Why is chemistry important to nursing?

Chemistry is important to nurseMany of the processes that happen in the human body are chemical in nature and involve chemical reactions. While a student can be very knowledgeable in any single one of the three major scientific fields (biology, chemistry and physics), to truly master biology he or she will need at least a fundamental understanding of chemistry and physics. Granted, a physicist or chemist can get by with knowing little biology, the same can’t always be said for a biologist (or particularly for a doctor or nurse).

The processes that occur in the body at the cellular level almost all have an underlying element of chemistry. How is food converted to energy? How does oxygen move from the lungs to the blood to the parts of the body that need it? Both questions that can’t be answered without chemistry. What is the pH of our blood and other bodily fluids? Why does the pH matter? How is sugar converted into glucose, or what is their relationship anyway? More questions that require a knowledge of chemistry.

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A good nurse will not only know what is happening in a patient’s body, but they’ll have a good idea why. While some nursing programs are more heavily-laden with chemistry classes than others, the better programs are likely the ones that place more than a cursory emphasis on some of the sciences other than simply biology.

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