Anatomy and Physiology :: Intro and Basic Terms to Know

Anatomy and physiology are key concepts in nursing. It is important to have at least a basic understanding of each system within the body and to know how to promote the best health for each system in order to maintain a disease-free body. As an example, proper health and care for skin can prevent disease by washing away pathogens, decreasing entry of microorganisms [by reducing open areas in the skin], and so forth.

Anatomy is the study of organisms, pertaining to their structures and the relationships between parts.

Physiology is the study of functions of the same organisms and their parts.

Pathology is the study of diseases.

Metabolism is defined as the total of all energy processes in a cell or an organism. With the human body, it also refers to the speed or rate of food conversion to energy as well as the amount of energy required for basal activities/life (heart beating, cell growth, etc.)

Homeostasis is a state of relative consistency. With regards to the human body, this can relate to oxygen levels, hormone levels, and so forth. Diseases cause a disruption of the homeostasis.

Negative Feedback is a loop in the body that helps regulation of certain things. It starts when homeostasis is interrupted, such as a dip in body temperature, and it ends when homeostasis is acheived.

Positive Feedback are not based on returning the body to a state of homeostasis, rather it is triggored by a stimulus such as touch. Touch from a loved one can release oxytocin, which causes a hightened sense of touch in this case.

 Major body cavities

Cranial and Spinal – Dorsal or Posterior Cavities. Thoracic and Abdominal and/or Pelvic (abdominopelvic), which are part of the ventral or anterior cavities.

Cavity contents
Cranial: Brain.
Spinal: Spinal cord
Thoracic: Heart, lungs, trachea, esophagus, mediastinum, etc.
Abdominal: Liver, stomach, pancreas, spleen, kidney, gallbladder, intestines, ureters, etc.
Pelvic: Bladder, ureter, urethra (male), small and large intestines; uterus, ovaries, filopian tubes (female), etc.

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