About this Course
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Flexible deadlines

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Beginner Level

Approx. 16 hours to complete

Suggested: 6 hours/week...

English

Subtitles: English, Arabic

Skills you will gain

English LanguageClinical ExperienceVital SignsMedical Device

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Beginner Level

Approx. 16 hours to complete

Suggested: 6 hours/week...

English

Subtitles: English, Arabic

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
4 hours to complete

Introduction to Clinical Terms and Abbreviations

1 video (Total 6 min), 12 readings, 6 quizzes
12 readings
Welcome to Clinical Terminology!10m
Course Overview10m
Learning Objectives10m
Guidelines for Understanding Clinical Abbreviations10m
Key Terms10m
Prefix, Root, Suffix (PRS) List10m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to Vital Signs10m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to Temperature10m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to Pulse10m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to Respiratory Rate, SpO2 and TPR10m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to Blood Pressure10m
Week 1 Study Guide10m
6 practice exercises
Abbreviations and Terms Related to Vital Signs14m
Abbreviations and Terms Related toTemperature24m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to Pulse12m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to Respiratory Rate, SpO2 and TPR18m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to Blood Pressure8m
Week 120m
Week
2
4 hours to complete

Decoding Complex Medical Terms

8 videos (Total 22 min), 14 readings, 10 quizzes
8 videos
Tour of the US Clinical Unit9m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to Health Care Provider Titles1m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to Electronic Medical Records1m
Abbreviations and Terms related to the History and Physical Examination22s
The Surgical Patient: Mrs. Gerto1m
The Comatose Patient: Mr. Taggert40s
The Medical Patient: Mr. Cope58s
14 readings
Learning Objectives10m
Guidelines for Understanding Complex Medical Terms10m
Key Terms10m
Prefix, Root, Suffix (PRS) List10m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to Health Care Provider Titles10m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to the Hospital and Associated Clinical Units10m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to Electronic Medical Records10m
Abbreviations and Terms related to the History and Physical Examination10m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to Patient Health Care Practitioner Notation10m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to Clinical Assessment Notation10m
The Surgical Patient: Mrs. Gerto10m
The Comatose Patient: Mr. Taggert10m
The Medical Patient: Mr. Cope10m
Week 2 Study Guide10m
10 practice exercises
Abbreviations and Terms Related to Health Care Provider Titles12m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to the Hospital and Associated Clinical Units8m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to Electronic Medical Records2m
Abbreviations and Terms related to the History and Physical Examination10m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to Patient Health Care Practitioner Notation8m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to Clinical Assessment Notation2m
The Surgical Patient: Mrs. Gerto6m
The Comatose Patient: Mr. Taggert8m
The Medical Patient: Mr. Cope6m
Week 220m
Week
3
3 hours to complete

Advanced Decoding Strategies for Clinical Terms

2 videos (Total 4 min), 8 readings, 4 quizzes
2 videos
Abbreviations and Terms Related to Administration of Medications and IV Fluids40s
8 readings
Learning Objectives10m
Guidelines for Safe Use of Abbreviations10m
Key Terms10m
Prefix, Root, Suffix (PRS) List10m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to Emergency Situations10m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to Timing of Medications10m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to Route of Administration10m
Week 3 Study Guide10m
4 practice exercises
Abbreviations and Terms Related to Emergency Situations44m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to Timing of Medications14m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to Route of Administration36m
Week 320m
Week
4
4 hours to complete

Diseases of the Bodily Systems

1 video (Total 3 min), 13 readings, 9 quizzes
13 readings
Learning Objectives10m
Guidelines for Understanding the Abbreviations for Diseases and Medical Conditions10m
Key Terms10m
Prefix, Root, Suffix (PRS) List10m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to the Neurological System10m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to the Musculoskeletal System10m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to the Cardiovascular System10m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to the Respiratory System10m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to the Gastrointestinal System10m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to the Genitourinary System10m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to the Endocrine System10m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to General Diagnoses10m
Week 4 Study Guide10m
9 practice exercises
Abbreviations and Terms Related to the Neurological System12m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to the Musculoskeletal System6m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to the Cardiovascular System20m
Respiratory System14m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to the Gastrointestinal System6m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to the Genitourinary System8m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to the Endocrine System2m
Abbreviations and Terms Related to General Diagnoses8m
Week 420m
4.8
161 ReviewsChevron Right

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started a new career after completing these courses

32%

got a tangible career benefit from this course

12%

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Top reviews from Clinical Terminology for International and U.S. Students

By FBJan 2nd 2018

This course was really helpful. I took notes and will review them often to keep abreast with the medical terms. These will also help me communicate clinically with my PCP. I truly enjoyed this course!

By ERApr 16th 2019

The instructor's calm and clear explanations make this a joy to watch.\n\nThis course is very useful for me as a medical product translator to get an understanding of the actual clinical environment.

Instructors

Avatar

Valerie Swigart, Ph.D. R.N.

Professor of Nursing
School of Nursing
Avatar

Michael Gold, Ph.D.

Associate Professor Emeritus
Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

About University of Pittsburgh

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

  • Yes! Coursera provides financial aid to learners who would like to complete a course but cannot afford the course fee. To apply for aid, select "Learn more and apply" in the Financial Aid section below the "Enroll" button. You'll be prompted to complete a simple application; no other paperwork is required.

  • Medical terms, abbreviations and acronyms are a large part of the verbal and written communication that occurs in clinical situations in the U.S. Abbreviations are used to increase efficiency by shortening the time to communicate. If you want to join in any conversation about clinical matters, you will need to understand terms, abbreviations and acronyms.

  • You can always ask for clarification. However, clinical settings in U.S. hospitals are often very busy, noisy places with people hurrying to meet patients’ needs. There will be little time for explanation of word meanings. The more emergent the situation, the more likely it is that abbreviations will be used. When you know a term or abbreviation before hearing it on the clinical unit, you will be a better communicator and more effective healthcare team member.

  • No. This is a course for beginning students. A major advantage is that the course helps you to focus on terms that you are most likely to hear or see during your early clinical training.

  • This course emphasizes learning to recognize and decipher common spoken and written clinical terms and abbreviations necessary for clear communication with patients and health care providers. Understanding and learning clinical language will help you to function more effectively and safely as a healthcare team member.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.