Studying the human body can be over-
whelming at times. The new terminol-
ogy, used to describe body parts and
how they work, can make it seem as if
you are studying a foreign language.
Learning all the parts of the body, along with the composi-
tion of each part, and how each part F ts with the other parts
to make the whole requires memorization. Understanding the
way each body part works individually, as well as body parts
working together, requires a higher level of knowledge, com-
prehension, and application. Identifying underlying structural
similarities, from the macroscopic to the microscopic levels
of body organization, taps more subtle critical thinking skills.
This chapter will catalyze success in this active process of
learning. (Remember that while the skills and tips discussed
in this chapter relate to learning anatomy and physiology,
they can be applied to other subjects.)
Students learn in different ways. Some students need
to see the written word to remember it and the concept it
describes or to actually write the words; others must hear
the information or explain it to someone else. ±or some
learners, true understanding remains elusive until a principle
is revealed in a laboratory or clinical setting that provides a
memorable context and engages all the senses.
List some dif
culties a student may experience when studying the
human body.
t is a beautiFul day. You can’t help but stare wistFully out the window,
the scent oF spring blooms and sounds oF birds making it impossible
to concentrate on what the instructor is saying. Gradually the lecture
Fades as you become aware oF your own breathing, the beating oF
your heart, and the sheen oF sweat that breaks out on your Forehead
in response to the radiant heat From the glorious day. Suddenly your reverie
is cut short—the instructor has dropped a human anatomy and physiology
textbook on your desk. You jump. Yelp. Your heart hammers and a ±
ash oF
Fear grips your chest, but you soon realize what has happened and recover.
The message is clear: pay attention. So you do, tuning out the great out-
doors and Focusing on the lecture. In this course, you will learn all about the
Many of the strategies for academic success are common
sense, but it might help to review them. You may encounter
new and helpful methods of learning.
Before Class
Before attending class, prepare by reading and outlining or
taking notes on the assigned pages of the text. If outlin-
ing, leave adequate space between entries to allow room
for note-taking during lectures. Or, fold each page of notes
taken before class in half so that class notes can be written
on the blank side of the paper across from the reading notes
on the same topic. This introduces the topics of the next
class lecture, as well as new terms. Some students team a
vocabulary list with each chapter’s notes. The outline or
notes from the reading can be taken to class and expanded
during the lecture.
Opening Vignettes
Beginning each
chapter is a vignette
that discusses current events or research news relating
to the subject matter in the chapter. These demonstrate
applications oF the concepts learned in the study oF
anatomy and physiology.
AFter each major section, a question or series oF questions
tests your understanding oF the material and enables you
to practice using the new inFormation. (Note the green
practice arrow.) IF you cannot answer the question(s)
you should reread that section, being particularly on the
lookout For the answer(s).
events that you have just experienced, including your response to the sudden
stimulation oF the instructor’s wake-up call. This is a good reason to learn how to
stay Focused in the course.
An overview
tells you what
to expect
and why it is
Major divisions within a chapter are called “A-heads.”
are numbered sequentially in very large blue type and
identiFy major content areas.
The major divisions are divided into no-less-important
subdivisions called “B-heads,” identi²
ed by large, gold type.
These will help you organize the concepts upon which the
major divisions are built.
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