About this Course
4.8
271 ratings
84 reviews
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 15 hours to complete

Suggested: 5 hours/week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English

Skills you will gain

English LanguageClinical ExperienceVital SignsMedical Device
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 15 hours to complete

Suggested: 5 hours/week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
Hours to complete
4 hours to complete

Introduction to Clinical Terms and Abbreviations

In the week 1 video lecture, Dr. Swigart introduces the course and strategies for understanding the structure of clinical abbreviations and complex terms. In week 1 readings, we focus on learning abbreviations related to vital signs. Understanding the structure of abbreviations will help you to identify the meaning of abbreviations presented in this course, as well as those you encounter in the future....
Reading
1 video (Total 6 min), 12 readings, 6 quizzes
Reading12 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
Quiz6 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
Hours to complete
4 hours to complete

Decoding Complex Medical Terms

In week 2, we expand our focus to learn about abbreviations and terms used in the hospital environment. You will tour a modern U.S. clinical unit and visit the bedside of three patients. These vicarious bedside experiences will help you to imagine the context in which the terms and abbreviations are used. Making associations of the terms or abbreviations to specific people, places or types of patients will help to “set” them in your memory. Begin Week 2 by previewing the complex medical terms you will find in this lesson and sharpening your skills for analyzing the structure of complex terms. ...
Reading
8 videos (Total 22 min), 14 readings, 10 quizzes
Video8 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 Examinationm
The Surgical Patient: Mrs. Gerto1m
The Comatose Patient: Mr. Taggertm
The Medical Patient: Mr. Copem
Reading14 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
Quiz10 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
Hours to complete
3 hours to complete

Advanced Decoding Strategies for Clinical Terms

This week, Dr. Swigart shares more strategies toward discovering the meaning of complex medical/scientific words. It focuses on three essential clinical topics: abbreviations used in emergency situations, the timing and route of medications, and the administration of intravenous infusions. Learning about abbreviations related to medication and intravenous fluid administration requires that you pay close attention....
Reading
2 videos (Total 4 min), 8 readings, 4 quizzes
Video2 videos
Abbreviations and Terms Related to Administration of Medications and IV Fluidsm
Reading8 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
Quiz4 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
Hours to complete
4 hours to complete

Diseases of the Bodily Systems

This week turns the focus to the acronyms commonly substituted for the name of diseases and conditions of the bodily systems. To help you relate the disease and its acronym, we have organized the diseases according to systems of the body. First letters of words or syllables usually form the acronym, and commonly at least one letter relates to a system of the body....
Reading
1 video (Total 3 min), 13 readings, 9 quizzes
Reading13 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
Quiz9 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
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33%

started a new career after completing these courses
Career Benefit

83%

got a tangible career benefit from this course

Top Reviews

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 SHAug 26th 2017

I found this course to be very helpful. It was thought out, it was clear, it made you think critically. It changed your mind set intentionally for learning purposes, and it was effective for me.

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

Leader in Education | Pioneer in Research | Partner in Regional Development...

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.

  • 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.