How to Write a Great Detailed Pathophysiology Paper

Last Updated: 05 February 2024

One of the biggest challenges that bother nursing students is writing a pathophysiology paper. Pathophysiology is derived from two disciplines: pathology and physiology. Pathology is the study of the causes and effects of diseases. Physiology, on the other hand, is the science of life; it deals with how living organisms function. Pathophysiology is the study of abnormalities in the body process due to an illness. Even though it is manageable when you have a hang of it, nursing students often view it as a challenging topic. However, with the correct formulae, you will be on your way to writing the perfect paper.

The guide below will show you how to examine the topic, conduct research, analyze your information, and write a top-grade paper.

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What is the Aim of Pathophysiology?

Pathophysiology aims to discover how a living organism's physiology responds to disruptions in its internal and external environment. Since we are not equal, our healthy structures and functions are different. However, scientists and healthcare professionals can predict helpful clinical progression and identify possible causes and intervention choices by discovering the common and expected responses to abnormalities in physiological functioning.

Steps for Writing a Pathophysiology Paper

Use the following steps to help you write an A+ paper:

Closely Examine the Requirements of the Assignment

Check the assignment requirements closely to understand the following:

Selecting the Pathophysiology Topic

Like any other academic paper, you must consider the topic before writing. If you have not been assigned one, select among the best types of pathophysiology topics. Then narrow down to the one you will be working on by considering the following:

Have You Been Given a Choice?

Your chosen topic will center on the patient you are dealing with in the hospital. Take note that the patient should only be from your current clinical. The patient you select will then determine the content of your paper. Include details such as the patient's diagnosis (why they were admitted). The overall expectation here is that you will write about the pathophysiology of the patient's disease and discuss how it has affected them.

Explore the Topic

Now that you have thoroughly examined the assignment and understood what to do, it is time to explore the topics. Do this by looking for more information about the topic in your textbooks or the Atlas of Pathophysiology.

Analyze the Pathophysiology Topic

Read about the condition of your patients and consider the following:

Search for Information to Support Your Claims

After reading about the condition, conduct thorough research to support the specific patient's condition and situation. Then ask yourself the following questions:

Take note that as you narrow down the topic, you should look for more sources to help in your paper. To help you with this, identify the main keywords as they help you find other related sources.

Some keywords to consider include:

Some other keywords you can use to do research include:

Then pair these with the disease, for instance, pneumonia+ symptoms, Pneumonia + diagnosis, Pneumonia + interventions, etc. If you want specific information, pairing the patient's condition with the information you want to discover is the way to go.

If the patient has multiple related conditions, you can pair them together to find more information, for instance, skin cancer and eczema.

Always ensure you use the right medical terminology, particularly those commonly used by nurses, to search for more information when referring to the condition. Take, for instance, the following examples: a patient may use tonsil removal, but as a nurse, you will say tonsillectomy.

If you need more keyword help, try the National Library of Medicine's Medical Subject Headings (Mesh).

Find Sources for Your Paper

Now that you have all the keywords in place, it is time to locate the sources to use in your paper. A good place to start is the health sciences databases, which contain a list of nursing and medical journal articles. Keep in mind that you need at least three peer-reviewed sources. The keywords will help you locate these articles.

Evaluate Your Sources

Every source you use in your pathophysiology paper should be legitimate and up to date. Therefore, before you use any source in your paper, you must evaluate them. To do this, try to find the following information about them even though you may not always find every source. They are not good sources if you do not find the following information.

Write Your Paper

Now that everything is in place, it is time to write the paper. Structure your paper in the following manner.

1.  Write the definition of a given disease

Once you write the abstract and the introduction of the condition, Start by writing down everything you know about the condition in question. Beginning from the broadest things to the narrowest. Writing what you already know will help you start with a more familiar understanding of the condition.

For instance, if you are asked to write about psoriasis, begin by writing what it is. For example, psoriasis is a skin condition characterized by scaly patches and an itchy rash.

Please note that the definition should be exact and not cause any confusion.

2. Breakdown the Condition to the cellular level

Talk about how the condition affects the body cells. For instance, in the case of our example, how does the condition affect the cell changes leading to skin diseases? Also, mention the different parts of the skin and how they are all affected by the condition.

The aim is to ensure that you have broken down the disease to the cellular or molecular level, depending on your professor's instructions.

3. Classification of the Particular Disease

The second step involves writing the classification of the patient's disease without mincing words. It should be as brief as possible. For instance, if we go by our first example, the classification will be as follows:

The different classifications of psoriasis are as follows:

4. Write the Symptoms

You have to cover the symptoms with as much information as you can. Do not write the symptoms in a comma fashion; just list them down. Make sure you begin with hallmark signs.

In the case of psoriasis, the hallmark signs are dry skin lesions referred to as plaques that are covered in scales.

For instance,

Symptoms of Psoriasis

The symptoms of psoriasis depend on the type of condition you have. However, the general symptoms are as follows:

Writing this way will make your work more attractive to the reader and your professor because it will be easy to read.

5. Causes of the Disease and Explanation

List the cause of the particular condition and explain it so the reader will understand it.

For instance,

Cause of psoriasis

The cause of psoriasis is not fully understood. However, scientists believe the condition results from skin cells being replaced more quickly than they should because of problems with the immune system.

Then, go ahead and list the specific causes and explain in detail. Remember that there should be a clear connection between the pathophysiology and the signs and symptoms you have listed.

To connect the cause to the signs, you can say the patient experiences plaques because the cells that fight infection turn on the healthy cells and attack them.

6. Risk Factors

Predisposing factors inherently put patients at risk and could lead to a problem. Some of these risk factors include family history, smoking, and more.

7. Treatment and Management of the Symptoms

Here, you write about possible treatments and recommended measures to manage the patient's condition. For every treatment or medication you write down, make sure you think of the following things:

For instance, Adalimumab (Humira), an FDA-approved drug, is a TNF-alpha-blocking- antibody. It treats psoriasis by recognizing and clinging to a specific protein (TNF-alpha) at increased levels in those with the condition.

However, the drug can cause some of these side effects, e.g., serious infection, Hepatitis B, and nervous system problems.

8. Nursing Interventions

Write all the evidence-based nursing interventions for the condition. Some interventions you can include for psoriasis include monitoring the patient's vital signs, cleaning and drying the infected area, etc.

Skills You Will Need to Write an A+ Paper

You will need the following skills to make an accurate diagnosis and thoroughly analyze the patient's condition.

Strong Clinical Knowledge

Providing proper patient care can be challenging, requiring much effort from health personnel. As such, you must demonstrate strong clinical knowledge in your practices. Research shows that clinical knowledge is fundamental for patient-quality care. However, what exactly is clinical knowledge?

Clinical knowledge involves a deeper understanding of chronic diseases and how they affect the human body. If you can quickly and accurately synthesize clinical data, you can treat patients and apply preventive measures.


Written and oral communication is important in healthcare. Without proper communication skills, it will be hard for you to communicate effectively with other physicians concerning diagnosis, medication, treatments, etc. Proper communication can also help when you communicate with patients about their health conditions and advise them on preventing their illness from worsening.

Critical Thinking in Healthcare

Critical thinking is necessary for problem-solving, decision-making, and overall nursing practice. To think critically and apply clinical knowledge to diagnose and analyze the conditioner disease of the patient.

Final Word

Pathophysiology is the study of the disturbances of the normal functioning of the human body caused by a disease or abnormal conditions. Writing a pathophysiology paper is important for nurses to demonstrate their understanding of a topic. As you write, connect everything from the symptoms, causes, and medication to the disease process.

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