As the Christmas holidays are here but so is course work, I decided to end the semester with a review blog! The last course of semester 3 was Integrative Physiology. This was one of the courses I was really looking forward to starting as it was less on the cell biology part. We learnt about the regulation and physiology principles of nerves and membranes, the heart and muscles, the pulmonary and circulatory system, renal function, digestive tract, endocrinology and the effects of environment and exercise on our body.
The lectures held were really easy to understand as most of the information we learnt could actually be applied to ourselves. This was demonstrated in the labs. We had 4 labs in total each of which was mandatory. This is because knowledge gained from the lab was also important and tested on the final exam. I thought the labs were super fun as we got to measure our blood pressure, listen to heart sounds and read an ECG! Below is a brief description of the labs:
- ECG lab
This lab was essentially focusing on teaching us about the Electrocardiogram (ECG) which is used to measure the electrical activity of the heart. This helps us understand the functioning of the heart such as the electrical conductivity, the function of the valves and ventricles and so on.
- Blood pressure and heart sounds
This was by far my favourite lab in the whole course. We got to learn how to measure blood pressure and listen to heart sounds. There are a lot of different heart abnormalities that affect heart sounds and each of them sound different. We had to learn how to distinguish these and recognise them from a normal heart sound.
- Respiration and Ergometry
The last two labs were respiration and ergometry. In respiration lab, we learnt about the respiratory ventilation mechanism, the effect it has on lung volume and the effects of oxygen and carbon dioxide concentration in ventilation and on circulation. In the ergometry lab, we had one of our friends cycle for a long time thereby replicating exercise and then we measured the effects of it on heart function and oxygen consumption.
We also had 3 seminars each after learning 5 or more new topics such as circulation; the heart, muscle and so on. The seminars were actually mini tests that we corrected ourselves to get an overview on how much knowledge we had on each of the topics. This way we had an idea on how much of the content we had understood after the lectures and revision. I found the seminars to be quite useful as I realised which topics I had good knowledge about and which ones I had to thoroughly revise. Furthermore, the seminars themselves served as a basis for revision.
Lastly, before Christmas holidays we had our final exam consisting of all topics learnt and including the labs. I thought the exam went considerably good but we will have to wait for the result now I guess!
We also have a final task which is the project work that is scheduled for after the Christmas break. Essentially we are in groups of 3 and we peer review a scientific article. This is a very helpful way to learn how to peer review articles and criticise scientific articles which I believe is important to know for the future.
Thus, here I am analysing a scientific paper while sipping tasty hot chocolate!
That’s all for now.
See you around!
Cover picture- CC0