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

3,861 ratings
1,020 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 30, 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 16, 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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26 - 50 of 1,004 Reviews for Vital Signs: Understanding What the Body Is Telling Us

By Nikki

Jan 29, 2018

This course was very interesting and perfectly pitched for someone who has studied biology at school. The videos were succinct, relevant and functional which made the course achievable alongside a full-time job. I love learning about medicine and this course has encouraged me to seek out further opportunities to carry out study in this area. I really enjoyed taking the course and I will no doubt go over it again to refresh my knowledge at some point soon. Thank you for making it :-)!

By Melissa S

Feb 23, 2020

I really enjoyed this course from start to finish. Dr. Scanga is an excellent educator and takes the time to thoroughly explain difficult concepts. I really enjoyed seeing the lab demonstrations along with the lectures. I also enjoyed that a bit of Medical Anthropology was introduced in week 6 through the 2 interview-style segments- it really helped to understand why assessing and diagnosing pain in patients is so complex. Would highly recommend this course!!

By Andrea C

Oct 10, 2017

Si soy de Colombia y me encantó este curso, todo era muy gráfico, los modelos anatómicos muy geniales, los gráficos de los libros, ver los laboratorios en vivo, las evaluaciones me hacían pensar más allá de lo que se hablaba en clase, agradezco a la Profsora Connie Scanga y espero se sigan haciendo más cursos así, ya se lo recomendé a muchas personas más y están de acuerdo conmigo, un saludo a todos los estudiantes de enfermería y médicos

By Georgia M

Feb 08, 2018

This is an excellent course. Rich background info is provided in the e-textbook, the videos are very well made (incorporating a lecture-type and a Q&A-type of presentation), there are videos with demonstrations in the labs that make digesting the stuff already presented during the lectures much easier. Well-organised and nicely presented. I learned a lot by following this course. Many thanks to Prof. Dr. Connie Scanga and her team!

By Damian S

Sep 19, 2017

This was far the best online course I've ever made. The method is new for me and I think it really works! It puts you inside a class with the chance to answer yourself and making you thinking about what they were talking about, with time enough to understand. Congratulations to the amazing team that produced this great course! I'm looking forward to have another one, the same talented like this one. Thank you. ;) Damian.

By Daniela P P

Jun 07, 2020

It's a really good course for students and professionals that work in health care. I loved the enthusiasm of the Dr. Scanga in every video. It is easy to understand and follow, even if you're not that good in English (my case). I would recommend it to others, for sure! It took more time to finish that I was expecting to, and that's probably the only negative point of this course. I learned a lot.

By Shirley D B J

May 01, 2017

It was a wonderful study, a very informative and a beneficial course. Dr. Scanga who taught this course is an amazing teacher. She has made many of the complexities of the course into simpler segments and explanations in a way that anybody could understand. Hats-off to her ! I would highly recommend this course to my friends who are medical professionals especially beginners. Thank you !

By Alhanouf A

Feb 03, 2018

As a senior medical student, this course was really important in helping me interpret vital signs and review some basic physiological concepts.

By Julia

May 29, 2020

I thought this course was great for basic overviews of each topic discussed. For someone who has completed a B.S. in Neuroscience I felt like a lot of topics from my degree coursework were resurfaced in these lessons, and they acted as great refreshers. I definitely felt like I came across information that I hadn't remembered or didn't learn too much about and some information i felt well informed on compared to the level at which is was discussed in the course, but I still enjoyed it and still felt like I was learning and engaged most of the time. I thought the simulations were great and also looked forward to the case studies in the quizzes. I think it would have beneficial and entertaining to talk about case studies in the lessons as well. Going into the course, I think I was hoping to learn more about real life clinical scenarios and abnormalities to look of for when measuring the vital signs, along with of course the anatomy and physiology (structure and function) and importance of the vital signs. I do however, feel that the later was well taken care of throughout this course. Although, I would have loved to go into each topic further, I think this course is attractive for a variety of learners.

By Collin J B

Jun 22, 2020

I'm one who is very hesitant to look at reviews and believe everything that is written within them without some skepticism. I know that this review may be read no differently by those of you like me— and that's okay. However, if I may extend a personal recommendation, I highly recommend, if you love medicine, human anatomy, and human physiology, to give this course a try. For a novice who has never taken a true medical course, that includes basic human anatomy, I found this course to be very engaging and helped my knowledge grow a lot. The teachers were excellent, in my opinion, and I liked what they tried to do with having actual students participate in the lectures to make it seem like you were a part of the class. Again, I highly recommend giving this course a shot and I hope you enjoy it and stick it through till the end. ✌️

By kowshik e

Jul 24, 2020

Great course with a lot of good content. I am taking this four years after completing my master's and this was one of the best learning experience I have got from a course setting since then. The way lectures were planned was really appealing to me. Especially having real classroom setting with professor and students made a big difference when it came to being interactive. A big thanks to Dr. Connie Scanga and her team! Putting together this course was a job well done!! I also wanted to buy a reference book that can be used in the future when and if I wanted to explore the subject further. Providing that piece of information would make it a near perfect experience.

By Ursula G

May 06, 2020

This was so well done. Thank you to Dr Scanga, Megan and Amanda for the lectures, and the students who participated. I also appreciate how everyone was so nicely dressed, beautiful hair ect. It just showed all the care and attention taken into all aspects of this course. Well done and thank you so much! Dr Scanga, you have a wonderful teaching style, and you can tell, you know your subject matter so well! Thank you for teaching and doing this course. Again, I can tell there was attention, care and time taken into planning the lecture segments, and being on camera may have been uncomfortable, therefore I acknowledge that, as part of my thanks for doing this.

By Anna W C

Jun 11, 2020

This is my first completed course on Coursera and it's been pretty good. I could go at my own pace, which I really liked and was able to finish much faster, while not compromising the quality of how I was learning. I liked how the "weeks" were sectioned and the videos in general never went to fast, but a couple should be put at 1.25 speed if you're very impatient twitchy like me. Dr. Scanga does a really good job at explaining everything and connecting all the lectures together so that it feels like a lesson, rather than blocky chunks of information that I need to somehow shove into my head. Highly recommend.

By Valeria H

Sep 14, 2020

This course is amazing, interesting, thorough, easy to follow, and it provides a whole lot of knowledge that is fascinating. I enjoyed every single lecture and was able to understand everything. I was provided with all the necessary information and materials to have a complete grasp of the topics.

Dr. Scanga is an amazing teacher, she uses easy language, speaks clearly and she makes you feel sincere interest in the topic and lecture. There are also a lot of demos and interviews that make everything more real, exciting and interesting.

I had a very fun time while learning, thank you so so so so sooo much!

By Lo K S

Jul 05, 2020

its something new for me, its something I always want to know. knowing the basic makes me want to learn deeper so it may help us in the future or maybe even help medical practitioner.

it might help us to take care our health also or maybe help our loved one

there are so many things that i learn from the course, its even give me new perspective on my work field, am working in kitchen and nutrition and health are something that concern us when making food. what the food can cause in human body.

this is one good course. i am sure gonna take another course about vital sign

By Alexis R

Apr 25, 2020

This was my first time taking a medical course, and I had no prior knowledge of how the body works (aside from the simple things they teach us in grade school). Dr. Scanga explained things clearly and thoroughly, and in the end I feel like I learned more from this course than I have from any other online course I have taken. The simple quizzes at the end of the videos helped me to make sure I understood things clearly before I moved forward, and the case studies in the end-of-week quizzes helped me apply what I learned to real-life experiences. Thank you Dr. Scanga!

By Huynh T

May 25, 2020

This is my first online course on Coursera and it was wonderful. I have never studied abroad before and this course is still very easy to learn for a non-native english speaker like me. The teacher was enjoyed her teaching and she spoke very clear and explained very well. The interaction with students in the videos is excellent to keep concentrating in the course. This is not relevant to my job or expertise but it brought me a lot of new interesting knowledge which is very useful to me to understand more about my body. Thank you so much for creating this course <3

By Shawna D

Sep 22, 2020

This course builds an excellent foundation for understanding the vital signs and using them as a diagnostic tool. As an EMT, I found this course to answer many questions that arise during my patient assessments. I particularly enjoyed the pace of the course. I thought the ways in which the material was presented by Dr. Scanga made it suitable for beginners. She has the ability to explain complex concepts in simple and understandable ways. I took this course to help bridge the gap between my EMT cert and a potential Paramedic cert. Thank you!

By Luis G

Oct 14, 2020

Excellent course, I did this at the same time as Neurobiology of Everyday Life and I like how both of them complimented. Ms. Scanga is an excellent teacher and I liked the format of this course, it felt really refreshing feeling as part of a normal class and doing the lab. exercises and interviews. I'm an engineer and this has nothing to do with my working branch, but even then I think taking this course it is a great way to develop a sense of responsability and proprioception of your own body, to better know yourself.

By Todd M

Jul 16, 2020

Very thorough and helpful course for understanding the significance of vital signs and how to interpret them. I believe the information provided in the course has helped me be a better patient as well as a better healthcare provider. I would recommend having some background knowledge in anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology to be prepared for the content of this course. I am a high school student studying to be a CNA and found this class to be appropriately challenging (not too difficult but still informative).

By Shiv G

Apr 28, 2020


By Christina G

May 09, 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!

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