Bachelor's degree in Nursing (to qualify as a nurse) (Vicenza)

Pathophysiology applied at Nursing (2019/2020)

Course code
Claudio Sorio

Teaching is organised as follows:
Unit Credits Academic sector Period Academic staff
INFERMIERISTICA CLINICA 3 MED/45-NURSING See the unit page See the unit page

Learning outcomes

The course introduces the student to the basic concepts of major diseases and the fundamental pathogenetic processes, allowing them to correlate cellular homeostatic mechanisms to alterations of the organ functions and clinical manifestations of disease. Students will understand the basic principles of pharmacology, especially in pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic mechanisms, and the benefit and risk profile of the drugs. The course will helps students to develop an approach oriented to prevention, assessment and management of respiratory, urinary and intestinal function alteration and the multidimensional assessment of pain. PHARMACOLOGY: The course aims to provide general knowledge about the functions and the use of drug therapy, in the fields of pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, pharmacoepidemiology and pharmacovigilance. Concepts of pharmacology are essential to the development of the nurse's own skills in management and control of drug therapies, as well in patient education. This course is preparatory to the study of the individual classes of drugs, which starts with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial drugs and will be completed in the clinical pharmacology module. SEMEIOTICS AND PHYSIOPATHOLOGY: The course introduces the student to the fundamental concepts of pathophysiology and semiotics, implicated in the activation of organ damage and in the development of the main diseases. The information necessary for understanding the set of events leading to the disease will be selected using a practical approach. Any further details will be reserved for the lessons that specifically deal with the organ and the apparatus. Every fundamental alteration will be explored within a specific organ and the different peculiar manifestations of the organ itself will be clarified. The lessons will also include the semeiotic part, describing the objective signs that characterize diseases. The treatment of semeiotics will be performed after treating the pathophysiology of the various organs. At the end of the course, students must be able to know the general mechanisms that lead to the disease and to identify their characteristics. CLINICAL NURSING I and II: The course offers the contents and the assistance methodology related to person's needs and to "fundamental" nursing care. The course will helps students to develop an approach oriented to prevention, assessment and management of respiratory, urinary and intestinal function alteration and the multidimensional assessment of pain. During teaching, frontal teaching methods will be privileged associated with sessions of application of the contents treated in care situations (guided exercises, video projections, clinical case analysis, testimony readings will be used to analyze and reflect on the perceptions and needs of the patients and family members). GENERAL PATHOLOGY: The course develops the preparatory contents for understanding the basic mechanisms of diseases. The following contents will be covered: the general principles and disorders of homeodynamics of complex systems, the main pathogenic esogenous and endogenous factors, biological damage, responses to damage, with particular reference to inflammation, the processes of healing and chronicity, immunity , haemostasis and thrombosis, vascular pathology and notions of general oncology. The course aims to help the student to understand the essential links between clinical analysis and fundamental mechanisms, facilitating the reading of the conceptual basis of the disease.


The Course program consists of the programs of the individual teaching modules.
GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF PHARMACOLOGY. Definition of drug, medicinal product, generic drug, biosimilar, galenic and magistral preparations. Origin of drugs and the process of drug development. Symptomatic, curative, preventive and substitutive drugs. Different actions of drugs: systemic or local, direct or indirect, primary or secondary, collateral, early or late onset. Pharmacokinetics: absorption (mechanisms, routes of administration, formulations), distribution (plasma protein binding, tissue vascularization, blood-brain barrier and placental transfer of drugs), biotransformation reactions and excretion of drugs, pharmacokinetic parameters (bioavailability, volume of distribution, elimination half-life, clearance). Pharmacodynamics: general mechanisms of action, receptor definition, drug-receptor interaction, agonism and antagonism, affinity and intrinsic activity of drugs. ADVERSE DRUG REACTIONS AND TOXICOLOGY. Clinical risks related to drug use: therapeutic errors and classification of adverse drug reactions. Pharmacovigilance: spontaneous reporting and the role of nurse. Drug dependence. Embryo-fetal toxicity. PHARMACOTHERAPY. The concepts of risk/benefit and cost/benefit applied to drug treatments. “Placebo” and “Compliance” definitions. Dosage, maximum dose, effective dose, posology, therapeutic index. Therapeutic plasma levels of drugs, peak concentrations, therapeutic range, accumulation, toxic concentrations. Therapeutic drug monitoring. Drug interactions. Variability in drug response: therapeutic problems in neonates and children, elderly, patients with renal or hepatic insufficiency. Antimicrobial therapy: selective toxicity, spectrum of action, bacteriostatic and bactericidal activity, microbial resistance. Pharmacological characteristics and adverse effects of the most important groups of antibiotics, antifungals and antivirals. Non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs and paracetamol.
Basic cell function mechanisms: contribution of O2, nutrients and elimination of metabolites, maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance and acid-base equilibrium. Anemias due to nutritional deficiency and hemoglobinopathies. Body fluid and electrolyte balance: maintaining volume and distribution of fluids and their alterations: overhydration syndromes and dehydration, intra-extracellular fluid equilibrium (isotonic, hypertonic and hypotonic), maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance and acid-base. Semiotics of hydroelectrolyte imbalances. Endocrine system: hormones with major metabolic activity and the circle adjustment and volumes, hyper and hypofunction of the main endocrine glands and response to stress; diabetes mellitus, hyper- and hypoglycemia. Elements of symptoms related to endocrine diseases. Respiratory system: ventilation, alveolar-capillary diffusion of gases, alveolar ventilation-perfusion. Respiratory failure. Semeiotics of respiratory system. Cardiovascular system: control of vascular tone and blood pressure, high blood pressure (notes on the pathophysiological hypotheses), ischemic heart disease, right and left heart failure and cardiogenic shock. Semeiotics of the cardiovascular system. Urinary system: main kidney diseases and on chronic renal failure. Digestive System: malnutrition, portal hypertension (brief notes), ascites. Elements of digestive symptomatology.
Physical examination: the methods, the concept of head-standing assessment. Physical examination of skin and appendages, chest and lungs, abdomen , vascular function.
Body care: assessment of the ability of body care and management of body care impairment. Cleansing principles. Hygiene activities and care of the body in the bathroom or bedside. Oral hygiene.

Urinary function: assessment of urinary function and diagnostic procedure, most common signs and symptoms in urinary disorders
Assessment and management of:
- urinary tract infections (UTI)
- urinary incontinence
- chronic and acute urinary retention
Bladder Catheterization: placement, treatment, removal and prevention of catheter associated urinary tract infections.

Bowel function:
Assessment of bowel function and diagnostic procedures.
Most common signs and symptoms in intestinal disorders.
Assessment and management of:
- constipation (with deepening of laxatives)
- diarrhea
- fecal incontinence
Execution of enema.

Respiratory function: general assessment and definition of major disfuntion.
The management of oxygen therapy.

Pain: pain patterns and pain classification, chronic and acute pain assessment methods. Pain as a multidimensional symptom, assessment tools
INTRODUCTION TO GENERAL PATHOLOGY. Fields and discipline purposes. The disease: definition, causes (determinants, adjuvants, occasional), pathogenesis, course (recurrence, relapse), outcomes (healing, chronic, death), diagnosis (signs and physical examination, symptoms and medical history). Cell pathology: general concepts, the disease as the expression of cell damage; degenerative changes of the cells: causes (genetic, nutritional, from chemical, physical, from lack of oxygen, by living agents); reversible and irreversible cell damage, cell death. Morphological cell changes related to the damage: various aspects of degeneration and necrosis. Modifications to steady-state cell: stationary phones, molecular changes (hypertrophy, atrophy, atrophy) and their causes, cellular changes (hyperplasia, hypoplasia, aplasia) and their causes. Alterations of cellular differentiation processes: metaplasia, anaplasia, dysplasia. ONCOLOGY. Definition of neoplastic cells. Benign and malignant tumors. Natural history of cancer: advancement, growth, progress, general effects on body. Metastasis. INFLAMMATION. General concepts: utility of the inflammatory process. Acute inflammation: local and general manifestations of inflammation, causes, pathogenetic mechanisms (vascular component, the white blood cell component and the chemical mediators). The exudate and types of inflammation (erythema, serous, catarrhal, purulent, fibrinous, hemorrhagic, necrotizing). The consequences on body (abscess, phlegmon, fistula, adhesion, synechiae, payments). Chronic inflammation: causes, pathogenetic mechanisms, granuloma and granulomatous diseases.

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam takes place in multiple choice quiz format. The task includes 65 questions with multiple-choice answers (1-2 correct between 4-5) referred to the programs of all modules: 20 for the module of Clinical Nursing, 15 for each of the other three modules. The exam is passed when the sufficiency (18 votes) is reached in all modules. Clinical nursing require an oral exam if the quiz is passed, for the other three module in some cases, an oral integration will be possible at discretion of the commission or upon specific request by candidate/s.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
G.M. Pontieri Elementi di Patologia generale e Fisiopatologia generale (Edizione 4) Piccin 2018 978-88-299-2912-2
Marina Vanzetta Roberto Leone Maurizio Volterrani Farmaci e infermiere. Un prontuario per la somministrazione McGraw-Hill Education 2013
Anna Maria DI Giulio, Silvano Gabriele Cella Farmacologia generale e speciale per le lauree sanitarie (Edizione 2) Piccin 2018 9788829929429
Taglialatela Conforti Cuzzolin Leone Mattioli Moretti Pignataro Vanzetta Farmacologia per le lauree triennali e magistrali II Edizione (Edizione 2) Sorbona 2019
Giuseppe Pontieri Elementi di fisiopatologia generale per corsi di laurea in professioni sanitarie (Edizione 3) Piccin 2012
Curatore: G. Covi, G. Montesi Fisiopatologia. L'essenziale per la clinica e l'assistenza (Edizione 1) Editore: Idelson-Gnocchi 2008 9788879474702
Amoroso A, Costantino S, Afeltra A, Picardi A, Vettore L. Semeiotica pratica. Sussidio multimediale per l’apprendimento e la verifica delle principali manovre semeiologiche. Centro Scientifico Editore 2005

© 2002 - 2021  Verona University
Via dell'Artigliere 8, 37129 Verona  |  P. I.V.A. 01541040232  |  C. FISCALE 93009870234