Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Student Scholarship



Date Written


Document Type


Course Number

NURS 5330

Course Name

Advanced Pathophysiology

Professor’s Name

Dr. John Chovan


Shingles, disease process and pathophysiology

Subject Categories

Health and Physical Education | Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing


Millions of people in the United States are effected by shingles each year. Shingles, which is also known as herpes zoster, is caused by the reactivation of the varicella zoster virus. The varicella zoster virus is what causes chicken pox. After a person is infected with chicken pox the virus lies dormant in the spinal and cranial sensory nerve ganglia. When the virus comes out of dormancy it travels down nerve axons affecting the skin in the area of the nerve endings. The prodromal phase is the time period before the rash appears where a person may experience itching, burning, and sharp pains where vesicles or lesions later occur. The painful rash that develops that can be very debilitating and can greatly affect a person’s quality of life. Pain control is very important. This project outlines the treatment, management, and treatment of shingles. The project also describes the complication of post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), which can occur when the pain of shingles persists for three months or longer. The project discusses the advantages of receiving the Zostavax (zoster vaccine) to help prevent shingles from developing. The project covers barriers and complications of receiving the vaccination. Nursing and healthcare professionals have an opportunity to reduce the main barriers of receiving the Zostavax vaccine by educating patients about the cost of the vaccination, and reducing barriers to access and availability complications. Shingles is a very painful disease which can significantly effect a person’s quality of life and vaccination is the most effective way to help prevent the complications of the illness.



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