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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Vital Signs: Understanding What the Body Is Telling Us by University of Pennsylvania

3,955 ratings
1,046 reviews

About the Course

The vital signs – heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, respiration rate, and pain – communicate important information about the physiological status of the human body. In this six-part course we explore the anatomy and physiology underlying the vital signs so that you will develop a systematic, integrated understanding of how the body functions. Relevant body systems are reviewed including cardiovascular and respiratory, followed by explanations of how the function of these systems affects vital signs. We discuss normal ranges, normal variants, and the mechanisms that underlie changes in the objective measurement of vital signs. The course also includes demonstrations of appropriate techniques for measuring vital signs in yourself and others. The course is designed for a broad, general audience but will be particularly interesting for individuals working in healthcare, those considering a career as a healthcare professional, lay caregivers, those with an interest in personal health and fitness, or anyone who simply wants to understand how the body functions....

Top reviews

Sep 29, 2018

Yes, it is very useful to me and I will suggest to my friends to take this course. My sincere Thanks to Connie B. Scanga, PhD, she taken the all lecture clearly and her lecture was easy to understand.

Aug 15, 2018

Great Course ! It provides important information regarding anatomy and physiology of the main systems in our body. The video lectures are very interactive and Dr. Scanga has a great ability to teach.

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51 - 75 of 1,031 Reviews for Vital Signs: Understanding What the Body Is Telling Us

By Kristen M R

Dec 8, 2016

This course goes at an easy pace and takes the time to really explain the concepts. The outline provided follows the lecture perfectly and allows for easy note taking. The videos are broken into short segments that make it easy to stay focused and watch whenever I have a free moment. I love that I do not have to sit and watch a 1.5hr lecture. With my career, there is no way I would have the time. Excellent course!!

By J A L

Jul 29, 2020

Simple enough for laymen to understand what healthcare pros do during initial checkups and why they do them. For healthcare pros, this is an easy refresher course on the basics. As a medical student, I sort of expected an in-depth look at how the vital signs relate to clinical events (e.g. acidosis, CHF, etc), but the "beginner" tag should have prepared me otherwise hehe. In any case, a well-taught course.

By Valerie Z

Jun 25, 2020

I found this course very informative, and easy to follow along with. The course was full of well explained examples, details, and demonstrations. I especially enjoyed the interviews at the end which were a very important reminder of how pain is perceived and managed in different demographics, but even knowing that, it is important to remember that each individual must be judged independently.

By Jesús E V

Mar 24, 2020

Me agrado mucho este curso, puesto que aprendi a diferenciar mucho en el aspecto de los signos vitales verlo de lado para enfermeria, la semana que mas me gusto fue la de manejo del dolor, ahora entiendo el por que de la escala, gracias a Dra que nos dio la oportunidad de darnos este curso tengo todos y se que lo podre ler con calma en caso de que se me olvide y compartirlo a mis compañeros.

By Guek K t

Apr 14, 2020

I liked the pace of the course. The lecturer is very clear and systematic in her delivery of the lesson. The setting with the students enables me to visualize that I am also one of the participants taking the class. At times, I would found myself shouting out the answers. The quiz at the end of each video enables me to evaluate my understanding of the lesson, which I found very useful.

By Emily S

Apr 11, 2020

I think most people taking this course were training to be in the medical field. I am not a part of the medical field, I just took it to learn more about how my body works. This course presented material in an accessible way. The Q&A lecture style with 3-5 students present made me feel as though I was sitting in on a very active classroom. I learned a lot and only wish there was more.

By Donnette S

May 31, 2020

Amazing course! I know that I've been exposed to this material previously in high school biology and a course in Clinical Aspects of Pharmaceutical Medicine, but Dr. Scanga really made the material accessible and I feel as though I have a very clear understanding now, wondering why I didn't completely "get" some of the nuances before. VERY enjoyable course, well taught. Thank you!

By Alberto V

Feb 27, 2020

This is a great course for anyone who is interested in learning more in regards to our human vital signs, thinking of starting a nursing carrier or currently in the medical field. Instructor Connie Skagna was very thorough and comprehensive, making this course a home run! I am more than glad that I was able to not only learn, but receive a certification as well. Thank You Coursera!!!

By Leigh-Ann S

Mar 14, 2017

Great course for people who are interested in getting deeper into how the body works. Seeing as some courses tend to be quite easy on here, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself challenged every lesson. Furthermore, everything is impeccably structured and pedagogically designed to enhance learning. It's simply a great course. TAKE IT! You'll come away with a sense of achievement!

By Deleted A

Jan 2, 2017

This course is just right for someone like me who has little medical knowledge but wants to know what the medics are looking for when they do their standard tests. It is well organised and benefits from the nursing students, who answer the awkward questions better than I could have done. Many thanks to everyone involved in producing the course, I enjoyed doing it and learnt a lot.

By Viktor D

Mar 4, 2017

It's was my first course on Coursera and I can't compare it, but it certainly put the bar quite high - it was easy to follow, the structure and length of lessons/videos was perfect for people who work in different field, but want to broaden their knowledge of medicine. Quiz at the end of each video and week is a good way to review and remember at least something from the course.

By Amir S

Jun 18, 2020

I am very very thankful to Dr. Scanga, who is a very humble, dedicated, and outstanding Professor. She explained the Vital signs mechanism/ concept in a very precisely, in an understanding manner. She is the asset of the University.

I also would like to thank to the whole Coursera team, who recorded & organized the course & make it very interesting.


Muhammad Amir Mustufa

By Brita F

Dec 12, 2016

Thanks to Professor Scanga and her team for this excellent course on vital signs. The lectures are very well presented and easy to follow even for a layman. I can only recommend this course to anybody interested in learning about vital signs. I particularly enjoyed watching the parts in the simulation lab as they showed how to apply the lecture contents in a clinical setting.

By Antony M

Sep 17, 2018

Dr. Scanga's lectures were delivered with deliberation, naturalness, and friendliness..

Two experts were also inducted bringing in variety and different outlook. It was a fascinating journey and the students in her class looked really earnest and motivated. Thanks a lot for giving me and many others the opportunity of listening to such eminent teachers from Penn.

A G Maxwell


Apr 1, 2018

It is truly an exceptional course feeding with all the relevant material to know about what our body is telling us during day to day activities.

I highly appreciate the Professor for sharing the knowledge and also for timely testing the knowledge that we gained through individual sessions.

Thanks coursera for providing us such a platform of enhancing learning abilities.

By Jen D

May 19, 2020

Excellent way of presenting the material and the professor is phenomenal! Even though I've been working in the health care field for some time now and come across most of the material, I still found the knowledge to be insightful. I have a better understanding of these concepts after taking this course. Highly recommended and can easily be done in less than 6 weeks.

By Danielle B

Aug 20, 2017

I loved this course!! Dr. Scanga is an incredible teacher; the guest teachers featured throughout this course are all very knowledgeable and made me feel like I was truly auditing a class at UPenn. What a phenomenal nursing program -- and even more incredible to be a fly on the wall and learn about how our bodies function and communicate to us. Highly recommend!!

By Rachel S

May 30, 2020

I absolutely loved this class. Dr. Scanga is such an excellent instructor and so kind and encouraging. I loved the video format; everything was so well-done and high quality that I felt like I was really sitting in on the lectures. I truly learned so much and really enjoyed the journey. I'm a little sad that it's over. Thank you for making this course available!

By Scherine C

Mar 1, 2018

Video lectures were completed in a classroom or lab setting with regular in-video MCQs which enhanced the feeling of being a classroom attendant. The interactive component will help you to stay focused and to truly evaluate whether you've understood the content being discussed. I am sure you'll likely find the course to be insightful and interesting as I have.

By calvin m a

Jul 27, 2017

I just want to thank the coursera team for the opportunity they have given us to learn and remind ourselves on basic elements of medicine that we need to recognize in our day today living .Thanks to the tutors and the entire group who made it possible for the learning to be modulated in search a simple and easy way to understand..Big ups...

Dr. Calvin M. Achieng

By Linda

Jul 12, 2020

Excellent Course. Very clear explanations. Lovely class setting, very helpful hand-out, interesting for everybody until the end, very challenging but there is a nice balance between theory and practice. I learned a lot. Excellent teaching of Dr. C. Scanga. Please more of such classes! It would have been nice to have an overall test at the end or an assignment.

By Andrea K W

Apr 6, 2020

First MOOC course I have taken - and I am flashed. It was so informative with interesting content, many facts. All in one more than I expected. The atmophere of the course is very friendly and the instructors speak very clear and slowly. The relevant information is being repeated several times, so you really get to the point. Perfect! Thanks for the good time!

By Mónica A F D

Sep 12, 2020

In the midst of these crazy times learning a bit about how the body works was fascinating and left me curious and eager to find out more. I loved the classroom format, the lab, the interviews and the interaction with the students. A big thank you to Dr. Scanga, the students and everybody who contributed to making this course available to so many of us.

By Toni S

May 27, 2020

Really good course if you enjoy learning about human anatomy or are interested in the kinds of things a doctor assesses you for! I found the material easy to learn and was able to watch all of the videos on 2x speed, which cut down the time commitment. The in-video quiz questions are available for you to study and I felt well prepared for the quizzes.

By Wilma J v V

May 2, 2020

For somebody who left school 25 years ago and didn't even have biology as a subject back then, I found this course fascinating yet practical. Thank you to Prof Scanga who really managed to convey intimidating concepts in a measured and very easy-to-follow manner.

Thank you for keeping my mind occupied during our strict lockdown here in South Africa! :)