Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Student Scholarship

Date Written

Summer 8-6-2017

Document Type


Course Number


Course Name

Advanced Pathophysiology

Professor’s Name

Dr. Chovan


pulmonary, embolism, tachycardia, shorth of breath, emergency department

Subject Categories

Critical Care Nursing | Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing


The pathophysiological topic of acute pulmonary embolism was chosen to increase the knowledge base and provide additional information to assist with moving forward from a registered nurse to an Advance Practicing Nurse. Working as a full-time registered nurse in the emergency department, the working diagnosis of acute pulmonary embolism is something that is ruled out on many patients with complaints of shortness of breath, chest pain, or decrease in pulse oximetry. Since a patient with an acute pulmonary embolism can have both typical and atypical symptoms, the death rate can be very high, if not caught earlier enough. An acute pulmonary embolism has a much higher death rate, then that of a patient with a myocardial infarction. The reason for the higher death rate is that an acute pulmonary embolism may be more difficult to detect, as the patient may not always show specific signs and symptoms for an embolism. By doing further research on this topic, the nurse will be able to provide better care and make better clinical decisions to all patients who come into the emergency room with typical and atypical symptoms of an acute pulmonary embolism. Acute pulmonary embolism can present itself in many different ways, but it is very important to rule this out, even if their vital signs are normal and they have other predisposing factors.



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