Mucus and Goblet Cells (Nursing)

by Prof. Lawes

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    00:00 Now, this mucus besides seeming yucky like I've shared with you before in other videos, this is one of the toughest body fluids for me to deal with. So when a patient has that thick phlegmy stuff. But what's the purpose of it? I mean why does our body even make it? Well, in the right proportion, mucus is really beneficial. It's got 3 important roles. So it's this gall-like mucus.

    00:26 What it does is protect the underlying epithelium. That's a lining that we need but it's pretty fragile. You have it in both your digestive tracts and your stomach and in your respiratory tracts. So the mucus is a way of protecting that very fragile layer or relatively fragile layer from mechanical damage. It also can help us deal with pathogens and keep our respiratory linings and our GI linings from drying out. So, mucus is good if you don't have too much of it.

    00:58 Now, see if you can recall the 3 most important things that mucus does without looking back at the slide or your notes. Okay, good deal. Protects the epithelial lining from mechanical damage, helps us with pathogens, and it prevents those special cells from drying out. Now here's a good question. What type of cell do you think this is? It's a goblet cell. Now goblet cells are column-shaped, they kind of look something like a goblet. I guess it's where they got their name from, but you find them in both the respiratory and intestinal tracts. Well, that make sense to us because we already know what they do in the digestive tract, we know what they do in the respiratory tract, but they secrete the main component of mucus. So your goblet cells are the mucus makers. Think of them as the cells that push out all that mucus. In the right balance, it's a good thing. Does 3 things for our self but when they get out of control like in chronic bronchitis that's when it becomes problematic. So take a look at the cell. On this slide, you can get a little better feel for why it's called the goblet cell. Kind of looks like a goblet cell, but in bronchitis it works overtime. So it's producing more mucus than we would like it to.

    02:20 Large amounts of very thick tenacious mucus. That's why it's so hard for the patient to cough it up. Now another term for coughing that up or hocking a loogie is more professionally called expectorate. That's what that term means. So that's a medical terminology term you need to be familiar with. Expectorate means to cough up those secretions. Now the cilia, because this is so thick and tenacious, that's what tenacious means, it's very thick and sticky, the cilia in your respiratory tract become coated and sticky. So they can't do what they're intended to do and then ends up being a virtual breeding ground for infection. So, patients who have chronic bronchitis also have lots of infections. So, these goblet cells, you saw what they look like under a microscope. Now you see a drawing of one that kind of makes sense, kind of looks like a goblet shape. They produce way too much mucus for our taste. Right? Hard to cough it up because it's super thick. The cilia, which are meant to move freely and help us deal with things become coated and sticky and that's why you're at risk for recurrent infection in bronchitis. Okay, so we got the idea. Mucus, mucus, mucus, mucus. We've talked about that way too much from my taste but it's really important in this one.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Mucus and Goblet Cells (Nursing) by Prof. Lawes is from the course Obstructive Respiratory Disorders (Nursing).

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Prevents mechanical damage
    2. Protects us from harmful pathogens
    3. Prevents drying out
    4. Assists adequate ventilation
    5. Increases capillary permeability
    1. Goblet cell
    2. Epithelial cell
    3. Squamous cell
    4. White blood cell

    Author of lecture Mucus and Goblet Cells (Nursing)

     Prof. Lawes

    Prof. Lawes

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