Medical Surgical CNS vs PNS #1

Question

The nurse is monitoring her client’s heart rate, respirations, and bowel sounds and understands these functions are regulated by which below?

Answers

  1. The spinal cord
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because the spinal cord is part of the central nervous system. It is a column of nerves between the brain and peripheral nervous system.

  2. The autonomic nervous system
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because the autonomic nervous system regulates involuntary body processes. Involuntary body processes are those that operate without conscious direction. Examples are the heart rate, respiratory rate, digestion and pupil contraction.

  3. The somatic nervous system
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because the somatic nervous system carries sensory information from sensory organs to the central nervous system. It relays commands to muscles which control voluntary movements.

  4. The brain
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because the specific part of the brain that acts as an coordinator for the autonomic nervous system is the hypothalamus. The brain is part of the central nervous system and controls thought, memory, emotion and motor planning.

Overview

Heart rate, respiratory rate and digestion are involuntary body processes. These are regulated without conscious direction by the autonomic nervous system.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

The autonomic nervous system regulates involuntary body processes. These body functions are regulated without conscious direction by the autonomic nervous system. Examples are the heart rate, respiratory rate, digestion and pupil contraction. It is part of the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system is the portion of the nervous system that is outside of the brain and spinal cord. The somatic nervous system carries sensory information from sensory organs to the central nervous system and relays commands to muscles which control voluntary movements. The brain and the spinal cord are part of the central nervous system which is the body’s main control center.

Test Taking Tip

Know the difference between the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system.

Video Rationale