Alternative writing assignment for week 4: Cardiovascular

I) Overview of the cardiovascular system
II) Discuss the physiology(structure and function) of the cardiovascular system including details about the major organ systems
III) Construct relevant health history questions(subjective data) pertaining to the body system(cardiovascular)
IV) Provide an overview of the objective data and expected normal physical examination findings for the cardiovascular system
V) Analyze and discuss how you might adapt your physical assessment skills or interviewing techniques to accommodate each of the following specific populations
C) Geriatric
VI) identify one major disease(Heart failure) or disease process that may significantly impact this body system
VII) Synthesis and discuss the expected abnormal physical examination findings that may be associated with this disease process
VIII) summarize the key points
Reference in correct APA form

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Week 4 Assignment: Cardiovascular

The Cardiovascular System Overview

The cardiovascular system is the body’s circulatory system, which transports blood throughout the body. This system consists of two major parts, including the heart and a closed system. The heart is a muscular organ that pumps blood to other body parts, organs, and tissues. On the other hand, the closed system consists of various blood vessels, including veins, arteries, and capillaries.

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The Physiology of the Cardiovascular System

The cardiovascular system consists of various organ systems involved in transporting materials, such as oxygen and nutrients, to body cells (Wakim & Grewal, 2021). The system transports oxygenated blood from the lungs to the cells and deoxygenated blood from the cells to the lungs. Additionally, the cardiovascular system transports nutrients from the digestive system to body tissues. The transport is also involved in transporting hormones from the endocrine system glands. Finally, it transports waste materials from various body cells. Thus, the cardiovascular system maintains the body’s homeostasis by transporting various important materials. The circulatory system consists of three major components, including the heart, blood, and blood vessels.

The Heart

The cardiac muscle is located in the chest. It is composed of cardiac muscle tissue and blood vessels, including veins, arteries, and capillaries. The heart muscle pumps blood repeatedly to other body parts and tissues through major blood vessels in rhythmic contractions. It is subdivided into four chambers: right atrium, left atrium, right ventricle, and left ventricle (Wakim & Grewal, 2021). While pumping, the blood leaves the atrium to the ventricle located below it. Additionally, blood is pumped from the ventricle to other body parts. The heart muscle contracts routinely without the nervous system stimulation. The contractions are initiated by electrical impulses that are produced by special cells of the cardiac muscle. Hence, contractions in the ventricles and atria occur automatically with the right timing to enhance blood pumping through the cardiac muscle. The heart also consists of blood valves through which the blood flows throughout the body via the heart muscle.

Blood Vessels

The cardiovascular system consists of interconnected blood vessels, including veins, arteries, and capillaries. The vessels facilitate the transportation of materials from one body part to another. Arteries transport blood from the heart except those that supply the cardiac muscle with nutrients. Particularly, arteries transport oxygenated blood from the heart to other body organs and tissues. Arterioles are the tiniest arteries in the body. On the other hand, veins transport deoxygenated blood to the cardiac muscle (Wakim & Grewal, 2021). Venules form the smallest veins. The last category of the blood vessel is the capillaries, which are the smallest blood vessels, connecting venules and arterioles. Capillaries facilitate the exchange of materials, such as oxygen, nutrients, and waste, between the blood and body tissues. Two circulations facilitate the movement of materials in the body.

Two Circulations

Two interconnected circulation

systems facilitate the transportation of materials in the cardiovascular system: Systemic circulation and pulmonary circulation.

Pulmonary Circulation

The pulmonary circulation consists of three significant components, including the cardiac muscle, lungs, and major blood vessels connecting the heart and the lungs. The flow of blood from the heart to and from the lungs occurs through the pulmonary circulation. The deoxygenated blood becomes oxygenated once it gets to the lungs. The deoxygenated blood is pumped from the right ventricle of the heart via the left and right pulmonary arteries, which transport blood to the left and right lungs, respectively (Wakim & Grewal, 2021). Once the deoxygenated blood from the heart gets to the lungs, it passes through a network of smaller arteries and then over a network of blood capillaries surrounding the alveoli, thus facilitating the exchange of gases. Oxygen moves from the alveoli to the deoxygenated blood flowing in blood capillaries, while the alveoli take waste gases, such as carbon dioxide. Oxygenated blood then flows from the left and right lungs via the left and right pulmonary veins. The four pulmonary veins then enter the cardiac muscle’s left atrium.

Systemic Circulation

The blood saturated with oxygen that enters the heart’s left atrium in the pulmonary circulation later gets into the systemic circulation. This second part of the cardiovascular system is responsible for the transportation of blood to other body tissues. The blood supplies the body tissues with oxygen and nutrients as it flows through them and collects various wastes, such as carbon dioxide. The systemic circulation consists of the cardiac muscle and blood vessels. They work together to meet all the metabolic needs of all body cells, including the lungs and the cardiac muscle. The oxygenated blood from the left atrium is pumped to the left ventricle (Wakim & Grewal, 2021). The blood from the left ventricle is then pumped directly into the largest artery in the body, the aorta. The blood is then transported to the upper extremities, including the head, by major arteries, which branch from the aorta. Additionally, the aorta transports blood to the abdomen and lower body parts. A network of systemic circulation’s veins then returns blood to the cardiac muscle. The vena cava collects blood returning from the tissues to the heart. The superior vena cava collects blood from the upper body, while blood from the lower body flows to the inferior vena cava. Blood from the superior and inferior vena cava then flows into the right atrium.


Blood is a significant component of the circulation system. This fluid is facilitated by the pumping mechanism of the cardiac muscle to circulate through blood vessels to the entire body. Blood takes oxygen and nutrients to the cells and removes wastes and carbon dioxide from the cells for excretion. Additionally, the body transport other substances that facilitate various activities, including protecting the body against infection, regulating pH level, and repairing worn-out cells and tissues. Plasma, a yellowish liquid, forms the fluid part of the blood. It contains blood cells, dissolved substances, and blood cells (Wakim & Grewal, 2021). The blood cells contained in the plasma support different functions of the blood. Red blood cells (RBCs) are many in number transport oxygen from the lung and the cardiac muscle to body cells. Hemoglobin is the major component of red blood cells. It has iron, which binds with oxygen to facilitate its transportation. The second type of blood cell is the white blood cells, which are less than RBCs. The main function of these blood cells involves protecting the body against infections. The white blood cells utilize various defensive mechanisms such as phagocytes, in which the cells swallow and destroy disease-causing microorganisms. The last category of the blood cells is the platelets, which are cell fragments responsible for blood clotting. These cells stick together to form a plug at the injured body part. Additionally, platelets produce chemicals, which are perquisites for the clotting process (Wakim & Grewal, 2021).

Relevant Health History Questions

A healthcare provider asks a patient health history questions to gather relevant data during diagnosis and treatment processes. First, a clinician enquires about any experience of chest pain that might occur as pressure or a burning sensation. Additionally, the healthcare provider can enquire if any pain is experienced in the upper body, including the shoulders or neck. One can also be asked about the duration of the pain before disappearing and accelerating and reducing factors. Specifically, a patient is asked what happens to the pain while undertaking an activity and a rest or upon lying down. The second question is about the shortness of breath and what happens at an activity while lying down. The patient is also asked about any experience of lightheadedness or dizziness.

The Objective Data and Expected Normal Findings of the Cardiovascular System’s Physical Examination

In addition to subjective data, a healthcare provider collects objective data when dealing with a client presented with a cardiovascular system disorder system. Thus, a physical examination is conducted to assess the cardiovascular system. Some normal findings are expected following the cardiovascular system’s physical examination. First, expected normal findings on palpation include regular heart rate, regular respiratory rate (RR), and the feeling of an apical pulse, which occurs over the midclavicular fifth intercostal space (Suez & Oiseth, 2021). Other expected normal findings that occur on auscultation include a lack of murmurs and a regular rhythm. Lastly, no apical impulse was observed on inspection.

The Adaptation of Interviewing Techniques to Accommodate Special Populations

Interviewing techniques will differ depending on the patient population that I am interviewing. First, I refrain from asking complicated questions when dealing with pediatrics since they cannot respond to such questions. Secondly, I will be very patient when interviewing the pregnant mother, and I will give them adequate time to respond to interview questions since most of them experience mood swings. Finally, I will avoid asking fatigue and exercise intolerance-related questions to elderly patients. Decreased peak exercise ability and high skeletal muscle fatigability are associated with age (Wan et al., 2017). Hence, fatigue and exercise intolerability do not characterize heart failure in geriatrics.

A Major Circulatory System Disorder: Heart Failure

Heart failure occurs due to the inability of the heart muscle to pump enough blood to meet all body’s needs. The inability to pump enough blood to other body parts is associated with various factors, including lack of adequate blood in the heart; damage, stiffness, or weakness of the ventricles, preventing them from functioning properly; or weakness of heart muscle, compromising its ability to pump blood properly (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 2021). Consequently, the ventricles thicken and expand, and the heart muscle pumps blood faster to meet blood requirements in the body. Heart failure is one of the circulatory system disorders that adversely impacts the body system since it compromises other major organs, such as the lungs and kidneys. Fluids build up in the lungs since they do not supply adequate oxygenated blood to the heart muscle following the inability of the heart to pump blood to other body parts. Swelling is also experienced in the lower body due to the inability of the kidney to excrete wastes and excess water from the body.

Expected Abnormal Physical Examination Findings Attributed to Heart Failure

Various abnormal findings are expected in an individual diagnosed with heart failure, including high blood pressure (above 130/80 mm Hg), which builds up as the heart muscle strives to pump adequate blood to other body parts. An irregular heart rate is also anticipated in a heart failure patient (Suez & Oiseth, 2021). One can also hear a third heart sound, which portrays abnormal blood flow via the heart muscle. Another finding involves the presence of murmurs. Swollen neck veins are common, indicating backing up of blood in the right ventricle. Crackling or bubbling noises can also be heard, indicating the buildup of fluids in the lungs. Finally, swelling in the legs, feet, or ankles can be seen due to fluids building up in the body.


In conclusion, the cardiovascular system consists of various organ systems that transport materials, such as oxygen and nutrients, to body cells. The circulatory system consists of three major components, including the heart, blood, and blood vessels, which facilitate the transportation of materials throughout the body. Objective and subjective data are collected to guide healthcare providers during diagnosis and treatment processes. Expected normal findings on palpation include regular heart rate, regular respiratory rate (RR), and the feeling of an apical pulse. As a clinician, I should adjust my interview techniques to accommodate special populations, including pediatrics, expectant mothers, and geriatrics. Heart failure is one of the circulatory system’s disorders that affect other systems in the body. Abnormal findings in patients with this condition include high blood pressure (above 130/80 mm Hg), murmurs, irregular heartbeat, and swelling in the lower extremities.


National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. (2021). Heart Failure. NHI.

Suez, E & Oiseth, S. (2021). Lecturio Medical Knowledge Essentials – Physical Examination of the Cardiovascular System.

Wakim, S & Grewal, M. (2021). Introduction to the Cardiovascular System. Biology Libre Texts.

Wan, J. J., Qin, Z., Wang, P. Y., Sun, Y., & Liu, X. (2017). Muscle fatigue: general understanding and treatment. Experimental & molecular medicine49(10), e384-e384.