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NURS 4260: Pathophysiology and Physical Assessment: Begin Here

Jessica Hayes

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Jessica Hayes

Course Information

NURS 4260: Pathophysiology and Physical Assessment

This course examines diseases in relation to the healthy body and the pathophysiological processes that occur when the disease is present. Students learn about defensive, compensating, and adaptive responses to the presence of disease by various body systems. 

Students who successfully complete this course should be able to do the following:

  1. Articulate the importance of effective communication and collaboration related to assessment findings that inform pharmacological management of various health alterations.
  2. Employ critical thinking, ethical decision-making, caring, and best evidence when discussing assessment and pharmacological management of patients with various health alterations.
  3. Explain the importance of cultural awareness, humility, sensitivity, and competency when assessing individuals, families, and communities.
  4. Discuss the importance of considering health alterations from a holistic aspect incorporating environmental, physiological, genetic, spiritual, and psychological perspectives.
  5. Build on a basic understanding of normal anatomy and physiology to appreciate abnormal clinical manifestations, risk factors, and holistic implications of selected health alterations.
  6. Define assessment and pathophysiological changes in health as deviations from the normal state of health, which are correlated with abnormal diagnostic test findings.
  7. Understand the response of the exposed human organism to the interwoven environmental, physiological, genetic, and psychological stressors.
  8. Gain an understanding of assessment, pathophysiology, and pharmacology upon which to base patient-centered care with an emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention for individuals, families, and populations.
  • You will need to know how to use Microsoft Word © processing program, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel, and how to send email and attachments - If you need assistance with any of these skills, please contact Ms. Hayes
  • You will need a pc or laptop that has Windows 8/Mac OS 10.12 (or higher) and a stable connection to the Internet - preferably a high-speed WiFI connection. Be aware that Chromebooks cannot support Blackboard or other AUM applications. 
  • You will need to download the Microsoft Office Suite from Microsoft 365.You will use your MyAUM credentials to access this download. 


Ms. Hayes can help you with technology issues but you can also contact the ITS Help Desk, which is located on the 2nd Floor of the Library. You can also call 334-244-3500, email, or visit the Online Help Desk.

Recommended Class Resources

Recommended Resources: 

Anatomy Models

The AUM Library has anatomy models available for in-library use. Models can be checked out for up to 1 hour with the option to renew after that hour is up. Please check with the Reference Desk on the 2nd Floor, Library as to what models are available. 

Library Databases

  • Virtual Human Anatomy Atlas
    Use this virtual and interactive model of the human body to better visualize the composition of the body and identify areas in which diseases, injuries, and other afflictions can occur. Make sure to click the "Launch Human Anatomy Atlas" to get into the resource. 
  • Medline Plus - Health Topics
    Read about various health topics from this authoritative resource created by the National Institute of Health. It provides extensive information on symptoms, causes, treatment, and prevention for over 1000 diseases, illnesses, health conditions, and wellness issues. 
  • Medline Plus - Medical Tests
    You can learn more about medical tests from this authoritative resource created by the National Institute of Health. This resource will help you understand what specific tests are used for, why a doctor may order a test, how a test will feel for the patient, and what the results may mean. 

Web Resources

There can be a lot of valuable information available on the Internet; however, you must be careful when navigating. I have compiled some reputable and reliable resources that you can use to better understand pathophysiology and physical assessment. 

  • Medscape - Interactive Diagnostic Modules (User will need to register a FREE account) 
    Interact with multiplanar CT reconstructions of patient case studies to better visualize and interpret the location and extent of disease. Click and drag in the web-based viewer; scan through the axial, coronal, and sagittal views; and view an animated 3D reconstruction.

  • Medscape - Patient Simulations, Case Challenges, and Quizzes
    Learn more about the different types of issues you will face in a medical setting.