NURS 6501N Altered Physiology Case Study Analysis Example

NURS 6501N Week 2 Altered Physiology Assignment: Case Study AnalysisNURS 6501N Week 2 Altered Physiology Assignment: Case Study Analysis

NURS 6501N Altered Physiology Case Study Analysis Assignment Brief

Course: NURS 6501N – Advanced Pathophysiology

Assignment Title: NURS 6501N Week 2 Altered Physiology Assignment: Case Study Analysis

Assignment Instructions Overview

This assignment involves analyzing a case study to understand the physiological alterations within the immune system that lead to disease. Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) must demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of disease processes, patient backgrounds, and other relevant factors to provide effective care and education to patients. You will be required to utilize the course readings and resources to support your analysis.

Understanding Assignment Objectives

The primary objectives of this assignment are to:

  • Evaluate Cellular Processes: Examine how alterations within cellular processes contribute to disease development.
  • Analyze Immune System Alterations: Identify and describe changes in the immune system that result in specific disease processes.
  • Identify Racial/Ethnic Variables: Recognize how racial and ethnic factors may impact physiological functioning and disease progression.
  • Evaluate Patient Characteristics: Assess how individual patient characteristics affect disorders and altered physiological states.

The Student’s Role

As a student, your role is to:

  • Carefully review the assigned case study and associated symptoms.
  • Conduct a detailed analysis to explain why the patient presented with the described symptoms.
  • Identify any genetic factors that may be contributing to the disease.
  • Discuss the process of immunosuppression and its effects on body systems.
  • Utilize evidence from the course readings and additional resources to support your analysis and conclusions.

Competencies Measured

This assignment will help measure the following competencies:

  • Critical Thinking: Ability to analyze complex scenarios and understand the underlying physiological processes.
  • Application of Knowledge: Application of pathophysiological concepts to real-world case studies.
  • Research and Evidence-Based Practice: Integration of current research and evidence to support clinical reasoning and decision-making.
  • Communication: Clear and concise presentation of analysis and findings in a professional, academic format.

You Can Also Check Other Related Assessments for the NURS 6501N – Advanced Pathophysiology Course:

NURS 6501N Week 1 Discussion: Alterations in Cellular Processes Assignment Example

NURS 6501N Week 4 Case Study Analysis Assignment Example

NURS 6501N Week 5: Knowledge Check Gastrointestinal and Hepatobiliary Disorders Assignment Example

NURS 6501N Week 8: Concepts of Neurological and Musculoskeletal Disorders Case Study Analysis Assignment Example

NURS 6501 Week 10 Assignment – Case study, STDs and Infertility Assignment Example

NURS 6501N Altered Physiology Case Study Analysis Example

Week 2 Case Study Analysis: Altered Physiology


Understanding the underlying cellular and genetic mechanisms of diseases is critical for diagnosing and managing patient conditions. This analysis will examine a patient’s symptoms, identify relevant genes associated with the disease, and explain the process and impact of immunosuppression on the body.

Symptoms and Disease Presentation

The patient presents with crampy left lower quadrant pain, which is a common symptom of diverticulitis. Diverticulitis is an inflammation or infection of the diverticula, small pouches that can form in the walls of the digestive tract. This condition is often associated with lower abdominal pain, fever, and changes in bowel habits such as constipation or diarrhea. The patient’s dietary habits, particularly a low fiber intake, contribute to the development of diverticulitis by causing harder stools and increased bowel pressure (Feuerstein & Falchuk, 2016).

Genetic Factors

Given the patient’s family history, with a grandfather who died of colon cancer, there is a significant genetic component to consider. Colon cancer can be inherited through mutations in several genes, most notably MSH6, MSH2 (both located on chromosome 2), and MLH1 (located on chromosome 3). These genes are involved in DNA mismatch repair. Mutations in these genes result in the accumulation of DNA errors, leading to the development of cancerous cells (American Cancer Society, n.d.).

Immunosuppression and Its Effects

Immunosuppression refers to the reduction of the immune system’s efficacy, which can be caused by diseases like HIV or by drugs used in conditions such as cancer or post-organ transplantation to prevent rejection (Axelrad, Lichtiger, & Yajnik, 2016). The administration of immunosuppressive drugs, such as corticosteroids, cyclosporine, and azathioprine, can profoundly impact the body’s immune response. While these drugs help in preventing the rejection of transplanted organs, they also make the body more susceptible to infections and malignancies due to the suppressed immune response (Rosenthal & Moore, 2015).

Immunosuppression can lead to several systemic effects, including:

  • Increased Infection Risk: The body becomes less capable of fighting off pathogens, leading to a higher susceptibility to infections.
  • Muscle and Bone Effects: Immunosuppressive drugs can lead to decreased muscle function and bone density, increasing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.
  • Metabolic Changes: These drugs can alter the body’s glucose metabolism, increasing the risk of high blood sugar and secondary diabetes.
  • Cardiovascular Risks: There is an elevated risk of developing cardiovascular diseases due to the combined effects of the drugs and the body’s altered immune response (Axelrad et al., 2016; Rosenthal & Moore, 2015).


The patient’s symptoms are indicative of diverticulitis, exacerbated by a low-fiber diet. The genetic predisposition to colon cancer, as evidenced by the family history, highlights the importance of genetic factors in disease development. Immunosuppression, while necessary in some treatment protocols, poses significant risks to the body’s ability to fight infections and maintain overall health. Effective management of these conditions requires a thorough understanding of the underlying cellular processes and genetic influences.


Axelrad, J. E., Lichtiger, S., & Yajnik, V. (2016). Inflammatory bowel disease and cancer: The role of inflammation, immunosuppression, and cancer treatment. World Journal of Gastroenterology, 22(20), 4794-4801.

Feuerstein, J. D., & Falchuk, K. R. (2016). Diverticulosis and diverticulitis. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 91(8), 1094-1104.

American Cancer Society. (n.d.). Causes of Colorectal Cancer | Is Colon Cancer Hereditary?. Retrieved from

Lockyer, S., Spiro, A., & Stanner, S. (2016). Dietary fibre and the prevention of chronic disease–should health professionals be doing more to raise awareness?. Nutrition Bulletin, 41(3), 214-231.

Rosenthal, M. D., & Moore, F. A. (2015). Persistent inflammatory, immunosuppressed, catabolic syndrome (PICS): A new phenotype of multiple organ failure. Journal of Advanced Nutritional and Human Metabolism, 1(1).

Detailed Assessment Instructions for the NURS 6501N Altered Physiology Case Study Analysis Assignment

 Week 2: Altered Physiology

With a place squarely in the spotlight for patients diagnosed with all manner of disease, APRNs must demonstrate not only support and compassion, but expertise to guide patients’ understanding of diagnoses and treatment plans.

This expertise goes beyond an understanding of disease and sciences, such as cellular pathophysiology. APRNs must become experts in their patients, understanding their medical backgrounds, pertinent characteristics, and other variables that can be factors in their diagnoses and treatments.

This week, you examine alterations in the immune system and the resultant disease processes. You consider patient characteristics, including racial and ethnic variables, and the impact they have on altered physiology.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Evaluate cellular processes and alterations within cellular processes
  • Analyze alterations in the immune system that result in disease processes
  • Identify racial/ethnic variables that may impact physiological functioning
  • Evaluate the impact of patient characteristics on disorders and altered physiology

Learning Resources

Required Readings

McCance, K. L. & Huether, S. E. (2019). Pathophysiology: The biologic basis for disease in adults and children (8th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby/Elsevier.

  • Chapter 1: Cellular Biology; Summary Review
  • Chapter 2: Altered Cellular and Tissue Biology: Environmental Agents(pp. 46-61; begin again with Manifestations of Cellular Injury pp. 83-97); Summary Review
  • Chapter 3: The Cellular Environment: Fluids and Electrolytes, Acids, and Bases,
  • Chapter 4: Genes and Genetic Diseases (stop at Elements of formal genetics); Summary Review
  • Chapter 5: Genes, Environment-Lifestyle, and Common Diseases (stop at Genetics of common diseases); Summary Review
  • Chapter 7: Innate Immunity: Inflammation and Wound Healing
  • Chapter 8: Adaptive Immunity (stop at Generation of clonal diversity); Summary Review
  • Chapter 9: Alterations in Immunity and Inflammation (stop at Deficiencies in immunity); Summary Review
  • Chapter 10: Infection (stop at Infectious parasites and protozoans); (start at HIV); Summary Review
  • Chapter 11: Stress and Disease (stop at Stress, illness & coping)Summary Review
  • Chapter 12: Cancer Biology (stop at Resistance to destruction); Summary Review
  • Chapter 13: Cancer Epidemiology (stop at Environmental-Lifestyle factors); Summary Review

Note: You previously read these chapters in Week 1 and you are encouraged to review once again for this week.

Justiz-Vaillant, A. A., & Zito, P. M. (2019). Immediate hypersensitivity reactions. In StatPearls. Treasure Island, FL: StatPearls Publishing. Retrieved from

Credit Line: Immediate Hypersensitivity Reactions – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf. (2019, June 18). Retrieved from Used with permission of Stat Pearls.
Note: This article was presented in the Week 1 resources. If you read it previously you are encouraged to review it this week.

Required Media

Immunity and Inflammation

Khan Academy (2010, February 24). Inflammatory response | Human anatomy and physiology  | Health & medicine [Video file]. Retrieved from

Note: The approximate length of the media program is 14 minutes.

Soo, P. (2018, July 28). Pathophysiology Ch 10 alterations in immune function [Video file]. Retrieved from

Note: The approximate length of the media program is 37 minutes.

Acid-Base Balance #1

MedCram. (2012, April 28). Medical acid base balance, disorders & ABGs explained clearly [Video file]. Retrieved from

Note: The approximate length of the media program is 13 minutes.

Acid-Base Balance #2

MedCram. (2012, April 29). Medical acid base balance, disorders & ABGs explained clearly | 2 of 8 [Video file]. Retrieved from

Note: The approximate length of the media program is 15 minutes.


MedCram. (2017, December 23). Hyponatremia explained clearly [LK1] (remastered) – Electrolyte imbalances [Video file]. Retrieved from

Note: The approximate length of the media program is 15 minutes.

Online Media from Pathophysiology: The Biologic Basis for Disease in Adults and Children

In addition to this week’s media, it is highly recommended that you access and view the resources included with the course text, Pathophysiology: The Biologic Basis for Disease in Adults and Children. Focus on the videos and animations in Chapters 3, 7, and 8 that relate to alterations in immunity, hyponatremia, and acid/base balance.

Note: To access the online resources included with the text, you need to complete the FREE online registration that is located at

To Register to View the Content

  1. Go to
  2. Enter the name of the textbook, Pathophysiology: The Biologic Basis for Disease in Adults and Children, or ISBN 9780323654395 (name of text without the edition number) in the Search textbox.
  3. Complete the registration process.

To View the Content for This Text

  1. Go to
  2. Click on Student Site.
  3. Type in your username and password.
  4. Click on the Login button.
  5. Click on the plus sign icon for Resources on the left side of the screen.
  6. Click on the name of the textbook for this course.
  7. Expand the menu on the left to locate all the chapters.
  8. Navigate to the desired content (checklists, videos, animations, etc.).

Note: Clicking on the URLs in the APA citations for the Resources from the textbook will not link directly to the desired online content. Use the online menu to navigate to the desired content.

Module 1 Assignment: Case Study Analysis

An understanding of cells and cell behavior is a critically important component of disease diagnosis and treatment. But some diseases can be complex in nature, with a variety of factors and circumstances impacting their emergence and severity.

Effective disease analysis often requires an understanding that goes beyond isolated cell behavior. Genes, the environments in which cell processes operate, the impact of patient characteristics, and racial and ethnic variables all can have an important impact.

An understanding of the signals and symptoms of alterations in cellular processes is a critical step in the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases. For APRNs, this understanding can also help educate patients and guide them through their treatment plans.

In this Assignment, you examine a case study and analyze the symptoms presented. You identify cell, gene, and/or process elements that may be factors in the diagnosis, and you explain the implications to patient health.

To prepare:

By Day 1 of this week, you will be assigned to a specific case study for this Case Study Assignment. Please see the “Course Announcements” section of the classroom for your assignment from your Instructor.

The Assignment (1- to 2-page case study analysis)

Develop a 1- to 2-page case study analysis in which you:

  • Explain why you think the patient presented the symptoms described.
  • Identify the genes that may be associated with the development of the disease.
  • Explain the process of immunosuppression and the effect it has on body systems.

By Day 7 of Week 2

Submit your Case Study Analysis Assignment by Day 7 of Week 2.

Reminder: The College of Nursing requires that all papers submitted include a title page, introduction, summary, and references. The sample paper provided at the Walden Writing Center provides an example of those required elements (available at All papers submitted must use this formatting.

Submission and Grading Information

To submit your completed Assignment for review and grading, do the following:

  • Please save your Assignment using the naming convention “M1Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” as the name.
  • Click the Module 1 Assignment Rubric to review the Grading Criteria for the Assignment.
  • Click the Module 1 Assignment link. You will also be able to “View Rubric” for grading criteria from this area.
  • Next, from the Attach File area, click on the Browse My Computer button. Find the document you saved as “M1Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” and click Open.
  • If applicable: From the Plagiarism Tools area, click the checkbox for I agree to submit my paper(s) to the Global Reference Database.
  • Click on the Submit button to complete your submission.

Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:

Module 1 Assignment Rubric

Check Your Assignment Draft for Authenticity

To check your Assignment draft for authenticity:

Submit your Module 1 Assignment draft and review the originality report.

Submit Your Assignment by Day 7 of Week 2

To participate in this Assignment:

Module 1 Assignment

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