3 semester credits. This course examines the practice and basic principles of addiction to drugs of abuse such as heroin, alcohol, tobacco, cannabis or cocaine. Course topics will cover the epidemiology of drug abuse, the experimental models used in brain research, and the pathological consequences of drug addiction (including heavy drinking and smoking). The course will extend the concept of addiction to pathological behaviors such as compulsive consumption of palatable food, physical exercise dependence, compulsive shopping, sexual hyperactivity, internet abuse, and gambling. The neurochemical mechanisms that are shared and lead from reward to positive reinforcement, loss of control, and dependence will be examined. The symptomatological and neurochemical similarities and differences between drug and behavioral addiction will be addressed, along with the self-destructive behaviors, tolerance, craving, and withdrawal symptoms that both types of dependence produce. The course traces also the basic aspects of human biology and physiology that are needed to fully comprehend the topics at hand, including the neuronal circuits and neurotransmitters that are altered by both natural and artificial rewards. Students will also learn how to analyze scientific data and correctly interpret the information that is published in peer-reviewed international scientific journals. Finally, students will gain an understanding of the social and ethical implications of drug and behavioral addiction and of the peculiar features of this problem in different countries, with an emphasis on the European and Italian approach as compared with other areas of the world.
LSHHAD290 Drug Abuse and Behavioral Addiction
LSHHCO280 Clinical Observation
3 semester credits. This course explores the significance of clinical observation in medicine, delving deeper in the history of observation and its present-day applications. The course focuses on the Italian healthcare system as a case study to learn about clinical observation and it applies a dynamic model based on in-person class meetings, field trips, assignments, and observation of clinical practices in area hospitals. Students will have the chance to learn about the historical evolution of observation and its relationship with the arts, ranging from the examination of anatomical theatres of the past to contemporary virtual reality instruments. They will also train their clinical observation skills and their capacity to record data meticulously through dynamic exercises.
LSHHEE280 Endemics, Epidemics, and Pandemics
3 semester credits. This course retraces the historical impact and scientific components of a series of diseases, from the Black Death in Florence and Milan to Influenza, HIV/AIDS, Polio, Ebola, and Covid-19 across the world. It addresses both the distribution and determinants of health-related diseases in specified populations, distinguishing between endemics, epidemics, and pandemics. The course also explores the effects of social mobility on the spread of diseases from antiquity to present-day scenarios. It defines and differentiates across rates, prevalence, and incidence to calculate and predict the spread of diseases.
LSHHGH300 Geriatric Healthcare
3 semester credits. This course focuses on the main pillars of geriatric healthcare. It provides students with the knowledge and skills required to recognize and meet the needs of older adults from a nursing and health professions perspective. Students will learn how to identify the physiological and cognitive changes of aging and manage the more common gerontological issues arising in older adults. Focus is attributed to the ethical and socio-cultural standards required to provide successful care to the elderly, while specific emphasis is assigned to the local context and the reasons behind Italian longevity.
LSHHGH302 Geriatric Healthcare
4 semester credits (3 theory, 1 clinical). This course focuses on evidence-based nursing care of older adults living in long-term care settings. Normal physiological changes of aging and related assessment skills will be incorporated and evaluated using standardized assessment tools. Management of common geriatric care problems will be emphasized. Particular focus will be placed on the ethical and spiritual concerns of vulnerable older adult populations. Students will reflect upon how the nursing role merges with life goals, philosophy and meaning to develop professional behaviors consistent with these aspects of life.
LSHHHA310 Health Assessment
4 credits. This course leads students to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to engage in effective health assessments for patients throughout their lifespan. Health assessment covers the analysis of physiological components, while placing emphasis on cultural competence and therapeutic communication. The course introduces students to the comprehensive assessment of psychosocial, cultural, developmental, nutritional, and genetic factors with the intention of ensuring a safe and caring environment. The course explores the major systems of the body, focusing on the examinations and techniques used to assess them. Students will also apprehend how to engage in effective documentation. Lectures and in-class explanations are parallel to lab sessions that allow students to create meaningful connections between theory and practice.
LSHHHA312 Health Assessment
4 semester credits (2 theory, 2 clinical). This course introduces students to the knowledge and skills required to perform health assessments for patients throughout the lifespan. Health assessment focuses not only on physiological components, but also on the more holistic cultural, spiritual, developmental, nutritional, genetic, and mental status assessments. Clinical reasoning, communication and documentation using electronic medical records are also essential components of this course. Students expand their skills in interviewing while learning how to perform health histories, and complete physical examinations through course lectures, discussions, simulations, and supervised and individual practice in classroom and laboratory modules.
LSHHHC350 Health Communication and Virtual Care
3 semester credits. This course focuses on the role of communication in public health, the development and practice of health communication strategies, and how health campaigns, medical journalism, and an increasing community participation in online health outreach impact society and wellbeing. Starting from theories of past and present health communication, students will examine how health information is delivered and perceived, the influence of media on public health outcomes, and the cons/risks of media strategies on healthcare practitioners and beneficiaries. Case studies will be analyzed to gage effectiveness and to discuss the findings of current research and scholarship on communication management in medical systems. Students will be asked to compare communication strategies in international contexts, as well as gain perspective on the implications of health communication as practiced in a country like Italy where healthcare is highly state-subsidized. Prerequisites: Introduction to Public Relations or Communication, an introductory health systems course, or equivalent.
LSHHHS250 Comparative Health Systems and Policies
3 semester credits. Is there such a thing as “the perfect state health system,” and if so, what does it look like? This course aims to provide students with the history and knowledge of international health systems and policies necessary to devise their own answers to these questions. Students will study the national health systems and policies of other countries, including that of their host country, Italy. By exploring themes such as access to healthcare, mental health and preventative care policies, quality and efficiency vs cost relations, and research and technology, students will uncover how these topics affect the health and well-being of their citizens. Special emphasis will be given to private versus public sector healthcare and the advantages and disadvantages associated with both. As part of their final project, students will be asked to develop their own concept of an “ideal” health system, drawing inspiration and combining aspects from various national systems.
LSHHHS254 Comparative Health Systems and Policies - Service Learning
4 semester credits. Is there such a thing as “the perfect state health system,” and if so, what does it look like? This course aims to provide students with the history and knowledge of international health systems and policies necessary to devise their own answers to these questions. Students will study the national health systems and policies of other countries, including that of their host country, Italy. By exploring themes such as access to healthcare, mental health and preventative care policies, quality and efficiency vs cost relations, and research and technology, students will uncover how these topics affect the health and well-being of their citizens. Special emphasis will be given to private versus public sector healthcare and the advantages and disadvantages associated with both. As part of their final project, students will be asked to develop their own concept of an “ideal” health system, drawing inspiration and combining aspects from various national systems. This course includes service learning hours within the Florentine Community. Service learning is a method that incorporates intentional learning with service to the community, in which the service component functions as a reflection on classroom learning for all tasks performed. In addition to regular class hours, students will be involved in a volunteer project for the entire session that integrates them in the local community in order to remove barriers and gain a sense of social responsibility. The acquisition of new skills and knowledge obtained in the service learning environment outside the classroom will enrich the learning experience and contribute to personal and emotional growth, as well as cultural consciousness, to develop a greater sense of a global citizenship and sensitivity to the needs of others. Students are guided through the experience by the non-profit association supervisor and the service learning coordinator to enhance outcomes both inside and outside the classroom. The contribution to the association is not only crucial to a deeper understanding of course topics but also allows for a greater sense of belonging in the community, allowing for students to acquire a heightened awareness of emotional intelligence that enhances the classroom learning experience.
LSHHPH300 Pediatric Healthcare
3 semester credits. This course focuses on the main pillars of pediatric healthcare. It provides students with the knowledge and skills required to recognize and meet the needs of newborns, children, and adolescents from a nursing and health professions perspective. Students will learn about the approaches used to heal pediatric patients, together with common pediatric issues and the approaches adopted to ensure cultural competence. Focus in the course is attributed to the ethical and socio-cultural standards required to provide successful care to children and adolescents.
LSHHPH350 Public Health: Policy and Community
3 semester credits. Now more than ever, increased attention to health disparities has highlighted the critical need for professionals and researchers to improve the health of people and communities around the globe. This course examines individual, collective, environmental, and organizational factors that affect the health of human populations, as well as methods for carrying out research in Public Health. Drawing on humanistic disciplines (such as sociology, pedagogy, ethics) and scientific disciplines (such as statistics, informatics, and data analysis), this course provides a unique environment where cross-disciplinary research in these areas of inquiry can flourish. In addition, the course enables students to bridge classroom training with hands-on experience in Public Health practice, fully embracing a “glocal” approach. Field visits will expose students to Public Health systems and community services at the local, national, and global level. By developing a theoretical framework and participating in on-site visits to Florentine locations, this course promotes a deep understanding of how the complex interplay of cultural, economic, political, and social justice forces can respond to health inequalities and health crisis more efficiently. Prerequisites: A lower-level Health Studies course, or equivalent, is required for this course.
LSHHSW200 Social Work
3 semester credits. The course focuses on the fundamentals of social work, exploring the values, the code of ethics, and the types of services of this practice-based profession. Various social work spheres are explored throughout the course, including services for the underprivileged, children, older adults, women, disabled individuals, people suffering from mental health issues, drug addicts, and convicts. The course provides tangible illustrations of social work institutions, with particular emphasis placed on the social fabric of Florence, to show how this discipline contributes to the well-being of both individuals and societies. At the same time, the course also investigates social work in relation to globalization and multiculturalism, to showcasing transnational shared goals and objectives.
LSHHWM200 History of Western Medicine
3 semester credits. In this course, students will be guided through a study of the evolution of Western medicine over the centuries, investigating the stories and histories which have framed it. Students will become familiar with the important ideas, instruments, and individuals which shaped the progression of medical traditions, from classical antiquity to modern day. This course will also explore the spaces, often unexpected or unique, in which the scientific art was practiced - such as universities, apothecaries, battlefields, monasteries, and convents. This course will give students the tools needed to analyse the intersection between the field of medicine and those of law, religion, art, and culture. Particular focus will be given to medical practices and advancements made in Italy over the centuries.