Assignment: Advanced Physiology/Pathophysiology
identify signs and symptoms of common emotional illnesses; 5. perform basic laboratory tests and interpret other laboratory and diagnostic data; 6. relate assessment findings to underlying pathology or physiologic changes; 7. establish a differential diagnosis based on the assessment data; and 8. develop an effective and appropriate plan of care for the patient that takes into
consideration life circumstance and cultural, ethnic, and developmental variations.
II. Advanced Physiology/Pathophysiology The advanced practice nurse should possess a well-grounded understanding of normal physiologic and pathologic mechanisms of disease that serves as one primary component of the foundation for clinical assessment, decision making, and management. The graduate should be able to relate this knowledge “to interpreting changes in normal function that result in symptoms indicative of illness” and in assessing an individual’s response to pharmacologic
management of illnesses (NONPF, 1995, p. 152). Every student in an advanced practice nursing program should be taught a basic physiology/pathophysiology course. Additional physiology and pathophysiology content relevant to the specialty area may be taught in the specialty courses. In addition to the core course, content should be integrated throughout all clinical and practicum courses and experiences. The course work should provide the graduate with the knowledge and skills to:
1. compare and contrast physiologic changes over the life span; 2. analyze the relationship between normal physiology and pathological phenomena
produced by altered states across the life span; 3. synthesize and apply current research-based knowledge regarding pathological
changes in selected disease states; 4. describe the developmental physiology, normal etiology, pathogenesis, and
clinical manifestations of commonly found/seen altered health states; and 5. analyze physiologic responses to illness and treatment modalities.
III. Advanced Pharmacology Every APN graduate should have a well-grounded understanding of basic pharmacologic principles, which includes the cellular response level.
This area of core content should include both pharmacotherapeutics and pharmacokinetics of broad categories of pharmacologic agents. Although taught in a separate or dedicated course, pharmacology content should also be integrated into the content of Advanced Health/Physical Assessment and Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology courses.
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