Academic Year 2018/2019 - 2° Year - Curriculum Educatore nei servizi per l'infanzia
Teaching Staff: Martino RUGGIERI
Credit Value: 6
Taught classes: 36 hours
Term / Semester:

Learning Objectives

General paediatrics deals with the overall health (e.g., physical, mental and social health) and with the study of prevention of diseases during childhood (i.e., during the developmental age) [with developmental age we mean the period between the prenatal age (i.e., the three phases preceding birth) and the end of the natural process of physical growth and cognitive maturation (which, according to the European standards ends up at age 18 years and by the USA standards ends up at about age 20-22 years)].

Specifically, this teaching deals with:

(a) Physiology and development of the neonate (including topics dealing with neonatal pathology), the child and the adolescent;

(b) Prevention paediatrics, i.e., all medical acts and activities aimed to reduce mortality secondary to given diseases and morbidity (i.e., the frequency of given diseases) in children;

(c) Specialty paediatrics, i.e. all acute and chronic diseases affecting various organs during the developmental age: cardiology, respiratory medicine, gastroenterology, neurology, haematology, oncology, endocrinology, rheumatology, infectious diseases, and dermatology;

(d) Social paediatrics, i.e., health problems catering from the overall childhood community (prevention ans community medicine)

The course aims to provide the students with the basic knowledge of paediatrics and the fundaments of paediatrics, which is of outmost importance for those dealing with childhood and with the children’s (and adolescents’) world and more in general with their related health problems.

The course aims to provide the bases and fundaments of: (a) anatomy and physiology during development; (b) prevention and social medicine during development; (c) health education and understanding of diseases during childhood and adolescence and of the main acute and chronic conditions physically or mentally disabling children or interfering with their learning processes.

So as to provide the students with the basic and fundamental principles of paediatrics and paediatric diseases the course will deal with basic principles of anatomy and physiology in the developmental age, moving then to the main conditions affecting organs illustrating the causes and the basic mechanisms of diseases, thr social impact of diseases during childhood and the main clinical manifestations along with the most important and recent therapeutic strategies.

Thus, the topics will deal with the most frequent conditions affecting children during development. These topics will represent the most frequent medical conditions faced by psychologists. In addition the course will include basic notions of nutrition, growth and development modalities along with related neurological, behaviour and cognitive problems.

Lessons will be given by using power-point presentations and plastic anatomical models and will include clinical laboratories (e.g., held at the Unit of Clinical Pediatrics, [Building 2, 1st floor), AOU Policlinico-Vittorio Emanuele, Presidio “G. Rodolico, Via S. Sofia, 78 - Catania] providing students with practical lessons on how to examine a child and how to recognise a given disease.



Anatomy, basic embryology and physiology of the human body and organs. At the high school level.

Course Structure

Oral lessons and bedside/outpatient-based lessons at the Unit for rare Diseases of the Nervous System in Childhood, AOU "Policlinico-Vittorio Emanuele", Catania

The oral lessons are mainly performed with slides showing drawings, figures and images (e.g., x-ray images, magnetic resonance images) aimed to explain physiology and pathology re the developmental age. Further means are drawings on a LEM tablet aimed to explain the basic mechanisms involved in the physiology and patholgoy of systems and organs.

The laboratories consist in practical bedside and oupatient-based lessons aimed to show and demonstrate how the normal and pathological child grows up. These practical laboratories are based at the AOU "Policlinico-Vittorio Emanuele" - via s. Sofia, 78 (Policlinico) and via Plebiscito 684 (Vittorio Emanuele) in Catania (Unit for rare Diseases of the Nervous System in Childhood). The Unit include a kindergaden and a primary school for sick and hospitalised children.

Detailed Course Content

  1. GENERAL TOPICS: Paediatrics (general concepts); History of paediatrics and infancy across the centuries; vaccination procedures; nutrition and feeding procedures; personal hygiene; principles of genetics and heredity; rare disease.

SPECIALTY PAEDIATRICS: cardiology, respiratory medicine, gastroenterology, neurology, haematology, oncology, endocrinology, rheumatology, infectious diseases, and dermatology.

Textbook Information


Cain, Dickey, Hogan, Jackson, Minorsky, Reece, Simon, Taylor, Urry, Wassermann: Campbell. Biology: Principles and Links. Genetics, Molecular Biology and Evolution (1st volume); Human Body (2nd volume). Linx, 2017


Lissauer T, Clayden G. Illustrated Textbook of Paediatrics, 5th ed. Edinburgh: Mosby, 2016