Anatomy & Physiology (A & P)
No matter what your plans are for a career in the health, medical or dental field, anatomy and physiology are the foundation upon which your career is built. If you don’t know the structure (anatomy) and functioning (physiology) of the human body, if you don’t understand which structure is doing what and why and how and when in a normal healthy body, you will not be able to progress to and through upper level classes leading to your chosen profession. Nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, doctors, physician assistants, and anybody else, who wants to diagnose and treat disorders and injuries surgically or conservatively, needs to have an excellent knowledge and understanding of anatomy and physiology, and be able to apply it to any given situation. An EKG doesn’t tell you anything if you don’t know the electrophysiology of the heart, looking at an X-ray is an exercise in futility if you don’t know the normal shape and place of bones, and dipping a test strip in a urine sample is a waste of time if you don’t know what should and what shouldn’t be found in normal urine.
Learning all that is exciting, but also quite an ambitious undertaking. Your body has more than 200 bones, even more muscles, numerous nerves, 50,000 miles of blood vessels, organs, organ systems, solid and liquid tissues, hormones, neurotransmitters, electrolytes that leak into and out of cells, cells that run around all day long looking for other cells they can attack and destroy, enzymes so dangerous they can eat up our own tissue, and a central nervous system that has a tendency to act like a spoiled teenager, yet is in charge of the whole operation! It takes a science – or better two – to put all that into an orderly system and to make a complete picture out of all those many, many puzzle pieces.
Basic health sciences, that’s what anatomy and physiology are. They need help from other sciences, especially chemistry, physics and biology, but together they give us a wonderful introduction into this amazing world inside each of us. However, just like other sciences, mastering them takes a lot of energy, time, hard work, and patience. Don’t expect to walk in and to know and understand everything in a couple of weeks, that’s not going to happen. It’s a strange new world you’re entering and it takes time to learn the language (terminology), rules, and customs of the creatures living in but also forming that world. Our job as instructors is to be your knowledgeable guides that help you explore and understand it and make it out at the end of the journey with a new appreciation for this wonderful body of yours and ready to tackle the next stage on your path to a rewarding career.
A & P @ FGCU
Succeeding in A & P