I am a level 1 nursing student and we are just starting to learn about "the care plans" and nursing diagnosis. I need to do a clinical prep on my patient that includes the etiology & pathophysiology of pulmonary embolism. I'm having a difficult time understanding the difference between etiology and pathophysiology. Our med/surg book that we are using for disease info lumps the etiology & pathophysiology in one section. So I am having trouble separating the two. Any advise would be much appreciated!
Etiology is the underlying cause of the problem
Pathophysiology is the resulting physiological changes resulting from the problem (etiology) that has been identified.
Etiology = Could be, "Worldwide infectious agents, viruses, bacteria, and parasites...." (Hockenberry, 2005, p. 843).
Pathopysiology = "Increased intestinal secretion as a result of enterotoxins, cytotoxic mediators, or decreased intestinal sbsorption secondary to intestinal damage or inflammation....." (Hockenberry, 2005, p. 844).
Last edit by PurrRN on Mar 5, '07
: Reason: clarification