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Review: 7 Best Introduction to Health Science Textbooks for 2022

November 19th, 2021 | 7 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 AES curriculum system.

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High school health science teachers are always on the lookout for resources that prepare their students for careers in healthcare.

One of the most common instructional materials is a health science textbook.

But with so many options available, how can you sort through them all to find the right one for your program?

Overall, there are seven common textbooks used in introduction to health science courses.

The top introduction to health science textbooks (in no particular order) are:

  1. DHO Health Science
  2. Introduction to Health Science: Pathways to Your Future
  3. Health Science: Concepts and Applications
  4. Essential Skills for Health Career Success
  5. Health Science Fundamentals: Exploring Career Pathways
  6. Healthcare Science Technology
  7. Stanfield’s Introduction to Health Professions

In this blog, we’ll review each textbook to help you decide if one is right for you and your students.

Related Resource: Where to Find Intro to Health Science Curriculum

1. DHO Health Sciencedho-health-science

  • Authors: Louise Simmers, Karen Simmers-Nartker, and Sharon Simmers-Kobelak
  • Copyright: 2021
  • Retail Price: $189

Previously known as Diversified Health Occupations, this 9th edition of DHO Health Science is broken into two sections.

Part 1 - Basic Health Care Concepts encompasses the first 18 chapters of the book.

This portion of DHO helps teach basic concepts and skills any healthcare professional will need to know. This includes items such as infection control, vital signs, medical terminology, and cultural diversity.

Part 2 - Special Health Care Skills includes the final six chapters of DHO.

These chapters are more focused on specific skills needed in certain professions, such as nurse assisting or physical therapy.

Overall, DHO Health Science is an excellent textbook to help an introduction to health science teacher cover key healthcare skills and concepts.

2. Introduction to Health Science: Pathways to Your Future

  • Authors: Dorothy Winger and Susan Blahnik
  • Copyright: 2016
  • Retail Price: $127 textbook, $28 workbook

Introduction to Health Science: Pathways to Your Future is designed to teach students about the wide variety of healthcare professions.

The text is made up of 21 chapters organized according to the five health science career pathways:

  1. Health Informatics
  2. Therapeutic
  3. Diagnostic
  4. Support Services
  5. Biotechnology

Each section provides information about what’s needed for a career in the pathway, including professional knowledge, academic knowledge, and fundamental skills.

If you’re looking for a textbook that’s focused on specific careers in healthcare, Introduction to Health Science: Pathways to Your Future could be perfect for your classroom.

3. Health Science: Concepts and Applications

  • Authors: Jacquelyn Rhine Marshall and Dr. Sue C. Roehealth-science-concepts-and-applications
  • Copyright: 2018
  • Retail Price: $120 textbook, $28 workbook

The Health Science: Concepts and Applications textbook introduces basic healthcare skills and concepts across 18 chapters.

These chapters are organized into five main units:

  1. Introduction to Healthcare
  2. Academic Foundations
  3. Critical Concepts in the Healthcare World
  4. Healthcare Skills
  5. College and Career Readiness

Overall, each chapter within the text highlights a key concept or skill that any healthcare worker will need for success in the field. That makes it a useful resource for any introductory health science class.

4. Essential Skills for Health Career Success

  • Author: Jacquelyn Rhine Marshallessential-skills-for-health-career-success
  • Copyright: 2015
  • Retail Price: $67 textbook, $24 workbook

Essential Skills for Health Career Success is designed to bridge basic academic skills like reading and writing to the healthcare industry.

The book includes 12 chapters, covering a wide array of topics:

  1. Introduction to Healthcare Industry
  2. Beginning Your Healthcare Career
  3. Healthcare Ethics and Law
  4. Safety and Infection Control
  5. Study Skills
  6. Reading Competence
  7. Verbal and Written Communications
  8. Medical Terminology and Disease
  9. Science
  10. Math
  11. Healthcare Technology
  12. Employability Skills

If you’re in need of a textbook that specifically applies academic skills in the context of healthcare, Essential Skills for Health Career Success is right up your alley.

5. Health Science Fundamentals, 3rd Edition

  • Authors: Shirley A Badasch and Doreen S. Cheesbrohealth-science-fundamentals-3e
  • Copyright: 2020
  • Retail Price: $85

The Health Science Fundamentals: Exploring Career Pathways textbook is broken into two parts, across 22 chapters.

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

Each chapter is related to overarching information someone needs to know when working as part of a healthcare team.

These include understanding health care systems, legal obligations, medical ethics, and communication.

Part 2 - Health Care Knowledge and Skills is made up of the final 13 chapters of the textbook.

These chapters are more focused on specific concepts and skills needed for a healthcare career, such as medical math, nutrition, patient safety, and medical assisting skills.

Any introductory health science teacher could find this text useful, but the lack of clear pricing is unusual.

If you want to get detailed pricing information on Health Science Fundamentals: Exploring Career Pathways, you’ll have to contact the publisher directly.

6. Healthcare Science Technology

  • Author: Kathryn Boothhealthcare-science-technology-textbook
  • Published: 2013
  • Retail Price: $71

Healthcare Science Technology is a textbook designed to introduce students to common skills used in a variety of allied health careers.

In total, this textbook has 32 chapters about concepts ranging from the overarching health career clusters to the specifics of radiology.

This is the only textbook on our list that has detailed chapters on such specific health care skills and concepts.

So if your goal is to provide this type of detailed information to your students, Healthcare Science Technology could be the perfect fit.

However, it’s important to note that this text was published in 2013. That means it’s more than eight years out of date -- something that can make a big difference in the healthcare industry!

7. Stanfield’s Introduction to Health Professionsstanfields-introduction-to-health-professions-textbook

  • Author: Nanna Cross and Dana McWay
  • Published: 2017
  • Retail Price: $100

This edition of Stanfield’s Introduction to Health Professions textbook includes information about more than 75 healthcare careers across five units:

  1. The Health Care System in the United States
  2. Jobs & Careers
  3. Health Care Practitioners and Technicians
  4. Healthcare Support Personnel
  5. Health Related Professions

Across the 35 chapters, students will learn about basic healthcare concepts plus more detailed information about careers in healthcare.

If you teach a health science class focused on introducing students to specific healthcare careers, this textbook could be a great option for you.

Which Introduction to Health Science Textbook Is Right for You?

Though it’s not possible to review every introductory health science textbook out there, this article can give you some direction in making a confident decision!

As you learn more, keep in mind that there are more instructional material options than traditional textbooks.

In fact, some health science teachers have found that digital curriculum options work better for their classrooms than paper textbooks.

Want to find out if digital curriculum will be a better fit for you and your students?

Click below to read a detailed comparison of digital curriculum versus health science textbooks!

Download Your Comparison Guide: Digital Curriculum vs. Textbooks