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

4,395 ratings
1,153 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.

May 8, 2020

I have learned a lot of things from this course. This course disclosed innumerable mysteries of human body that I didn't know earlier. I really enjoyed this course. Thanks for this wonderful content.

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51 - 75 of 1,138 Reviews for Vital Signs: Understanding What the Body Is Telling Us

By Christina G

May 9, 2020

Excellent content for individuals who have zero-to-some life sciences background. The Professors in the course do a great job breaking down key concepts and typing information together so you learn just enough background to understand the vital sign of each week's topic. I highly recommend this course, especially with the self quarantine and likelihood that people will have to monitor their own symptoms etc. The basis for these vital signs is foundational life knowledge!


Feb 23, 2021

Dr. Scanga is one of the best teachers I have ever had. Her teaching style is phenomenal. She would ask questions, demonstrate concepts & show illustrations. I would read the course notes at the beginning of the week and think there was no way I would ever learn the material, but after going through the videos, I completely understood what had been taught! Very engaging course that left me wanting more. I would LOVE to take more courses taught by Dr. Scanga.

By Gabriela C D

Jan 20, 2021

The course was very interesting to me, both in terms of the topics developed and the practical utility of the concepts learned.

I enjoyed the classes and appreciated the quizzes (in particular the case study questions, which were presented to me as entertaining challenges).

Dr. Scanga and the other teachers are clear in their explanations, in addition to using appropriate didactic material.

Really, the course kept me interested until the end. Thanks a lot!

By Michele W

Jul 13, 2020

This course is an excellent instruction for the understanding of vital signs. While I understand this is a course for nursing students anyone can benefit from this course. I took this course because my medical professional tells me so little when I visit I needed a better understanding of the numbers and their procedures. The instructor did an excellent job balancing the science and the technical jargon with laymen real world explanations.

By Priya S

May 31, 2020

a superb course.I have gained so much knowledge about the human body and its functioning .The course is very informative in a way that makes it easy to comprehend even for laypersons like me.For this all credit to the brilliant and vibrant personality of dr scanga.She made even the most mundane topics interesting with her explanations,questions ,exclamations and a little dash of humour.thank you ,its been a great experience

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 Rxven

Jan 10, 2021

Incredible teacher, as I began learning it was a little tedioua at times due to so many scientific terms, but as I kept learning it became super intriguing, and Dr. Scanga really knows how to explain the information for you to properly comprehend. I started the course thinking it was tedious, and I ended the course loving it completely. Thank you for your time and information, truly appreciate it!

By fadi A

May 5, 2021

The course was amazing. Thanks to our wonderful Dr. Scanga who is very passionate and patient, her delivery and lecturing style is amazing and to be honest, I would love to take any other course taught by this wonderful Dr. And special thanks to those students and other members who participated along in the Vidoes. It is indeed the best course I have ever had

Thanks. Fady Aldakkan

Warm regards

By Jesús E V

Jan 5, 2021

Me agrado mucho este curso, puesto que aprendí a diferenciar mucho en el aspecto de los signos vitales verlo de lado para enfermería, 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 leer con calma en caso de que se me olvide y compartirlo a mis compañeros.

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 ebony j

Dec 29, 2020

I took a condensed EMT class in August. This is a lot of information to take in for a person who doesn't have prior medical knowledge. I paid to attend different courses to reinforce my knowledge and prepare me for the NREMT but unfortunately, the instructors only read off of slides. This course really helped me to understand and satisfied my visual, tactile, and hearing learning style.

By Guek K

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 Jean L

Apr 9, 2021

I found this course very user friendly. The educators were very knowledgeable and clearly dedicated to helping me get the most out of this course. I will definitely rave about to my peers. Working in healthcare over the years I feel like I have a wealth of knowledge already, but this course taught me so much more. With a fresh perspective that will help me in my future career.

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

By Prasad B D

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.