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Health Science | Principles of Health Science | Texas

Top 6 Principles of Health Science Textbooks (2023 REVIEWS)

December 14th, 2022 | 17 min. read

Bri Stauffer

Bri Stauffer

For nearly 10 years, Bri has focused on creating content to address the questions and concerns educators have about teaching classes, preparing students for certifications, and making the most of the iCEV curriculum system.

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As a health science curriculum provider, we work with thousands of health science teachers every year, many of whom are in Texas.

Many of these teachers ask us for recommendations on how they can meet their Principles of Health Science TEKS requirements.

But with so many options out there, how can you find the right Principles of Health Science resource for you and your students?

While our curriculum HealthCenter21 aligns extremely well with the Principles of Health Science TEKS, some teachers are strictly looking to use a textbook.

To help you meet your requirements and also your preferred teaching method, we've put together a list of textbooks we often hear about.

There are six Principles of Health Science textbooks commonly used in Texas classes:

  1. DHO Health Science
  2. Introduction to Health Science: Pathways to Your Future
  3. Health Science Fundamentals: Career Pathways and Essential Skills
  4. Principles of Health Science - Texas Edition
  5. Health Careers Today
  6. Today’s Health Professions

On this page, you’ll learn the details about each textbook to decide if one is right for your Principles of Health Science course!

You'll also have the opportunity to learn how health science teachers like you use digital curriculum to meet their TEKS requirements and provide blended learning opportunities to their students.


1. DHO Health Science

  • Authors: Louise Simmers, Karen Simmers-Nartker, and Sharon Simmers-Kobelak
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Published: 2022
  • Retail Price: $197

DHO Health Science, previously known as Diversified Health Occupations, is one of the most well-known health science textbooks on the market.

The content within the book is broken into two sections:

  • Part 1 - Basic Health Care Concepts
  • Part 2 - Special Health Care Skills

Part 1 - Basic Health Care Concepts and Skills makes up the first 18 chapters of the book.

This part introduces basic concepts and skills any healthcare professional will need to know -- no matter which career pathway they choose.

This includes information on healthcare systems, legal and ethical responsibilities, cultural diversity, vital signs, and more.

Part 2 - Special Health Care Skills encompasses the remaining six chapters of DHO Health Science.

These chapters focus on skills needed in specific healthcare careers, such as medical assisting or nurse assisting.

Overall, DHO Health Science is an excellent tool to help teach key healthcare skills and concepts required in Principles of Health Science.

However, when flipping through DHO Health Science your students will be met with page after page of dense information – something that can negatively impact engagement.

So, if you have trouble keeping your students engaged in detailed healthcare skills and concepts, DHO Health Science may not be the best choice.


2. Introduction to Health Science: Pathways to Your Future

  • Authors: Dorothy Winger and Susan Blahnik
  • Publisher: Goodheart-Willcox
  • Published: 2016
  • Retail Price: $140
  • Workbook: $30

Introduction to Health Science: Pathways to Your Future teaches students about dozens of healthcare career options.

The information is organized into five units with 21 chapters altogether, which align with the five health science career pathways:

  • Unit 1 - Health Informatics Career Pathway
  • Unit 2 - Therapeutic Career Pathway
  • Unit 3 - Diagnostic Career Pathway
  • Unit 4 - Support Services Pathway
  • Unit 5 - Biotechnology Career Pathway

Each unit includes detailed information related to career skills, professional knowledge, and academic knowledge needed for careers in the related pathway.

That means Introduction to Health Science: Pathways to Your Future is an excellent resource when focusing on specific careers in the healthcare industry.

However, the specific focus on the five career pathways may lead you to miss teaching the overarching healthcare concepts you need to teach in Principles of Health Science.

If you use Introduction to Health Science: Pathways to Your Future, you may need to supplement your curriculum with other resources to provide more background information.


3. Health Science Fundamentals: Career Pathways and Essential Skills

  • Authors: Shirley A. Badasch and Doreen S. Cheesbro
  • Publisher: Savvas
  • Published: 2020
  • Retail Price: $85

Health Science Fundamentals: Career Pathways and Essential Skills includes 22 chapters organized into two parts.

Part 1 - Becoming a Health Care Worker encompasses the first nine chapters of the book.

These chapters teach overarching skills and concepts any healthcare professional needs to know.

In this part of the book, you’ll find chapters on medical ethics, teamwork, communication, healthcare systems, and other high-level concepts.

Part 2 - Health Care Knowledge and Skills encompasses the final 13 chapters of the book.

In these chapters, you’ll find more detailed healthcare skills, such as medical terminology, measurements, mental illness, infection control, and sports medicine.

Overall, any Principles of Health Science instructor will find this textbook helpful to cover the basic knowledge and skills their students need to know.

However, some of the information might be dated or inaccurate (such as using the term mental illness instead of behavioral health). This may be because some material is left over from previous versions of the book. 

If you plan to purchase Health Science Fundamentals, it’s important to review everything prior to starting your lessons, to make sure you don’t teach incorrect information!


4. Principles of Health Science - Texas Edition

  • Authors: Shirley A. Badash and Doreen S. Cheesbro
  • Publisher: Savvas
  • Published: 2017
  • Retail Price: Unlisted

Principles of Health Science - Texas Edition appears to be the only option on our list specifically created for the Texas Principles of Health Science course.

However, the table of contents is exactly the same as the Health Science Fundamentals book!

So even though this text is presented as a Texas-specific option, the only differences between the two books are the cover and title.

If you like the idea of purchasing a textbook with your course name in the title, this option is right up your alley.

However, the information within might be a bit outdated. While Savvas updated Health Science Fundamentals with a third edition, this textbook hasn't been updated since 2017. That means it might not be the right fit for you when it comes to the content provided!

health careers

5. Health Careers Today

  • Author: Judith Gerdin
  • Publisher: Elsevier
  • Published: 2022
  • Retail Price: $105

Health Careers Today, 7th Edition grants students an overview of some of the most popular healthcare careers, and the foundational skills necessary to succeed in their chosen pathway. 

This textbook is composed of 35 chapters spread across three units, moving from the latest developments in healthcare into important skills and concepts every healthcare worker should know. 

Unit 1 - Healthcare Today consists of five chapters, which cover the current state of healthcare in the United States, how modern healthcare facilities function, and more. 

Unit 2 - Healthcare Fundamentals consists of 11 chapters, which teach students essential healthcare concepts and knowledge, like medical terminology, medical math, body systems, and more. 

Unit 3 - Healthcare Careers consists of 19 chapters, which dive into many different healthcare professions and the requirements of each. These include nursing professionals, phlebotomists, pharmacy support staff, and more. 

This all means that Health Careers Today is filled with extremely detailed information any Principles of Health Science teacher would find helpful.


6. Today’s Health Professions

  • Author: Patricia Lockamy Royal
  • Publisher: B.E. Publishing
  • Published: 2016
  • Retail Price: $111

Today’s Healthcare Professions introduces students to healthcare as a potential career path.

The book is made up of 31 chapters, organized into five sections:

  1. The State of the Healthcare Environment
  2. The Divisions of Healthcare
  3. Primary Care Professions
  4. Allied Health Professions
  5. The Professional Work Environment

Each section focuses on a specific aspect of healthcare to help students determine which pathway may be best for them.

Overall, Today’s Health Professions is an excellent way to introduce your Principles of Health Science students to the wide world of healthcare opportunities available to them.

However, it’s important to note that each chapter in the book is written by a different healthcare professional. This could lead to inconsistencies in writing style and depth of information, which can impact your students’ overall learning experience.

Which Principles of Health Science Textbook Is Right for You?

Overall, there is no singular "best" Principles of Health Science Textbook. 

Deciding on one depends on how you want to teach certain topics, how much time you want to put into adding engaging activities, and your comfort level in revising outdated materials.

If after reading these reviews, you're looking for a more flexible, engaging, and current curriculum option, consider looking into the AES health science curriculum HealthCenter21.

HealthCenter21 includes more than 1,000 hours of curriculum content, including hands-on activities, eLearning lessons, and a variety of assessments.

Dozens of Texas health science educators have found that digital curriculum works better for their classes than traditional textbooks.

Here’s one teacher’s experience with using HealthCenter21 to teach Principles:

“For my Principles of Health Science class, HealthCenter21 has just about everything I need for the entire year.

Over the past 24 years at Debakey High School for Health Professions, I have not found a textbook that will meet my needs for the course. HealthCenter21 meets all my needs for Principles of Health Science!

Regina Jackson
Debakey High School for Health Professions, Texas

Want to learn more? Download the TEKS alignment for HealthCenter21 and the Texas Principles of Health Science course:

Discover How HealthCenter21 Aligns to the Principles of Health Science TEKS