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The Case of the Jamaican Fisherman


Joyce A. Shaw
School of Arts and Sciences
Endicott College


Designed for a first- or second-semester Anatomy & Physiology course, this directed case study involves a 48-year-old Jamaican fisherman who suffered a cerebrovascular accident.  He was taken to a hospital, where he stayed for three days before he was discharged to his one-room home in a rural fishing village. His limited access to the healthcare system and his lack of understanding about his condition led him to spend the next month in bed. A physical therapist was the first clinician to see him at home. The case describes her findings and asks students to explain the anatomy, physiology, and cultural conditions that led to his present situation. The case consists of five sections that ask questions related to cultural competence, the nervous system, cardiovascular system, muscular system, and respiratory system. Sections can be used altogether, alone, or in any order or combination to help students apply their knowledge of body systems to this practical case.

  • Understand changes in function of the nervous, cardiovascular, muscular, and respiratory systems that occur in a patient who has suffered a cerebrovascular accident.
  • Learn about cultural differences in healthcare in rural Jamaica versus the United States.
Keywords: Cerebrovascular accident; CVA; cardiovascular system; muscular system; respiratory system; nervous system; high blood pressure; cultural competence; Jamaica
Topical Area: Social issues, Social justice issues
Educational Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Directed, Discussion
Language: English
Subject Headings: Anatomy   Physiology   Medicine (General)   Biology (General)   Sociology  
Date Posted: 6/18/2012
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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