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Pancreas and its Functions (Nursing)

by Rhonda Lawes

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    00:00 Look at this drawing.

    00:02 Again, this is here to help you.

    00:03 Look at how all these pieces fit together.

    00:06 Now the pancreas is kind of that organ at the bottom.

    00:08 You see where we have it labelled there? Yeah, it's not the most attractive organ, but it does seem super cool things.

    00:16 The reason I wanted to pause here for a minute is I wanted you to understand the concept of all of these organs are connected by the common bile duct.

    00:25 So, start at the top.

    00:26 You've got the liver, right? And you see that green tube? They've kind of showing you that that's right in the meat of the liver.

    00:33 When it comes down, the right and left hepatic ducts come down and meet in the common bile duct.

    00:38 Now that first stop is the gallbladder.

    00:40 The gallbladder is nothing more than a garage, right? It's just a holder for extra bile that the liver makes.

    00:47 Follow the common bile duct down with your pen or with your finger and you'll see that it goes to the pancreas.

    00:53 Now you see down the middle, you have a pancreatic duct right through the middle of the organ that hits and connects up with the common bile duct, and then that all empties into the duodenum.

    01:05 Now, you'll care a lot more about this when we start talking about liver and GI problems, but for now, I want you to have solid in your mind, these organs are all connected by the common bile duct, and they end up in the duodenum, right after the stomach.

    01:20 See, the pancreas, it's really not that attractive, is it? It's not that cute when it comes to an organ, but it's extremely functional.

    01:29 Cool part about your pancreas is it might not be that great looking, but it's both an exocrine gland and an endocrine gland.

    01:38 So I want you to write yourself a note as to why this works.

    01:41 Endocrine glands can secrete things right into the bloodstream.

    01:45 Well, from what we've already talked about, you know that the pancreas can secrete insulin right into the bloodstream, so that's its endocrine function.

    01:53 The exocrine function is a secretion of the pancreatic juices into that common bile duct, right? Not into the bloodstream, but into the common bile duct.

    02:04 So that's what makes this pancreas twice as cool.

    02:07 It's an endocrine gland, insulin and glucagon right into the bloodstream.

    02:12 And an exocrine gland, all those pancreatic juices that have the enzymes in them to help us digest food, and that's what it does.

    02:20 The exocrine function, it breaks down food, it secretes these digestive enzymes, lipase and amylase, and it goes right into that duct to go right into the duodenum.

    02:31 So, if we're worried about pancreatitis or problems with the pancreas, we always look at a lipase and an amylase lab value.

    02:38 But that's the exocrine function of the pancreas.

    02:42 For diabetics, we focus more on the endocrine function.

    02:46 That's what controls blood glucose.

    02:48 And the endocrine can put out both insulin, which will draw glucose into the cells for energy, and glucagon.

    02:56 Glucagon is what tells the liver to put out stored energy.

    03:00 So it secretes hormones.

    03:02 That's the endocrine function of the pancreas right into the bloodstream.

    03:07 What are the name of those 2 hormones? Glucagon and insulin.

    03:12 Insulin will cause your blood sugar to raise or lower.

    03:16 Right.

    03:17 Insulin secretion will cause your blood sugar to lower.

    03:21 Glucagon secretion, out of the pancreas, will cause your blood sugar to raise.

    03:26 Okay.

    03:27 So that's a pretty good introduction to the overall function of the pancreas.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Pancreas and its Functions (Nursing) by Rhonda Lawes is from the course Endocrine Medications (Nursing).


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. The common bile duct
    2. The peripheral bile duct
    3. The duodenal bile duct
    4. The pancreatic bile duct
    1. Release insulin to lower glucose levels and release glucagon to raise glucose levels
    2. Release insulin to raise glucose levels and release glucagon to lower glucose levels
    3. Release insulin and glucagon to both lower glucose levels
    4. Release insulin and glucagon to both raise glucose levels

    Author of lecture Pancreas and its Functions (Nursing)

     Rhonda Lawes

    Rhonda Lawes


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