John Clancy, Andrew McVicar

British Journal of Nursing, Vol. 20, Iss. 3, 08 Feb 2011, pp 176 - 182

All nurses are familiar with the term 'normal', where it concerns the range of figures recorded during assessments and observations of body fluids and organ functioning. Many are familiar with the concept of homeostasis. However, few have heard of 'homeodynamism', which may be a more appropriate term. This article, the first in a series of six, defines this. It introduces the principles of homeostasis and looks at it at cellular, tissue, organ and system levels. After reading this article, the nurse should be able to: relate the principles of homeostatic theory to health and illness; know why and how systemic integration is fundamental to the maintenance of intracellular metabolic homeostasis; acknowledge that cells are the basic unit of health, illness and healthcare intervention; and appreciate that receptors, enzymes and adenosine triphosphate are the key chemicals of a healthy metabolism.

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