Anatomy and Physiology of the Heart: The Importance for Medical Professionals

Anatomy and physiology of the heart are essential to every medical professional, and they are the cornerstones to providing effective treatment to patients. Without a deeper understanding of the cardiac system, health professionals cannot truly assess, diagnose, and treat an illness. In this context, anatomy is the study of the heart structures, which comprise what they are made of, their location, and the physical relationships among them. On the other hand, physiology is the study of various processes that occur within the heart. Therefore, if there is a problem with either the structure or functions, the patient is described as having a disease. For instance, the coronary heart is characterized by angina or chest pain (Banasik & Copstead, 2018). By having knowledge of the heart, a medical professional might identify the affected cardiac mechanism, hence, deliver appropriate treatment.

Cardiac diseases are among the leading causes of death worldwide (Banasik & Copstead, 2018). Most fatalities could have been prevented by regular cardiac monitoring. Continuous cardiac monitoring is a vital tool in the assessment of patients presenting an array of clinical symptoms and diseases. It allows for the detection of the variation in heart rate, conduction, rhythm, and arrhythmias (Banasik & Copstead, 2018). Patients who might require cardiac monitoring constitute those at risk of adverse clinical events, or are hemodynamically compromised. In the case that a patient is diagnosed with dysrhythmias, providing collaborative patient-centered care combined with a basic understanding of cardiac physiology (the conduction system of the heart and cardiac electrophysiology) is needed. Both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions can be used (Banasik & Copstead, 2018). Examples of non-pharmacological interventions include electrical cardioversion, catheter ablation, and insertion of a permanent pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator. On the contrary, arrhythmic medications, such as anticoagulant and antiplatelet drugs can also be used to normalize cardiac rhythm.


Banasik, J. L., & Copstead, L.C. (Ed.). (2018). Pathophysiology. Sanders.

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