Skip to main content

«  View All Posts

High School | Medical Assisting | Educational Resources

4 Best Medical Assistant Curriculum Options for High School

March 16th, 2022 | 10 min. read

Mike Cescon

Mike Cescon

With past experience in teaching, a couple of degrees in writing, and an upbringing immersed in medical jargon, Mike is positioned well to hear out the most common questions teachers ask about the iCEV curriculum. His goal is to write content that quickly and effectively answers these questions so you can back to what matters - teaching your students.

Print/Save as PDF

Whether you’re new to teaching medical assisting or just need more robust materials for your course, it can be frustrating to find the curriculum you’re looking for. Individual lesson plans and activities may be great for some teachers, but if you want to prepare your students for strong futures as medical assistants, you need a curriculum that’s worthy of them. 

But where do you start looking? What medical assistant curriculum options are out there? Which ones will help you meet your standards, or set your students on the path to becoming certified?

As a medical assistant curriculum developer, we’ve heard these questions and more from hundreds of health science teachers. In response, we’ve collected some of the most popular curriculum options out there when it comes to teaching medical assisting. 

In this article, you’ll discover four of the best curriculum options to form the core of your medical assisting course: 

  1. Kinn’s Medical Assisting Fundamentals
  2. CTE Online’s Medical Assistant Curriculum
  4. NHA’s Medical Assistant SkillsBuilder

By the end of this article, you’ll have a deeper understanding of each of these resources so that you can choose whichever one will best fit your classroom. 

1. Kinn’s Medical Assisting Fundamentals

cover image - Kinn's Medical Assisting Fundamentals,2nd Edition

Kinn’s Medical Assisting Fundamentals, 2nd Edition is a comprehensive textbook that introduces students to fundamental concepts, skills, and procedures to prepare them for futures as medical assistants. 

Author: Brigitte Niedzwiecki

Publisher: Elsevier, 2022

What Medical Assisting Topics Are Included?

Kinn’s Medical Assisting Fundamentals is written in an easy-to-read style and attempts to provide as well-rounded an education as it can. 

Structurally, it is composed of 57 chapters divided across eight units:

  1. Medical Terminology, Anatomy and Physiology
  2. Professional Medical Assistant
  3. Administrative Ambulatory Care
  4. Basic Clinical Procedures
  5. Advanced Clinical Procedures
  6. Limited Scope Radiology
  7. Medical Laboratory
  8. Employment Seeking

Several other features in the book include critical thinking exercises, medical terminology segments, study tips, and real-world scenarios that help contextualize each chapter and make them applicable to the day-to-day life of a medical assistant. 

Notably, the content within the textbook is aligned explicitly with medical assisting certifications like NHA CCMA, NHA CMAA, and AMCA CMAC. This makes it an excellent choice if you’re looking to prepare your students to become certified.

What Does this Medical Assisting Curriculum Cost?

Kinn’s Medical Assisting Fundamentals is available for $135 on Elsevier’s website.

Who Is this Medical Assisting Curriculum Intended For?

Kinn’s Medical Assisting Fundamentals is a solid choice for teachers who want a more traditional curriculum to teach their medical assisting course. It provides foundational knowledge written to be easily understandable, so even students new to medical assisting can quickly pick up valuable information. 

Overall, if you’re looking for a textbook that’s well-rounded, meant for beginners, and aligned to important certifications, Kinn’s Medical Assisting may be the choice for you.

2. CTE Online’s Medical Assistant Curriculum


For those teachers looking to move away from textbooks and into less traditional resources, there are other options available for teaching medical assisting. 

CTE Online is a website dedicated to providing California-based CTE teachers with the curriculum materials they need to succeed in the classroom. Though designed to align specifically with California’s course standards, most of the resources on the website could be used effectively by a CTE teacher in almost any state. 

CTE Online offers a Medical Assistant Model curriculum, a collection of expert-designed online resources developed to train high school students in the knowledge and skills they need to become effective medical assistants.

What Medical Assisting Topics Are Included?

The Medical Assistant Model course is robust and comprehensive, covering about 540 hours total between in-class, out-of-class, and lab work. It is organized into two segments, each focusing on different essential skills medical assistants must learn:

  • The Medical Assisting Core segment provides more foundational knowledge to students, teaching them essential concepts like medical terminology, emergency care procedures, body structure and function, interpersonal skills, and more. 
  • The Medical Assisting Clinical segment instead focuses on specific technical skills that students can use in the “back office” of their workplace. These skills include office surgery, electrocardiography, laboratory skills, diagnostic procedures, and more. 

These two segments are divided into 17 units, each of which comprises several curriculum hours worth of lessons, assignments, and projects. Some of these units include:

  • Infection Control and Universal Precautions
  • Safety in the Medical Office
  • Interpersonal Communications
  • The Patient Record
  • Medical Terminology
  • Vital Signs
  • Minor Surgical Procedures
  • Medical Terminology

Altogether, the Medical Assistant Model course is extensively detailed and, due to its length, is designed to be completed across two semesters.

However, a point to consider is that even though the course is marked as “Industry Certified,” CTE Online doesn’t provide the details about which certifications their Medical Assistant Model aligns with. 

What Does this Medical Assisting Curriculum Cost?

The Medical Assistant Model course is completely free, so long as you register for an account on CTE Online’s website.

Who Is this Medical Assisting Curriculum Intended For?

CTE Online’s Medical Assistant Model course has several distinct benefits for health science teachers, including its level of detail and well-roundedness. For a free resource, you’d have a hard time beating out the level of quality you can get from CTE Online. 

If you’re looking for an in-depth, comprehensive, and free online curriculum to teach your high school students the practical medical assisting skills they need, CTE Online’s curriculum might be the best choice for you. 

3. SIMTICS’ Medical Assisting Curriculum

SimTutor | Global Leader in Simulation-based Training

SIMTICS is an online learning platform designed to help future medical professionals--including medical assistants--learn critical skills they’ll use every day within their chosen pathway. 

Specifically, SIMTICS provides students with a simulated online environment where they can observe and perform necessary medical procedures and tests. 

Within this virtual environment, students can gain firsthand experience practicing procedures no matter where they are, and without the pressures, costs, or safety risks of doing so in person.

What Medical Assisting Topics Are Included?

SIMTICS’ Medical Assisting curriculum focuses on preparing future medical assistants for labs and externships by helping them practice key medical skills and informing them about the equipment they’ll use.  

The curriculum is divided into 31 modules, each covering different procedures or clinical work. Some of these modules include:

  • Disinfection and Sterilization
  • Preparation for Minor Surgical Procedures
  • Basic Radiographic Techniques
  • Handling Medical Emergencies
  • Obtaining Vital Signs
  • Administering Injections

Each of these modules explores a particular medical procedure or test. Generally, the format for a module includes an online simulation, step-by-step description of a procedure, video demonstration, and 3D visual representations of the anatomy involved. 

An important point to keep in mind regarding SIMTICS is that it places a narrow focus on developing students’ practical skills. This means you might find the curriculum just isn’t robust enough to fill up your entire course. 

If you need lesson plans, activities, or projects, for instance, you may need to pull material from other resources to give your students a more comprehensive experience.

What Does this Medical Assisting Curriculum Cost?

SIMTICS divides its pricing into three plans: Academic, Enterprise, and Individual:

  • Academic pricing is intended for educational institutions and includes various forms of support for school faculty. Your price for this plan will vary depending on what content you want to include, the average number of students you expect in a year, and the access period required for the students. 
  • Enterprise pricing is intended for businesses, and your price for this plan will vary only based on the content you want to include and the average number of students you expect during the year.
  • Individual pricing is intended for those who seek personal training in health science subject matter. If you need independent practice for medical assisting, you can purchase a 12-month subscription to the SIMTICS medical assisting module for $149. 

When it comes to Academic or Enterprise pricing, it’s a good idea to reach out to SIMTICS to get a proper quote on what their curriculum may cost. 

Who Is this Medical Assisting Curriculum Intended For?

SIMTICS is a great fit for health science teachers who want to train their students in the essential procedural skills they’ll use every day on the job. However, for those teachers looking for a more comprehensive curriculum capable of covering an entire medical assistant course, SIMTICS might not have the breadth of material you need

If you’re looking for a simulation-based training system, or otherwise need to give your students valuable hands-on skills practice at a reasonable price, then SIMTICS would probably fit your needs well. 

4. NHA’s Medical Assistant SkillsBuilder: Clinical

The Value of NHA Certification | ACI | Medical & Dental School

The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) is a nationally-recognized certification provider for the healthcare industry. They offer certifications for many healthcare careers, including two for medical assistants: the CMAA and CCMA

NHA also offers resources to health science teachers to train their students in skills that align with certification exams and industry expectations. One of these resources is their Medical Assistant SkillsBuilder: Clinical, which is an online training program designed to prepare students to take the CCMA exam and become Clinical Medical Assistants.

What Medical Assisting Topics Are Included?

The Medical Assistant SkillsBuilder focuses on helping students develop the competencies that employers seek in candidates. Specifically, the program strives to train students in hard skills that will prepare them for externships and open up opportunities for future employment. 

The program is divided into 12 modules, which help students learn and develop in 39 essential skill areas. Some of these modules include:

  • Infection Control
  • Vital Signs & Body Measurements
  • Minor Surgical Tasks
  • Pediatric Procedures
  • Pharmacology
  • Laboratory Testing
  • Clinical Communication

These modules are composed of hours’ worth of tools, coaching videos, demonstrations, quizzes, and other content designed to give students the practical understanding they need. 

It’s important to note, as well, that because the NHA is the provider of the valuable CCMA exam, this resource is specifically designed to prepare students for the exam and ensure they get certified. This makes it an excellent choice if higher certification rates are your goal.

What Does this Medical Assisting Curriculum Cost?

The NHA MA SkillsBuilder: Clinical costs $90 on NHA's website. You can also sign up for a free demo to test it out before purchasing it. 

Who Is this Medical Assisting Curriculum Intended For?

NHA’s MA SkillsBuilder: Clinical is an excellent choice for teachers who are explicitly focused on aligning their course with the requirements of the CCMA exam. Because NHA administers both the CCMA certification and the MA SkillsBuilder program, teachers can prepare students with the exact training they need to pass. 

If you’re looking purely for higher CCMA certification rates in your medical assisting program, then NHA’s Medical SkillsBuilder would be a good fit for you. 

However, a factor to keep in mind is that this program isn’t a true curriculum, but a training system intended to help students pass the CCMA exam and become certified. If instead you want a complete, well-rounded curriculum to help you teach your medical assisting course, this resource likely won’t be what you need.

Need an All-in-One Curriculum to Teach Your Medical Assistant Course?

Between meeting your standards, aligning with certifications, complementing your teaching style, and appealing to your students, you have a lot to think about when choosing the right curriculum for you. 

In this article, you’ve discovered four of the best curriculum options out there to teach your students how to become medical assistants. These resources either help cover course standards, or are well aligned to certification exams. And if you use two or more of them together, you’re bound to fulfill your needs as an educator. 

However, if you need a singular curriculum that will both meet your course standards and align with certifications like the CCMA, CMAC, and MA, check out HealthCenter21

HealthCenter21 is a curriculum system designed with flexibility and comprehensiveness in mind. It is regularly updated by a team of professionals dedicated to ensuring it aligns with medical assistant course standards and certifications:

New call-to-action