Kaduceus vs. HealthCenter21: What’s Better Medical Assisting Curriculum? Blog Feature
Chris Zook

By: Chris Zook on November 21st, 2019

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Kaduceus vs. HealthCenter21: What’s Better Medical Assisting Curriculum?

Medical Assisting | Kaduceus

We've noticed an increased need for digital health science curriculum resources in medical assisting classroom across the country.

As a digital curriculum provider, health science teachers often ask how our offering, HealthCenter21, differ from other providers.

One of the most common options teachers ask us about is Kaduceus.

Though Kaduceus and HealthCenter21 are similar, you may find one works better for your needs than the other.

To help you decide, we'll answer six common questions we hear about Kaduceus and HealthCenter21:

  1. Purpose
  2. Who uses it
  3. How the curriculum is structured
  4. What materials you need
  5. How it’s priced
  6. What teachers and administrators are saying

Question #1. What’s the Purpose?

The #1 difference between Kaduceus and HealthCenter21 is that Kaduceus is made for certification prep and HealthCenter21 is a full-fledged curriculum resource.

This makes Kaduceus great for teachers who have to get students ready for certification exams.

However, compared to HealthCenter21, it doesn’t come with the same variety of curriculum options. 

HealthCenter21 helps with certification prep, and it brings more to the table. HealthCenter21 is designed according to a curriculum framework called the four phases to help students retain information from the moment they encounter it.  

That means you may feel the need to get an extra certification prep resource in addition to HealthCenter21. 

So both Kaduceus and HealthCenter21 have their strongpoints.

That’s why it’s so important for you to consider their other qualities before deciding!

Question #2. Who Uses Kaduceus & HealthCenter21?

Kaduceus and HealthCenter21 are both designed to be used in CTE medical assisting courses.

Still, there are a handful of key differences between Kaduceus and HealthCenter21 users.

Kaduceus Health Science Teachers

Health science teachers use Kaduceus because it comes complete with all of the instructions they need to prep students to pass medical assisting certification exams.

As a result, it’s much easier for them to fill in their lessons, syllabus, curriculum, and administrative paperwork to get all of their non-teaching busy work done.

On top of that, health science teachers use Kaduceus because it comes with specially-tailored content around one specific course or certification — like medical assisting!

Again, this helps take all of the guess work out of curriculum planning, and it gives health science teachers a hard-and-fast resource to get them through a semester.

HealthCenter21 Health Science Teachers

HealthCenter21 instructors use it to teach a greater variety of courses, compared to teachers using Kaduceus. That includes almost everything from introductory courses like Principles of Health Science to certification prep for medical assisting.

That’s because HealthCenter21 is made to be a flexible curriculum option that can move whole classes toward certifications while accommodating individual student needs.

In that way, HealthCenter21 has to be more flexible so that it can fit in more classrooms than just the ones that focus on “certification prep.”

Teachers use HealthCenter21 for accommodation, reinforcement, and even aligning the same classes across multiple schools in large districts to create consistency in coursework.

That extra collaborative feature is perfect for administrators who want health science teachers to teach the same material at every school, as well.

With that, HealthCenter21 teachers use it to address a number of different situations and scenarios, all of which are in addition to standard certification prep for medical assisting!

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Question #3. How Is the Curriculum Structured?

Since we’re comparing two curricula options in Texas health science, it’s best to start by talking about the curriculum itself!

Specifically, it’s important to examine the curriculum structure.

The structure of a curriculum will show you how much of it you have to use “out of the box” and what you can customize.

So how do Kaduceus and HealthCenter21 match up for medical assisting curriculum?

Here’s the short answer:

Kaduceus is great for teachers who want a single roadmap that tells them how to teach to a certification.

HealthCenter21 is ideal for teachers who want to teach a class that includes their personal passions and professional experiences.

For more details, let’s take a look at each curriculum individually.

Kaduceus Curriculum Structure

Kaduceus structures its medical assisting curriculum systematically.

This system takes you through every single day — and even hour — of teaching medical assisting.

This breakdown features a “lesson overview” that Kaduceus uses to outline the following details:

  • The week to teach a lesson
  • The hour to teach that lesson
  • Prerequisite coursework needed
  • Labs and activities
  • Homework assignments

This structure is incredibly helpful for first-year teachers, like nurses who changed careers to teaching. It lays out every single lesson you need to teach to your students, and you get the sequence of instruction so that you can follow a roadmap to a T.

You also get a breakdown of different resources you’ll need to teach each lesson, including lab materials, agendas, and student learning objectives.

This makes it a cinch for you to fill out paperwork that your administrator needs to have you complete, particularly around student results.

The Kaduceus MA curriculum also includes forms and sheets to use as practice resources for venipuncture, finger sticks, phlebotomy, and more.

Altogether, this information is packaged in a teacher guide. With all of this information in one place, it’s no wonder Kaduceus is so well-known among teachers and schools who value standardization in a health science program.

However, this same convenience that makes Kaduceus great for first-year teachers can also be a hindrance.

The structure of the Kaduceus curriculum is challenging to customize. The lessons and resources you need are presented in a way that prohibits you from adding any of your own person flair or experience to the lessons.

As a result, Kaduceus can feel dry in terms of resources and materials. Your students can easily feel that as well.

After all, if you’re not feeling passionate about what you’re teaching, how can your students be passionate about what they’re learning?

HealthCenter21 Curriculum Structure

The structure of HealthCenter21’s curriculum is significantly different from Kaduceus.

HealthCenter21 is organized into modules, which contain interactive lessons, formative assessments, summative assessments, classroom activities, and more.

You can also change settings on these modules to control student pacing, allow students to re-take assessments, and accommodate IEPs. 

As the name “module” implies, you can mix and match these topics to cover a wide variety of concepts in a single class.

For exceptionally popular classes — like medical assisting — you can also use curriculum templates that contain the recommended sequence of modules to teach a certain course.

Each module in HealthCenter21 is further structured according to the four phases of learning to improve long-term information retention in students.

Most of the time, the only resource you’ll need for HealthCenter21 is an Internet-connected device with a web browser.

Still, it comes with activity instructions, project ideas, and more that you can print to use with students on a pen-and-paper basis. 

That’s because HealthCenter21 does not include any official labs. HealthCenter21 does provide skills checklists that you can use to evaluate students’ hands-on expertise, but the labs are left to you.

This allows you to add your own spin or flair to your classroom based on your experience as a healthcare professional!

Share anecdotes, use examples from your professional life, and highlight the important skills you think that students need to know (but the state may not mandate they need to know).

In this way, HealthCenter21 acts as more of a curriculum toolbox for teachers. It comes with the tools a teacher needs to conduct a successful class and even get students certified — but the teacher needs to learn how to use them!

With HealthCenter21, you can teach students about common medical assisting concepts and skills, including:

You can also pick and choose different information to teach (and not teach) your students.

Overall, this makes HealthCenter21 great for a teacher who wants curriculum to guide them toward a successful class while they can add their personal spin to different lessons.

Question #4. What Materials Do You Need?

From a curriculum standpoint, Kaduceus and HealthCenter21 come with comparable supplies — the actual curriculum itself.

However, you’re running a whole class or program, meaning you need equipment for labs, practicals, and more!

So when it comes down to brass tacks, what do you need to use Kaduceus MA curriculum vs. HealthCenter21?

Kaduceus Supplemental Materials

The Kaduceus medical assisting curriculum lists a comprehensive collection of materials that you need to teach.

These include:

  • Projectors
  • Computers
  • Lancets
  • Lab instruction
  • Glucose test strips
  • Gloves
  • Gauze
  • Bandages
  • Alcohol preps

That’s quite a list! Materials cost money, so if you only have your classroom budget at your disposal, it’s a challenge to get Kaduceus materials and all of the other stuff you need to teach medical assisting.

The worst-case scenario here is dipping into your personal funds to pay for classroom materials, which you probably have to do a lot already.

We highly recommend that you check with your administrator to talk about funding options to cover all of the incidentals you’ll have to get with the Kaduceus curriculum.

Otherwise, you may wind up spending quite a bit!

HealthCenter21 Supplemental Materials

In contrast with Kaduceus, HealthCenter21 is packaged for simplicity.

The only material you really need for HealthCenter21 is an Internet-connected device.

However, HealthCenter21 is much more successful in classrooms where students have regular access to computers and the Internet.

That’s because HealthCenter21 comes with a lot of interactive scenarios and lessons that you need the Internet to really embrace.

Still, you can use other activity ideas — like roleplaying and collaborative learning — to create a valuable classroom experience for your students without shelling out for tons of incidentals.

In the event you still need funding for your labs, you can also look into various funding opportunities with your administrators or colleagues — especially Perkins V funding

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Question #5. How Is It Priced?

This question gets a little bit tricky.

We develop HealthCenter21. We do not develop Kaduceus.

So we can’t really say how it works when you want to buy Kaduceus curriculum.

However, we’ve talked to teachers who have bought Kaduceus, so we know a few numbers.

With that in mind, we can’t advise you on the Kaduceus purchasing process.

But we can at least tell you what other teachers have told us! Then, we’ll compare it against our pricing plan for HealthCenter21.

Kaduceus Pricing

We can’t make claims about Kaduceus’s pricing model in good conscience because AES has no involvement in that process.

We’ve heard specific numbers from teachers in Texas, but those are just snapshots of what Kaduceus does and how they operate.

The important concept to remember is that Kaduceus focuses heavily on certification prep in its curriculum. It’s not designed for long-term information retention — it’s designed to help students pass tests.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Administrators throughout the country put pressure on health science teachers to get results, and those results are often certifications.

So if you want to show that you have a successful medical assisting program, you need to get your students certified!

Still, teaching to the test isn’t a perfect solution in CTE.

The best way to find out what Kaduceus will cost is to ask them directly!

HealthCenter21 Pricing

HealthCenter21 pricing starts at $1,500 per year and increases based on a number of factors:

  • The number of students you have
  • The features you need
  • Training
  • Custom reporting
  • Custom course creation
  • Rostering
  • LMS integration

Typically, most teachers succeed with the standard HealthCenter21 package that starts at $1,500.

Other medical assisting teachers — like those at districts with multiple schools — may need a larger package to accommodate their colleagues, hundreds of students, and administrator access.

These are two drastically different needs, but they’re both based on size.

So if you’re a single health science teacher, you can expect a price tag closer to that baseline of $1,500.

If you’re one of many health science instructors, your department will probably have to pay more to accommodate all of the students being taught.

With HealthCenter21, you’ll still have to pay for lab equipment.

But with so many different lesson ideas and teaching opportunities rolled into one curriculum, you’re also getting more than test prep.

You’re getting a solid resource for your medical assisting course that can become a strong foundation for your health science program as a whole.

Question #6. What Are Admins & Teachers Saying?

Before you buy something, you always want to know who else is using it.

Fortunately, Kaduceus and HealthCenter21 both publicly provide feedback from happy teachers and administrators!

Kaduceus Admins & Teachers

Kaduceus has a number of testimonials that include teachers, students, and administrators.

The quotes are brief, but they’re ringing endorsements of Kaduceus as a resource.

You can check them out on the Kaduceus testimonial page!

HealthCenter21 Admins & Teachers

In the 32 years that AES has existed, we’ve talked to a lot of teachers who have used HealthCenter21.

That’s why we recorded their stories for others to see!

These HealthCenter21 success stories offer glimpses into the successes, challenges, inspirations, and passions that teachers have experienced throughout the United States.

With their stories, many other health science instructors have found the starting point they need to catch their breath, teach their students, and go above and beyond the call of duty for an educator.

With all of that said, there’s just one more question.

Should you pick Kaduceus or HealthCenter21?

Kaduceus vs. HealthCenter21: Which Is Right for You?

At the end of the day, you’re the best judge of whether Kaduceus or HealthCenter21 is right for you.

If your goal is strictly test prep, go with Kaduceus.

If you’re looking for a teaching resource to help you plan classes, teach students, assess their progress, and prep for certifications, then HealthCenter21 is your choice! 

Are you ready to choose?

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About Chris Zook

Chris Zook is a contributing author to the AES blog. He enjoys everything about online marketing, data science, user experience, and corgis.