Learning outcomes of the course unit
Allow the student to know and understand, at a basic level, the mechanisms underlying the functioning of the body’s organs of vegetative life like the heart,
lungs, kidneys, digestive system and temperature control, as well as those of social life such as the nervous and muscular systems. The course aims to enable the student to apply the knowledge and understanding gained in the future professional activity.
Course contents summary
The integrated course aims to illustrate to students the normal functioning of the human body and its organs and the main mechanisms underlying the maintenance of physiological conditions.
Cell excitability: physiology of the neuron; physiology of synapses;
neurotransmitters and neuromodulators; the neuromuscular junction; muscle contraction. Basic principles on the autonomic nervous system function.
Cardiovascular physiology: heart excitability; electromechanical coupling; basic of EKG; blood pressure; capillary pressure and peripheral exchange mechanisms;
nervous regulation of heart rhythm.
Respiratory system physiology: breathing; the mechanical ventilation and the
physical principles involved (elasticity and pressure gradients); pneumothorax; gas exchange in the lung and peripheral tissues; the transport of gas (hemoglobin);
spirometry and respiratory volumes; nervous and chemical control of the breath; signs of obstructive respiratory disease.
Renal Physiology: structure of kidney and nephron; physiology of the nephron; processes of homeostasis, filtration, re-absorption, secretion and excretion; passive and active transport mechanisms; re-absorption of sodium and glucose; basic knowledge on the renin-angiotensin system.
Somatosensory system: principles of physiology of the sense organs; physiology of mechanoreceptors; organization of the somatosensory system; the dorsal and anterolateral ascending systems; hemisection of the spinal cord; somatotopic organization and sensory homunculus; epicritic sensibility; plasticity of the
Pain, nociception, placebo effect and empathy: classification of pain and its
characteristics; nociceptors; nociceptive pathways (protopathic sensibility);
nociception vs. pain and emotional component; phantom pain; placebo effect;
concept of empathy.
Physiology of the digestive system: the structure of the digestive system, chewing,
bolus formation and swallowing; digestion in the stomach; digestion and absorption in the small intestine; peristalsis; the liver and bile; pancreas and pancreatic juice;
the large intestine and the formation of feces.
The endocrine system.
Physiology of reproduction.
Physiology for Nursing Practice, SM Hinchliff, SE Montague, R Watson; Casa Editrice Ambrosiana;
Vander Physiology, EP Widmaier, H Raff, KT Strang; Casa Editrice Ambrosiana;
During the lectures will be presented and discussed the topics listed in the program seeking to involve the student so that it can be an active part of the lesson.
Assessment methods and criteria
Written and oral assessments