Need help writing Pathophysiology

  1. Hi guys!

    I am in my first quarter of nursing school and we've started learning to write care plans. I'm pretty competent in writing my nursing diagnosis but I struggle with writing my pathophysiology. Do you guys have any tips or resources that will help me to write up my patho? Our med-surg textbook doesn't provide much help. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

    I currently live with a roommate and that is a big change for me living away from my family. If you have any tips for surviving nursing school or any studying tips that would be appreciated as well.

  2. Visit vollytina profile page

    About vollytina

    Joined: Jun '17; Posts: 3; Likes: 1
    from WA


  3. by   KrCmommy522
    What exactly do you need help with in writing the patho? Have you turned in care plans that your instructors said your patho needed work? Is it too detailed or not detailed enough? Sorry for all the questions, just more info would help.

    Your med-surg book should help. Do you still have your patho book from when you took patho? I mostly used my med-surg book. But there were a lot of times where I used my patho book instead

    For a care plan I did on a patient who had cholelithiasis (gallstones):
    There are 2 major types of gallstones: Those mainly made up of pigment and those mainly made up of cholesterol. Pigment stones are most likely formed when unconjugated pigments in bile precipitate, resulting in formation of stones. These stones cannot be dissolved and must be surgically removed. In gallstone-prone pts, there is decreased bile acid synthesis and increased cholesterol synthesis in the liver. This leads to cholesterol-saturated bile that precipitates out of bile to form stones. The cholesterol-saturated bile predisposes to formation of gallstones and acts as an irritant that causes inflammatory changes in the mucosa of the gallbladder. (This was from Brunner & Suddarth's Textbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing).

    This came from my patho book: Gallstones are masses of solid material or calculi that form in bile. Gallstones can be different sizes and shapes. They may initially form in bile ducts, gallbladder, or cystic duct. They may consist mainly of cholesterol or bile pigment (bilirubin) or be made up of mixed content. The content of the stone depends on the primary factor predisposing to calculus formation. Cholesterol stones appear white or crystallize, whereas bilirubin stones are black. Small stones may be "silent" and excreted in bile, whereas larger stones are likely to obstruct flow of bile, causing pain. Gallstones tend to form when bile contains a high concentration of a component such as cholesterol or there is a deficit of bile salts. Stones tend to grow as additional solutes are deposited on it, particularly if bile flow is sluggish. Presence of gallstones may cause irritation and inflammation in gallbladder wall (cholecystitis), and this susceptible tissue may be infected (usually by E. coli or enterococci). When a stone obstructs bile flow, biliary colic develops, consisting of severe spasms of pain resulting from strong muscle contractions trying to move the stone.

    As you can see, what I got from my patho book turned out to be more than what I got from my med-surg book, so I would have used what I got from my med-surg book (which is what I actually used on a real care plan I turned in). I never had an instructor who ever had anything to say about what I put for patho.

    Another example, here was the patho I put for a care plan I turned in for a patient that had prostate cancer:
    The prostate gland lies just below the neck of the bladder. It is composed of 4 zones and 4 lobes. It surrounds the urethra and the ejaculatory duct passes through it. This gland produces a secretion that is chemically and physiologically suitable to the needs of the spermatozoa in their passage from the testes.
    Prostate cancer develops when rates of cell division exceed that of cell growth resulting in uncontrolled growth in the prostate. Most prostate cancers (95%) are adenocarcinomas and are multifocal (e.g., arise from different tissues within the prostate). Prostate cancers may be locally invasive or metastatic to lymph nodes and bones.
    Most tumors are adenocarcinomas arising from the tissue near the surface of the gland (rather than in the central area, as in BPH). There may be more than one focus of neoplastic cells. Tumors vary in degree of cellular differentiation; the more undifferentiated or anaplastic tumors are much more aggressive, growing and spreading at a faster rate. Many tumors are androgen dependent. Prostate cancer is both invasive to regional tissues such as lymph nodes or urethra and metastatic to bone.
    Cancer may become large enough to invade the bladder neck (obstructing urine). The cancer may also invade the urethra or bladder (leading to hematuria). Early cancer may be detected as a nodule within the gland or as an extensive hardening in the posterior lobe. The more advanced lesion is "stony hard" and fixed.

    I hope my examples help some! If you let me know what exactly, if anything, your instructor is saying about what you are putting for patho on your care plans. I can offer some advice for you!
  4. by   vollytina
    I don't have a patho book we just use our med surg book. Which patho book would be best to get? I wrote my care plan with a patho but my instructor said that it wasn't right, that it was more of an etiology. I don't really know how to start writing my patho.
  5. by   KrCmommy522
    What med-surg book are you using? Can you show me what you wrote that she said was more etiology? I'd be glad to help you and give you some advice. Just need to know what your working with and an example of what you wrote would help

    I would suggest Gould's Pathophysiology for the Health Professions
    Gould's Pathophysiology for the Health Professions, 5e: 9781455754113: Medicine & Health Science Books @
    It's the book I have always used and never had any issues.