The study of healthcare encompasses a variety of areas including health-related, behavioral, and social sciences. Specifically, many colleges offer a large variety of healthcare related programs including medicine, nursing, pharmacology, as well as health policies and public health. Open coursewares released by colleges and universities around the nation may cover courses spanning from nutrition and medicine to medical ethics. These courses are typically aimed to provide students a strong background in health related subjects at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Therefore, many open coursewares may provide more practical skills while others provide more professional development and insight.
An online education course can teach you the theories and principles of healthcare and may offer some options for learning practical skills in a healthcare environment. Participating in hands-on practicum is essential to most healthcare fields, so free online courses essentially give you a chance to learn for personal edification or to see if you want to pursue a degree.
Below is a directory of free healthcare courses including text files, video lectures, presentations, and more from colleges around the world. This material is a great resource to explore the field of healthcare before officially enrolling in an online education class for credit.
Originally presented in 2004, this 3-5 hour medicine online course is a continuing medical education (CME) class aimed at neurologists or other medical practitioners who want to expand their knowledge on the topic of dementia, and can be used to receive CME credits. The course covers current research and treatment options for Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, and offers a practical approach for interacting with dementia patients and their families based on real case studies.
This health information management online course will introduce you to the fundamentals of the study of epidemiology – that is, the cause and distribution of various diseases. During this open courseware, you will examine topics including infectious and chronic diseases, the spread and frequency of disease and human infection risks. You will learn how to measure the level of disease occurrence and be given the opportunity to analyze data collected from research and studies regarding disease outbreaks, morbidity and mortality.
Published in 2011, this five-day workshop is intended for mid and top-level healthcare managers in the sub-Saharan region and other similar regions around the world. During this health information management online course, you will discover ways to effectively manage healthcare services which focus on improving health and wellness in these areas. You will explore topics such as leadership practices, leading change and personal communication in additional to learning how to develop and execute a healthcare action plan.
Through this second-year graduate level course, you will examine the relationship between population, public, animal and human health, as well as health practices in these areas. This health information management online course is offered to veterinary medicine students and is meant to serve as a foundational framework for understanding the role of veterinarians and their role in public health and clinical medicine. During this free open courseware, you will study the Ten Essential Public Health Services (EPHS) which include evaluating and monitoring community health problems and researching solutions to health problems among other services.
Communication between patients and doctors can be more complicated than you think. This technical communication online course, originally prepared in 2011, will train you in the skills needed to have a sympathetic and productive conversation with a patient, obtaining information you might need to make a diagnosis without embarrassing, discomforting or humiliating your patient. No special technology beyond a computer and internet connection is needed to access this course, although it is written for student doctors and assumes a great deal of medical knowledge.
As you explore the history of medicine in America, you will examine the evolution of the social and cultural meaning of medical science and the perception of the medical profession in American life. This insurance online course will also introduce you to concepts and theories surrounding class, gender, age, race, lifestyle and location and the delivery of healthcare in America. There are no prerequisites to this undergraduate course, and it is open to students of diverse academic backgrounds. It was originally published as open courseware in 2007.
Originally recorded in the fall 2006 semester, this online course is designed to teach you to see beyond the individual patient and look at larger patterns of health and disease within entire populations, especially when it comes to elderly populations. You will study how people age in different situations, with a particular focus on how the elderly are treated in America, by studying a hypothetical model population and other case studies. This course consists of lecture transcripts and slides as well as supplementary assignments.
Originally presented in the spring 2010 semester, this online course introduces advanced students and health care professionals to the institutions that provide oversight within the field of healthcare. In it, you will examine which institutions monitor the performance of different health care facilities, which standards of quality they adhere to, and how these standards differ between states and even individual institutions. The course also addresses the specific tools and techniques that are used in this process as well as how performance is rewarded or penalized. It consists of text lecture transcripts as well as web links to relevant materials.
The first part of a longer course, this online course consists of transcripts from lectures originally given in 2010 introducing the topic of epidemiology, or the branch of medicine dealing with the spread and control of diseases. This course is meant for medical practitioners and administrators already working in the health care field, and addresses specific issues such as what constitutes a public health problem, the DOTS program, disease prevalence rates and a general understanding of the specific vocabulary and concepts in epidemiology. A supplementary textbook is available through the university.
The postgraduate online course is aimed at health care professionals working in medical administration. Through its readings, you will learn about common management principles as they apply to hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities, including human resources management, planning and best practices in the management of resources. This course is part of several similar modules that can result in a certificate.
This short course, originally from 2010, is designed for health care administrators and other professionals working in the field, particularly in developing countries. This medical billing and coding online course is presented by the University of the Western Cape and covers managing people specifically in the context of health care facilities. In it you will explore topics such as managing conflict, working with and supervising groups, development strategy and motivation.
This six-day course from the East Africa HEALTH Alliance Health Emergency Management Program is a cross-university workshop for those working in public health in Africa or anywhere in the developing world. Originally presented in 2012, this online course covers such topics as how governments and public health facilities respond to disasters, how to increase preparedness, preparing for and reacting to epidemics and mass casualty incidents.
This health information online course examines how human pathology and public health – both in the Netherlands and worldwide – are directly influenced by water sanitation and quality. Water-related diseases such as malaria and bilharzia are highlighted as well as their epidemiological origin and specific vaccination basics. Only masters-level students can enroll in this course composed of 36 reading modules and capped with a final oral examination. However, English-speaking students are only required to complete 15 of the articles as opposed to Dutch students whom are responsible for reading the entire 36 articles.
This online course is relevant not only for nursing students, but for all medical and biology undergraduates who want to understand the importance of nutrition and how it affects human health. Originally presented in the fall of 2006, this 25-hour class will teach you many important principles of nutrition in the context of medicine, including how to assess a patient's dietary status, understanding how diet influences major diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer or hypertension, understanding how behavior and lifestyle affect nutrition, and learning how to evaluate the adequacy of a diet.
Published in 2010, these open courseware videos are part of a workshop series presented by the CS Mott Children’s Hospital Pediatric Palliative Care Team to help healthcare workers learn how to improve patient care for terminally ill pediatric patient. In this online course, you will explore how to prepare parents for the death of a child, how to alleviate patient pain and agitation and how to identify anguish sources in family members and support staff through the role-playing demonstrations. Although there are no prerequisites for this course, you should have experience healthcare experience and an understanding of pediatric care.
Published in 2011, this online course teaches you about the correct and safe use of asthma equipment with pediatric patients. Structured as a series of videos, Dr. Joiner demonstrates the safe use of dry powder inhalers, nebulizers, peak flow meters, metered dose inhalers and Epi Pens with real patients. This series is available for anyone to view, but it is targeted towards medical professionals.
A case study on the Lennox Castle Hospital, this online course seeks to provide perspective on the history of asylums and institutions in the 20th century, including topics like segregation and professional staff. Though some knowledge of mental health or history could improve your grasp on the course content, this is an introductory undergraduate course and no prior training in either field is needed. This 2012 course is offered entirely through your browser, so you do not need additional programs to access the content.
This freshman level online course explores effective interviewing techniques doctors and other healthcare professional use to communicate with patients. Through this introductory class, you will develop the basic skills and knowledge needed to conduct doctor-patient interviews to collect necessary information and data, such as a patient’s medical history. Additionally, this course will focus on methods of building positive and trusting relationships with patients. You will learn how to empathize and carefully listen to patients’ needs and concerns to build a healthy rapport with them.
This online course was originally presented in 2008, and is intended for both graduate and undergraduate dentistry and other medical specialty students. Its subject matter concerns caring for people with mental and physical disabilities at the dental office. Through lectures and supplementary readings you will learn to approach and treat patients with specific mental and physical disabilities, including congenital heart defects, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, down syndrome, autism and related disorders.
Ethics is a very important aspect of practicing medicine, and doctors, nurses, medical assistants and others in the field of health care face ethical quandaries on a regular basis. This online course is as much about philosophy as about medicine, and through the use of audio lectures, lecture slides, and assigned readings you will examine the philosophical questions that commonly arise in the practice of medicine, including confidentiality and the doctor-patient relationship, truth-telling, informed consent, abortion, euthanasia and physician assisted suicide. The course concludes with a look at important judicial cases involving medical ethics.
Through this public health course, you will investigate the fundamental elements and factors that underline various conditions of health and disease in populations. You will take an in-depth look at how public health is approached locally and globally while studying the principles, concepts and methodologies of diverse disciplines associated with public health research and practice. Specific areas of study include topics in the social and behavioral sciences, biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health sciences and health policy and administration. This online course is open to graduate students with a variety of academic backgrounds and experience.