics, nursing ethics, information technology and population-based health.

Classes start in fall, spring and summer, and the program can be completed 100 percent online. For more information, visit the Duquesne University online RN-BSN webpage.