Course Summary

Pathophysiology is the study of alterations in homeostasis, at the cellular level, as well as the biophysical effects of these alterations. Homeostasis is a steady state where body functions and physiological parameters are maintained without deviation. When deviations occur, then illness and disease follow. Stressors cause deviations in homeostasis, disrupting the normal steady state, and leading to illness. Medical conditions that may present when a patients homeostasis is altered at the cellular level includes pneumonia, sepsis/shock, diabetes, COPD, cardiovascular disease, heart failure, hypertension, and pain. The goal of this course is to identify the pathology behind disease, with the intention of guiding treatment, intervention, and follow up. To return to homeostasis, interventions such as environmental, dietary and behavioral changes must happen. Medical intervention is also needed in many cases for a patient to return to homeostasis. Understanding the origins of common diseases and their signs and symptoms is the basis of choosing an effective response and intervention plan.

Course Format


Learning Objectives

  • To provide nursing professionals with knowledge of the basic principles of pathophysiology and associated medical conditions.

Course Syllabus

  • Introduction
  • Cellular Pathophysiology
  • The Body’s Self Defense
    1. Cellular Proliferation (Cancerous and benign tumors)
  • Immune System Disorders
  • Infectious Diseases
    1. Septic Shock
  • Pathophysiology by System
    1. Respiratory System: Pneumonia and COPD
      1. Pneumonia
      2. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
    2. Cardiovascular System: Congestive Heart Failure, Coronary Artery Disease, and Hypertension
      1. Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
      2. Hypertension (HTN)
    3. Renal System: Acute and Chronic Kidney Failure
      1. Kidney Failure
    4. The Endocrine System: Diabetes Mellitus, Hyperglycemia, and Diabetic Ketoacidosis
      1. Diabetes Mellitus
      2. Hyperglycemia and Diabetic Ketoacidosis
    5. Pain: Acute, Chronic, and Neuropathic
  • Summary


Lindy Beaver, DNP, MSN, CHE, ACNS-BC

Lindy Beaver is an assistant professor at the College of Nursing, University of South Carolina, Columbia. She has practiced extensively as a clinical nurse with over nine years as Clinical Nurse Specialist. This included department leadership roles in Emergency Services and Surgical Services and Anesthesia. In addition, Lindy Beaver has more than 25 years promoting evidence-based practice that focuses on quality patient outcomes. During her career, Lindy Beaver has integrated tutoring, mentoring, and professional guidance into her practice for all levels of nursing. She enjoys engaging with clinical staff in personal and professional growth, and her career has exemplified a true passion and  devotion to nursing.

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