Physiology is the scientific study of the various organs in a body. It deals with the normal metabolic functions of living creatures. A Physiology course can be taken up as a main or interdisciplinary course with related subjects such as anatomy, molecular biology, genetic engineering, microbiology, and biotechnology.
Research in physiology has enhanced our perspective on body organs and their functions. We can comprehend the natural response of our body to fight against diseases with the help of advancements in radiology and imaging.
Branches of physiology
Human anatomy and physiology is a marvel that is yet to be fully discovered and research in many areas is underway. For ease of learning, the physiology subject is divided into various branches as per the functional aspect. Here are some of the important branches of physiology:
- Cellular physiology
It is related to functions at a molecular level. The process of absorption of nutrition and energy release will be part of metabolic activities at the molecular level and can be observed through cell physiology. It also deals with the cell membrane and neuron transmission.
The changes in the physiological functions over the years depicting changes across a race is part of evolution physiology. Research has shown many interesting topics like how the height of the current human race has decreased in comparison to the one a few thousand years ago. Even in animals changes in behavior, sexual orientation, and other physiological changes related to a diaspora are studied through evolution physiology.
Immunity is the natural shield and internal defense mechanism by which a living being fights pathological microbes. Understanding the physiology behind these functions helps medical science in developing practices, drugs, and treatment plans to build stronger immunity and reverse diseases.
Bodily functions are different as per the level of activity and age. The response of the body after strenuous activity and exercise will help in the assessment of the strength of the heart, kidneys, and musculoskeletal systems. This subject is dealt in exercise physiology and is important to understand the ability of an individual to perform any activity that involves a strain on the body parts.
Physiologists: Education and career prospects
A bachelor’s degree in physiology is helpful in gainful employment with varied options in ancillary departments of the healthcare sector. A few of the career options in physiology are critical for post-trauma therapy and the healing process of a treatment plan. A person with a sound understanding of human anatomy and physiology will always be in demand and can choose from numerous career options:
- Medical technician
A medical technician works in diagnostic labs and can have sub-divisions in the categories of jobs. They can work in the department for blood works and sample extraction, radiology, and imaging, or result in analysis and reporting. They are primarily responsible to review the sample reports and communicate them to the clinician’s office. It is their responsibility to draw the sample, name it correctly to avoid mix-ups, and report them with the responsibility to the doctor. Any lapse in data privacy can be a serious issue and lab technicians are trained in this regard.
- Registered Nurse
An RN will go through a bachelor’s in nursing program before clearing the NCLEX licensure exams. A nurse who has taken additional coursework in physiology can understand the implications of the treatment plan and carry out the patient care practices in the best possible manner.
A physiology major or minor can be very purposeful for a pharmacist who dispenses medications as per the prescription. A pharmacist manages the inventory of medical supplies, communicates with doctors about the availability of prescription drugs or insufficient information if any, and deals with over-the-counter medication for general health maintenance. A pharmacist completes a Pharm D program and clears the licensure exams to practice.
- Exercise physiologist
An exercise physiologist helps with the therapy and fitness regimes of patients who need help after an injury or an accident. Trauma patients who need to recover and increase their mobility need guided medical supervision to recover and start moving on their own. Physical therapy is necessary for a patient to get back the vigor and become active once again.
- Physician’s assistant
A trained and licensed professional assistant helps doctors examine and treat patients. They are not doctors but often are members of the clinic’s core teams. They are responsible for all the patient handling, counseling, and bridging the gap between a doctor and a patient. They help in distributing and diffusing the patient load in busy clinics and hospitals.
- Clinical trials coordinator
Clinical trials are conducted whenever a new drug is in the initial phases of research and development. A person proficient in physiology is always preferred in the medical research areas because of their strong science skills related to the job.
- Scientific writer
Technical writing for medical research papers is a career path for anyone who has flair for writing medical research papers involving scientific terms. They write the content for white papers, regulatory documents, science journals, and medical websites. Collecting scientific data and information to substantiate any statement is an innate skill required for this job. A person with knowledge of physiology is a good fit for scientific writer positions as they have a profound understanding of complex concepts and terminology.
A person with a bachelors in physiology can write an MCA and get into a med school program as the initial steps toward the journey of becoming a medical doctor. The core skills in life sciences like human physiology will prove to be a blessing for anyone who wants to be a physician. They will be able to comprehend their clinical lessons better and help their patients.
A degree in physiology will enable a person to steer their career path in any direction that can interest them. The skills can be accentuated with further advanced education and the background knowledge in physiology will help in developing their core competency in any chosen career path.