Week 2 Assignment Alternative Writing: Respiratory

Week 2 Assignment Alternative Writing: Respiratory

Week 2 Assignment Alternative Writing: Respiratory

Alternative Writing assignment respiratory
I) Overview of the Respiratory system
II) Discuss the physiology(structure and function) of the body system including details about the major organ system if applicable
III) Construct relevant health history questions(subjective data) pertaining to the respiratory body system
IV) provide an overview of the objective data and expected normal physical examination findings for respiratory system
V) explain special physical assessment examination techniques or procedure specific to assessing the respiratory system
VI) Analyze and discuss how you might adapt your physical assessment techniques to accommodate each of the following specific populations: infant/ pediatric, pregnancy, geriatric
VII) identify one major disease or disease process that may significantly impact the body system
VIII) Synthesis and discuss the expected abnormal physical examination findings that may be associated with the disease process
IX) Summarize the key point

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Alternative Writing Assignment for Week 2: Respiratory

The Respiratory System Overview

The respiratory system consists of a network of body organs and tissues that are involved in exchange of gases between the body and the atmosphere. The respiratory system entails air passages, lungs, and blood vessels. Additionally, the body muscles, which power the lungs form part of the respiratory system. The respiratory organs work together to enhance movement of oxygen throughout to the body tissues and facilitate the removal of waste gases from the body tissues.

The Physiology: Structure and Function of the Respiratory System

The respiratory system organs make a continuous system known as the respiratory tract.   Air flows through this system into and out of body tissues. The respiratory tract subdivided into two major categories. The first subdivision is known as the upper respiratory tract, while the second category is the lower respiratory tract. Additionally, some thorax muscles forms the respiratory system since they facilitate breathing by controlling the movement of air. In particular, diaphragm is part of the respiratory tract. This muscle is located below the lungs, forming a boundary between the thorax and the abdomen. The breathing process is also facilitated by smaller muscles located between the ribs.

The Upper Respiratory Tract

The upper respiratory tract consists of various organisms located on the upper part of the respiratory system, which enhances the passage of air into and out of the body tissues (Koulouris, 2021). Organs in this part of the respiratory tract facilitates the movement of the air between the lungs and the atmosphere. Additionally, these organs remove any particles from the incoming air, warm, and make it humid. Nonetheless, upper respiratory tract organs are not involved in gas exchange. The organs of the upper respiratory tract include the nasal cavity, pharynx, and the larynx. The nasal cavity refers to a large space, which is filled with air and located in the skull. The two nostrils extends to the nasal cavity. Hence, air that is inhaled through the nostrils flows to the nasal cavity where it is humidified and warmed. The nose has hairs, which trap larger particles such as dust from the inhaled air. Pharynx, which is a tube-like structure is also part of the upper respiratory tract. It links the back of the mouth and the nasal cavity to other parts located in the lower part of the throat (Koulouris, 2021). The pharynx allows the air to move from the nasal cavity to the larynx during inhalation and from the larynx to the nasal cavity during exhalation. The pharynx then links to the trachea through the larynx.

The Lower Respiratory Tract

The upper respiratory tract, the trachea, and the lower respiratory tract facilitates the movement of air from the atmosphere to the lungs and vice versa. The respiratory system branches further as it moves deeper into the lungs. However, the blood stream and the inhaled air only exchange gases at the lungs. The trachea, which is the widest part of the respiratory forms the first part of the lower respiratory tract. It is made of rings of cartilage, making it resilient and strong. It links the larynx and the lungs, thus facilitating air passage through the respiratory tract. It branches at the lower end forming bronchial tubes (Koulouris, 2021).

Bronchi and bronchioles are also part of the lower respiratory tract. A human respiratory system consists of the right and left bronchi, which facilitate the movement of air from the trachea to the lungs. The two bronchial tubes branch further into secondary bronchi, which also subdivides further forming tertiary bronchi. The bronchi then branch into very tiny tubules known as the bronchioles. These tiniest bronchioles subdivides into an alveolar ducts that leads to minuscule air sacs known as the alveoli in the lungs (Koulouris, 2021).

The lungs forms the largest respiratory tract organ. They are based within thorax’s pleural cavity. Connective tissues separates the two lobes of the lungs. However, the right and the left lungs have different sizes. The right lung is bigger than the left and consists of three lobes, while the left lung has two lobes. Alveoli, which are tiny air sacs mainly forms the lung tissue. They are considered as lung’s functional units since its where gas exchange occurs. Both lungs consist of approximately 700 million alveoli increasing the surface area for gas exchange to occur effectively (Koulouris, 2021). Air gets to the alveoli during inhalation resulting in expansion in the lungs. The air inside the alveoli contains oxygen, which is absorbed into the blood by the tiny blood capillaries surrounding alveoli. Similarly, carbon dioxide in the blood contained in the capillaries is released into the air contained in the alveoli. Air containing waste gases, including carbon dioxide is then removed from the body during exhalation.

Relevant Health History Questions Associated with Respiratory System

 Patients present clinical manifestations associated with various respiratory system diseases. Thus, a healthcare practitioners gathers subjective data to assist during diagnosis and treatment. First, the client is asked whether he or she has smoking history. The second question involves breathing. The client is asked about difficulty in breathing, absence of breathing, shortness of breath, rapid breathing, or wheezing. The next question involves cough. The healthcare provider asks the client if she or he has been coughing and if the cough becomes severe over time. Additionally, the patient is required to explain if the cough is clear, green, yellow, or it is accompanied with blood.

The Objective Data and Respiratory System’s Normal Physical Examination Findings

 A healthcare provider presents objective data following physical examination of the respiratory system. The clinician provides data regarding breathing rate. A clinician can report shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing, rapid breathing or wheezing. During the physical examination of a respiratory system, the expected normal results include normal breathing rates and patterns with no wheezing sound on palpation.

The Respiratory System Physical Assessment Examination Procedures

Medical practitioners employ various techniques in assessing the respiratory system. The first technique is the palpation, which involves placing of the index finger in the suprasternal notch located at the base of patient’s trachea. The healthcare professional uses fingers’ palmar surface to palpate both the posterior and interior chest. This part should be free from pain tenderness, or masses (Mansen & Gabiola, 2015). However, increased vibration are reported with tumors or pneumonia or tumors. Additionally, air-filled regions and less vibrations are reported in some conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (Mansen & Gabiola, 2015). The second technique is percussion in which nondominant hand’s middle finger is placed against the against the chest wall. The middle finger of the dominant hand distal phalanx is stricken using the middle finger’s tip. This technique is used to identify diaphragm’s position and the underlying lung tissue during inhalation and exhalation. Low-pitched, long in duration, hollow, or resonant sound should be produced during percussion. However, dullness is experienced when normally air filled lung are replaced with fluid or solid tissue. Some conditions characterized by dull tones include pleural effusion, pneumonia, or atelectasis (Mansen & Gabiola, 2015).

Adaption of Physical Assessment Techniques

The physical assessment techniques can be adjusted to meet the needs of various patient populations, including infants, expectant mothers, and geriatric. In infants, the technique should be adjusted to check for flaring nostrils that portray breathing problems in this patient population. Additionally, the clinician should adjust these techniques and use them to assess bulging of the muscles located between the ribs that might indicate some difficulty in getting adequate air. Furthermore, these techniques should be adjusted while examining elderly patients. Substantial changes, including marked dorsal curvature, increase in chest’s AP diameter, diminished chest expansion, and kyphosis occur with age (Deborah, 2018). Hence, the technique should be adjusted to accommodate these changes and give accurate assessment results in the elderly patients. Finally, the thoracic cavity reduces during pregnancy. Thus, adjustments are required when assessing expectant mothers.

Major Disease or Disease Process with a Significant Effect on the Respiratory System

 Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is one of common respiratory disorders. This chronic respiratory condition is triggered by long-term exposure to products that cause irritation and damage to the lungs. Some of these substances are inhaled pollutants and cigarette smoke (Wheaton et al., 2019). Hence, this condition is common among active and passive smokers and people living around factories that release fumes and other air pollutants. COPD is categorized into chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Inflamed airways and excessive mucus production are reported among chronic bronchitis patients, making breathing relatively difficult. On the other hand, emphysema is characterized by damage of the alveoli in the lungs, which compromises with oxygen absorption resulting in short of breath.

Expected Abnormal Physical Examination Findings associated with COPD

COPD is attributed to various abnormal findings reported during physical exam findings. First, an expanded chest is found in an individual with this condition. Another abnormal finding is wheezing during normal breathing. This condition is also portrayed by taking a relatively long duration to exhale fully. Finally, COPD is characterized by abnormal breath sounds, including wheezes or crackles, or reduced breath sounds.


 Respiratory system is among major body systems. It is involved in the exchange of gases between the blood stream and the atmosphere. The system consists of the upper and the lower respiratory tract. Each of the two parts consists of various body parts, which play various roles during the breathing process. Subjective and objective data are required during diagnosis and treatment of respiratory disorders. Some techniques that are used to assess the system are palpation and percussion. These procedures are adjusted when dealing with infants, expectant mothers, or geriatrics. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is has a significant effect on the respiratory system. Inflamed airways and excessive mucus production are reported among chronic bronchitis patients, making breathing relatively difficult.

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Deborah, F. (2018). Assessment of the Respiratory System. Lippincott Nursing Center. https://www.nursingcenter.com/ce_articleprint?an=01845097-201809000-00003

Koulouris, N, G. (2021). Structure and function of the respiratory muscles. Pneumon; 14(2):191-198.

Mansen T., Gabiola J. (2015). Patient-Focused Assessment. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Wheaton, A. G., Liu, Y., Croft, J. B., VanFrank, B., Croxton, T. L., Punturieri, A., … & Greenlund, K. J. (2019). Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and smoking status—United States, 2017. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report68(24), 533.

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