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Pathophysiology 1a: Introduction

It takes the mind of a detective to uncover the cause of disease, and this is where your investigative brain and desire to heal people comes in! In this course, you’ll build foundational knowledge needed to understand disease in all forms along with signs, symptoms, and prevention. You’ll learn how medical professionals arrive at the right diagnosis that leads to proper treatment and a successful outcome. You’ll also sharpen your sleuthing skills learning how to collect and work with data, develop and test hypotheses, and design a study, and you’ll even research potential STEM careers! Grab your detective hat and get ready to explore the tiny world of pathogens.

 

 

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Units at a Glance

Unit 1: From Bloodletting to Breakthroughs

You are in need of emergency medical care and there are two physicians standing before you. The first wears a dirty faded tunic and offers you a cup of foul-smelling liquid. The second is adorned in a white coat, mask, and gloves and motions to a clean exam room. Which would you choose? This moment in time is a result of a long history of trial and error, discoveries, and setbacks. While not everything is yet understood about the dysfunctions of the body, we continue to study, learn, and improve.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Apply common terminology used in the field of pathophysiology
  • Describe the early understanding of pathophysiology
  • Discuss historical approaches to disease and treatment
  • Summarize the history of early medicine and associated regulatory laws
  • Identify the contributions of early discoveries in infection control

Unit 2: It Starts with the Cell

A single cell is alone in a seemingly endless ocean. Survival seems impossible until it discovers other cells. Through coordinated teamwork and communication, these cells are able to overcome the challenges in their environment. Today, billions of years later, our cells are still on a quest for survival. Their struggles are our struggles. Understanding our cells is understanding ourselves.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Describe the pathogenesis of acute and chronic conditions
  • Identify the parts of the cell including the cell membrane and organelles
  • Explain the functions of various cell receptors and signaling processes
  • Summarize the four tissue types and the cell signaling processes

Unit 3: Joining the Scientific Community

A disaster is about to consume a town. The people’s fear and desperation are thick in the morning air. Suddenly, a sign of hope appears on the horizon. With thundering blades, a helicopter rapidly approaches the town carrying a valuable cargo: scientists! Armed with level heads and effective strategies, scientists answer the call when humanity is in its darkest hours. Do you have what it takes to join them?

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Explain the scientific method and the purpose of scientific models
  • Describe the process of scientific validation and the importance of ethical research
  • Summarize the communication methods of scientific findings
  • Explore a cross-disciplinary approach to problem-solving and potential STEM careers

Unit 4: Welcome to the Laboratory

Imagine you have arrived for a laboratory tour. You will observe strange substances in glass containers. You will catch a glimpse of microscopic life up close. You will even see some futuristic technology in action. And throughout it all, the science of detecting and treating pathology! Life-changing discoveries and advancements in our understanding of the world are all happening today in the lab. Let’s get started!

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Identify the components of a safe lab and the types of standard glassware
  • Summarize dissection and slide specimen preparation procedures
  • Contrast the different qualitative examination tools
  • Explain how the quantitative laboratory tools are used in scientific analysis
  • Describe the gel electrophoresis process and the purpose of sensor probes

Unit 5: Data and Discussions

It starts as just a feeling. Something is not right. Sometimes it is so subtle that it is unnoticeable until it can no longer be ignored. Though they may start differently, pathological conditions and diseases are usually the reason patients enter the medical system. Once inside, the healthcare team will need to form a diagnosis and implement treatment. These decisions can sometimes be life or death, and you have a front-row seat to see how they are made!

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Identify required criteria for proper medical documentation
  • Summarize the units of the USCS and statistical concepts
  • Describe the elements of effective verbal and nonverbal communication
  • Explain the components of a research study and the process of peer review

Unit 6: The Telling of Infectious Stories

The door closes securely behind you; an audible click indicates the vacuum seal is in place. There is no shortage of engineering controls and precautions present on this hospital floor. Patients with the most serious infections come here for treatment. Fortunately, you are here today as a guest. You are about to learn about the infectious agents that demand this level of caution and how the body works to stop them. Be sure your PPEs are properly in place before you begin!

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Summarize the parts of the phases and chain of infection
  • Describe the classifications of pathogens and identify examples of each
  • Explain the barriers present in the body’s innate immune system
  • Contrast non-specific and specific immune processes

Unit 7: The Art of Treating Infections

The battle between humans and pathogenic microorganisms is a story longer than written history. Survival of humanity has always been linked to controlling its environment, but the battlefield of pathogens takes place inside the body. How do we gather information about the enemy? How effective is medicine’s approach to this battle? Is humanity winning the battle? Prepare yourself for a deep dive into the war for wellness.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Identify types of bacteria based on shape and physical features
  • Summarize the methods of microscopy staining UV light examination
  • Describe the chemical and agar testing protocols for bacterial identification
  • Explain antibiotic mechanism, resistance, and best practices
  • Detail the anatomy of viruses and the functions of antiviral treatments

Unit 8: Infectious Disease Prevention and Control

A fish, a cow, and a health official walk into a hospital. A nurse tells them all to put on masks. What do all these things have in common? At first glance, what may seem random is actually connected. Are you ready to learn just how widespread and interrelated infectious diseases are in the world?

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Identify the types and sources of infections and the related monitoring agencies
  • Describe the reasons, impacts, and preventions behind nosocomial infections
  • Explain the reasons for the emergence of infectious diseases
  • Summarize the public health efforts to control the spread of infectious diseases
  • Detail methods individuals can use to reduce the spread of pathogens

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