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NOVA Online BIO 142
Medical Experience
This assignment allows you to reflect on what you learn in the course, write about a medical problem,
and discuss it with your classmates.
You will write a short paper on a medical problem that you, a family member, and/or a close friend have
experienced. The medical problem must relate to one of the units in this course. The due date for this
assignment will depend on the topic you select and its application to the subject matter of the course
(i.e., if your medical problem is a bone-related disease, then it would be assigned right after we finish
the skeletal system).
After you post the paper, you must lead a discussion with your classmates, who will respond to your
post with questions and provide extra information pertinent to your post. In each unit, you are also
required to read the medical experience papers shared by your classmates and respond to at least 2 of
them.
Your instructor will provide you with the start and end dates of the discussions.
Topic Selection
Choose a medical problem you want to write about and prepare a ‘trailer’ about the medical experience
that you, a family member, or a close friend has/had that is relevant to one of the topics that we are
studying in BIO 142. They are the endocrine system, the cardiovascular system, the lymphatic system,
the immune system, the respiratory system, the urinary system, fluid and electrolytes, the digestive
system, and the reproductive system.
Here are two examples of trailers by previous students, used with permission:
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Example Trailer 1: Last year, my grandmother had a group of friend’s visiting. When they left,
she took a nap and woke up with no muscle function in her whole right side and was unable to
open her eyes. Respiratory distress came later on within the hour. The sudden onset of GuillainBarré Syndrome which didn’t allow any of her nerves to send the signals to her brain to move.
She went through intense therapies, medications, and rehab to gain the strength back. I work in
the Neuro Intensive Care Unit at UVA and am/was very interested in her condition as it
deteriorated her so rapidly with no onset warnings. I work in the Neuro ICU at UVA Medical
Center and see other patient’s come in and out of our unit with Guillain-Barré and all of their
results vary so drastically. I would love to look into this topic more.
Example Trailer 2: My grandfather was a cigarette smoker, since the time he was 15 or 16 years
old, and so is my dad. Most Vietnamese males are smokers. It is just like a culture thing in
Vietnam. Offering a cigarette is a way of greeting, like shaking hands to start a friendly
conversation, or to conduct business. After 60 pack years in smoking, my grandfather started
coughing and developed chest pain. He lost a lot of weight in a few months. The coughing got
worse, but he insisted that he did not have any problems, until he coughed out blood and
fainted. My parents called 911 to take him to the hospital. The doctor ordered a lung scan, and
found a mass in his right lung. After a complete checkup, the doctor concluded that my
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NOVA Online BIO 142
grandfather had advanced stage lung cancer. The tumor was inoperable. My grandfather passed
away a few months later. I would like to find out more about this deadly disease, and its
relationship to smoking.
Your Permission Statement
Sometimes your trailer for this assignment is so impressive that your team of instructors would
like to use them as an example for other students or presentations to other instructors. We
need your permission to do that: Would you please include a statement in your post that gives
us that permission? It can be: “I permit the team of BIO 141 instructors to use a post that I may
write as part of this assignment for example for future students or presentation purposes”. You
may copy and paste this statement into your post. Your name and any information that
identifies you or anyone else in your writing will be removed. If you do not include this
statement, we won’t use your work.
Please note the following:
•
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You should pick your subject and write your trailer as early as possible. Everyone must write
about a different medical problem. You will have to choose a different topic if someone already
posted a similar problem in the Topic Selection forum.
Your instructor will respond within a few days of your post and let you know if your title is
accepted and the date by which you must post your medical experience paper.
Medical Experience Paper
This assignment is an opportunity for you to synthesize and use the information you learn in the course
to educate your classmates and increase your knowledge base. You are expected to conduct some
research about your topic and integrate that research into what you’ve learned from your text and your
experience.
Here are the questions you should answer:
1. Explain, with appropriate details, the normal anatomy and physiology of the organs/structures
that are affected by your chosen medical problem.
2. How is the homeostasis of the anatomical structures and physiological processes affected by the
condition? Be thoughtful and thorough as you consider homeostasis.
3. Describe the signs and symptoms of the condition briefly.
4. Discuss any differential diagnoses issues related to your topic.
5. Summarize treatment options.
6. How did this medical problem impact you personally?
Your paper should be a minimum of 500 words. Please use appropriate anatomical terminology and
answer the questions listed above. College-level writing is required. Make sure to cite your sources and
provide a reference list following APA style. When you cite your textbook, you must include the page
number.
Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Please find the plagiarism policy in the Course Syllabus.
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Plagiarism
* Plagiarism is defined in the student handbook as: “the act of appropriating passages from the work
of another individual, either word for word or in substance, and representing them as one’s own work.
This includes any submission of written work other than one’s own. (Student Handbook 2007-2009
NOVA (page 79). Among other things, this means that you cannot copy and paste material from any
Web page without both putting it in quotation marks and citing the source.
Medical Experience Paper – Discussion
Discussion Around Your Medical Experience Paper
When your medical experience paper is due, you should submit it to your instructor and share it
with the entire class. Please facilitate the discussion on your paper to answer questions and
substantively discuss classmates’ comments. The discussion is a significant part of the medical
experience assignment. It gives you an opportunity to learn and teach others about your experience.
Discussion Around Your Classmates’ Medical Experience Papers
You are required to participate in the discussions of the medical experience papers in all units,
including the one in which you authored a medical experience paper.
Please write a substantive response to at least two other medical problems in EACH unit. The
responses should indicate specific knowledge that you have learned. Comments like “That was very
interesting” or “I never heard of this before” don’t count.
Permission to use your paper and posts as examples for other students:
Sometimes your paper and discussion for the medical experience posts for Units 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 are
so impressive that your team of instructors would like to use them as examples for other students or
presentations to other instructors. We need your permission to do that: Would you please include a
statement in your post that gives us that permission. It can be: “I permit the team of BIO 141 instructors
to use a post that I may write as part of this assignment as an example for future students or
presentation purposes”. You may copy and paste this statement into your post. Your name and any
information that identifies you or anyone else in your writing will be removed. If you do not include this
statement, then we won’t use your work.
Resources
Please use your textbook as your first source but be sure to use references in addition to the course
materials you have purchased for this course. Resources on your topic are easy to find.
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•
You may contact the Librarian for assistance if you need help with finding reliable resources or
APA formatting. You can find her contact information on the course site.
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Additionally, you can use a search engine (like “google.com”) to search for more information. Be
sure you use credible resources. Look for government-sponsored websites ending “.gov” or
university-sponsored websites ending “.edu.” Wikipedia is NOT an acceptable source, nor are
patient information sites. These are about 80% accurate, but they are written for patients.
College-level writing is required.
Grading Rubric
Medical Experience Paper
Grading Criteria
Points
Answered all of the following questions and used appropriate anatomical
terminology.
36 points
1. Explain, with appropriate details, the normal anatomy and physiology of the
organs/structures that are affected by your chosen medical problem.
2. How is the homeostasis of the anatomical structures and physiological
processes affected by the condition? Be thoughtful and thorough as you
consider homeostasis.
3. Describe the signs and symptoms of the condition briefly.
4. Discuss any differential diagnoses issues related to your topic.
5. Summarize treatment options.
6. How did this medical problem impact you personally?
Avoided obvious grammar and spelling errors.
2
Cited sources including the textbook following APA style.
2
Total
40
Discussion Around Your Medical Experience Paper (Discussion Facilitation)
Please note: All responses and comments you posted under your paper to move the discussion forward
will be graded as the facilitation of the discussion. These points are part of the rubric for your medical
experience paper. They are not included in the discussion points for each unit.
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Grading Criteria
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Points
Led the discussion of your own medical experience paper by answering
questions, or adding information that furthers the discussion
period throughout the entire discussion period and adding new
information to move the discussion forward.
Participated in the ongoing discussion and didn’t leave the discussion until
a topic has reached a conclusion.
10
Total
10
Discussion Around Your Classmates’ Medical Experience Papers (Discussion
Participation)
Please note: Discussion participation refers to all of the comments and responses you posted under
your classmates’ papers. You are required to do this even during the unit in which you also facilitate a
discussion.
Grading Criteria
Active & Consistent Participation: Maintained a constant presence throughout the
project, providing active and frequent participation.
Productive Contributions: Provided excellent content that contributed significantly
to the discussion and consistently helped advance the analysis to the next level.
Use of Science Based Sources: Referenced at least three sources: (1) the text, with
page numbers cited; (2) a patient source; (3) a science-based source.
College-Level Writing: Cited all sources appropriately. If the source was from the
Internet, the source was linked appropriately. Avoided spelling or grammar errors.
Used appropriate anatomical terminology throughout.
Total
5
Points
3
3
3
1
10

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