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

4,339 ratings
1,143 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.

Oct 10, 2020

I really enjoyed the course. It looked at vital signs in a really different view from the traditional ways of looking at it and it was really informative. The practical sessions too were great. Nice!

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Apr 14, 2019



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By Khaled A

Apr 28, 2020

Dr. Scanga and colleagues were very adequat in teaching all the components related to vital signs. I enjoyed the course very much. One thing I would like to suggest is that I sometimes missed some depth. Most of the times only the fundametels were explained, which I understand and appreciate a lot. However, details is what distinguishes our knowledge compared to others who have not taken this course. In addition, since we all work (or aspire to work) in healthcare, it would be very illustrative if you could explain how these concepts are applied in practice. This was only done in the exams, but could be done more. Overall, hats of for setting up a great course.

By Eric A G

Jan 12, 2017

Very detailed and informative, was worth watching the materials a number of times. For me I was trying to better understand my mother's Kidney Failure, and the Vitals we were doing each exchange (peritoneal dialysis, which I pretty much did for her for the first 3-4 months of it). You don't need to be a nurse, doctor or medical professional to have to need to know the basics, and I would recommend this one to anyone. Not the easiest pass, because it is somewhat deep, though not so much that it's not possible to finish well. Thank You for this informative MOOC. It's much appreciated.

By Vivian N

May 7, 2016

This course is perfect to those who are looking for a challenge and is interested in learning about the vital signs. Please take this class! However, some sections of the course is very challenging. I would recommend taking notes and watching the videos 2-3 times each, verifying and adding more to the notes. Dr. Scanga is a wonderful teacher. She provides lots of demonstrations and adds lots of fun to each and every video, making it interesting and fun--even for younger viewers. I hope this helps!

Enjoy, and have fun!

By David B

Mar 15, 2017

Este curso me ha servido mucho para comprender y repasar, de una manera muy clara y pragmática, los conceptos básicos relacionados con los signos vitales que cualquier profesional, o futuro profesional, debería de integrar. El único inconveniente que he visto ha sido referente al tema de los subtítulos, en los que en algunos de los vídeos podían ponerse en Español y en otros (la mayoría), no; aunque es una buena forma de repasar el Inglés. En definitiva, lo recomiendo.

By Laurynas V P

Apr 9, 2016

Even I did not complete all the course and I am in 5th week, I can say that everyone should know the information given in this course. Understanding what the body is telling us is the really important thing. The information is not hard to learn, the "teachers" (in this case - Dr.) seems not to be very boring and has a humor sense which make learning more easy and not though. Hope to finish this course in great results! Recommending to others ;)

By Doug C

Aug 18, 2017

I took this course to revue some of the basic skills of an EMT for assessment of a patient. I learned many new incites into the reasons for what these vitals teach us in our treatment of the patient. I am happy that I took this course and look forward to some of the other courses offered. Thank you for your thoughtful instruction and I will pass on to my friends some of the knowledge I gained and recommend this training

By Sylvia Q

Oct 16, 2019

Course was interesting and covered relevant anatomy/physiology in detail - I liked the balance between the lectures and the demonstrations in which the various vital signs were assessed. Connie Scanga knows her stuff, and although I wish her delivery were a bit more animated, she explained and reinforced concepts well and made good use of drawings and models. I also liked the use of mini case studies in the quizzes.

By Montana L

Jul 24, 2019

i loved this course. being able to learn through video, audio, AND text with the option to highlight and save images as needed insured that all of my learning requirements were attainable. Dr Connie Skanga was a great, enthusiastic teacher who, along with the students and other guest instructors, communicated the information clearly in a way that was easy to understand. looking forward to more courses!

By Stacey S

Sep 25, 2017

I learned a lot about the anatomy and physiology associated with common vital signs collected by health providers. It helped me understand why they collect this information and what it truly tells them about my body functions and conditions. My only complaint is that some of the classroom lectures seemed forced and unnatural, most likely due to the fact that everyone knew they were being filmed.