Typical pathophysiology courses for nurses cover disease mechanisms, how the body responds to restore itself to health and the affect of these responses on body functions. Courses cover the causes of disease, its effects on the human body and the topic of pathogenesis, or the development of a various diseases. Most courses cover a variety of diseases, including malignancies, blood disorders, cardiovascular disorders and diseases of the gastrointestinal system and kidneys, as well as pain and trauma.
Nursing pathophysiology courses discuss pathogenesis at the molecular, cellular, tissue and systematic levels and help students relate these changes to the signs and symptoms of disease. These courses also discuss diagnostic procedures and treatment modalities as well as their rationale. Other topics include the normal physiological responses to disease and injury, including immune responses, such as inflammation and fever. The courses also help nursing students begin to examine and understand the many factors that influence individual responses to illness and physical distress,
The goal of a standard pathophysiology course is to teach nursing students how to use the scientific process to accurately explain and comprehend the physiological changes that occur in the human body throughout a lifetime and contrast these with pathological states. These courses tend to be highly analytical.