With the word ‘Physiology’, the first thought that ran through my mind were ‘Hmm, biology? What makes it different from anatomy then?’ Physiology is the study of the living system’s functions. It is taught in NYP PT in 3 different modules; Human Physiology 1A, Human Physiology 1B and Neurophysiology, each a semester apart. Physiology 1A is usually taught in semester 1 in the first year, and introduces students to different aspects of physiology such as biochemistry, and body systems like the endocrine system and immune system. For those who did not take biology as an A level subject, fret not, as there will be a few lectures dedicated to catching you up on the basics of physiology starting with the cell, components of the cell and fundamentals like that. Human Physiology 1B on the other hand, focuses more on neurology as it serves to prepare the students for neurorehabilitation.
By the end of first year you will know what every single one of these parts are and their corresponding functions. Really.
You would get the chance to practice doing an ECG on your classmates. With their expressed permissions, of course.
Yes, you will be learning this.
It was a struggle to me getting through the lectures without having a question mark at the back of my head as there was so much information to be absorbed. However, there’s always the trusted recommended textbooks that students carry around to refer to. The practical sessions allow the students to have hands-on practice with devices for assessments such as the electrocardiogragram (ECG) and spirometry. Did you know that singing allows a person to enlarge his/her total lung capacity and not swimming?
Physiology is unlike anatomy; every system is interrelated to each other so you can’t leave a particular system aside. The challenge here is that the amount of things you have to learn can be quite overwhelming and as mentioned earlier, everything you learn is built upon what you previously learnt. Hence, consistency is especially important in this module. Constant revision and quizzing each other would help a lot.
The module, albeit a slight torture, makes me appreciate the human body more. You may ask, shouldn’t physiotherapists only focus on muscles and bones? This is an outright misconception that should have been debunked! It is important for a physiotherapist to internalize the information before assessing a patient. This allows for proper evaluation and planning of treatment. So, do learn to love physiology as you will be referring to it pretty often.