Course Number and Title: RCT 140 Pulmonary Physiology
This course covers normal structure and function of the human respiratory system. Topics include mechanics of breathing, gas exchange and transport, acid-base balance, and control of ventilation. Emphasis is placed on integrating normal pulmonary physiology concepts to respiratory care.
All program and policy manuals/handbooks
- Describe the functional significance of key structures in both the upper and lower airway. (CCC 1, 2, 6; PGC 1)
- Explain the interaction of ventilatory muscles as they relate to the primary resistive forces and dynamic pressure changes in breathing. (CCC 1, 2, 6; (PGC 1)
- Explain the normal lung volumes, alveolar ventilation, and dead space. (CCC 1, 6; PGC 1)
- Describe gas laws as they relate to the diffusion of gas across the alveolar capillary barrier. (CCC 1, 6; PGC 1)
- Explain the importance and role of systemic and pulmonary circulation in gas exchange. (CCC 1, 6; PGC 1)
- Diagram the effect and clinical significance of ventilation/perfusion (V/Q) abnormalities. (CCC 1, 6; PGC 1)
- Completely and accurately interpret the results of blood gas analysis. (CCC 1, 2, 6; PGC 1, 2)
- Describe the control of ventilation. (CCC 1; PGC 1)
See Core Curriculum Competencies and Program Graduate Competencies at the end of the syllabus. CCPOs are linked to every competency they develop.
Upon completion of this course, the student will:
- Describe the functional significance of key structures in both the upper and lower airway.
- Describe the upper and lower airways in terms of both structure and function.
- Explain in terms of structure and function, the primary gas exchange units of the lung.
- Illustrate the gross anatomic structures of the lung down to the segmental level.
- Identify the bony structures of the thoracic cage and explain the function.
- Explain the interaction of ventilatory muscles as they relate to the primary resistive forces and dynamic pressure changes in breathing.
- Discuss the interaction of ventilatory muscles as they relate to the dynamic pressure changes in breathing.
- Describe and explain the primary resistive and elastic forces that must be overcome in the act of breathing.
- Explain the normal lung volumes, alveolar ventilation, and dead space.
- Identify and describe all lung volumes and capacities.
- Differentiate the interrelationship among minute volume, alveolar ventilation, and dead space ventilation.
- Describe the distribution of ventilation within the lung and its effect on gas exchange.
- Describe gas laws as they relate to the diffusion of gas across the alveolar capillary barrier.
- Discuss the relationship of Fick’s Law, Graham’s Law, and Henry’s Law to gas exchange at the alveolar capillary barrier.
- Using the alveolar air equation, calculate alveolar PO2.
- Identify and describe the factors effecting the diffusion of oxygen across the alveolar - capillary barrier.
- Define diffusion limited gas and perfusion limited gas, and give examples of each.
- Explain the importance and role of systemic and pulmonary circulation in gas exchange.
- Differentiate on the basis of function between the systemic and pulmonary circulatory systems.
- Describe the normal hemodynamic pressure relationships within the circulatory system.
- Delineate the factors affecting the distribution of blood flow in the lung and its effect on regional ventilation/perfusion (V/Q) relationships.
- Define shunt and given simulated patient information, calculate the percent shunt.
- Describe the effect of shunt on gas exchange and pulmonary blood flow.
- Diagram the effect and clinical significance of ventilation/perfusion (V/Q) abnormalities.
- Distinguish the effects of V/Q abnormalities on alveolar and arterial partial pressures.
- Explain the way in which V/Q abnormalities are reflected clinically.
- Completely and accurately interpret the results of blood gas analysis.
- Define pH, acid, base, and buffer.
- Given arterial blood gas results, accurately interpret acid base status, level of ventilation, and the state of oxygenation.
- List and describe the four (4) types of hypoxia.
- Diagram the elements of the oxygen transport system between the lung and tissues.
- Given appropriate data, calculate oxygen content.
- Discuss the physiological significance of the oxy-hemoglobin dissociation curve and the factors that affect it.
- Diagram the elements of the carbon dioxide transport system between the tissues and the lung.
- Describe the control of ventilation.
- Compile elements of the ventilatory control system, and describe the function of each.
- Discuss the influence of Herring-Breuer reflex, deflation reflex, irritant receptors, and juxta-pulmonary receptors on ventilatory pattern.
Students must demonstrate proficiency on all CCPOs at a minimal 75 percent level to successfully complete the course. The grade will be determined using the Delaware Tech grading system:
Students should refer to the Student Handbook for information on the Academic Standing Policy, the Academic Integrity Policy, Student Rights and Responsibilities, and other policies relevant to their academic progress.
Calculated using the following weighted average
Percentage of final grade
Summative: (3-5) Unit exams (equally weighted)
Formative: Quizzes (equally weighted)
Summative: Cumulative Final
Formative: Computer simulations
- Apply clear and effective communication skills.
- Use critical thinking to solve problems.
- Collaborate to achieve a common goal.
- Demonstrate professional and ethical conduct.
- Use information literacy for effective vocational and/or academic research.
- Apply quantitative reasoning and/or scientific inquiry to solve practical problems.
- Apply theoretical information that leads to an appropriate action in the application or delivery of respiratory care procedures.
- Perform technical skills in the implementation of respiratory care procedures within a plan of care.
- Practice behaviors that are consistent with professional and employer expectations/requirements of their employees.
The College is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. Students are encouraged to schedule an appointment with the campus Disabilities Support Counselor to request an accommodation needed due to a disability. A listing of campus Disabilities Support Counselors and contact information can be found at the disabilities services web page or visit the campus Advising Center.