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Career and Technical Education (CTE) | Digital Curriculum | NHA CCMA | Medical Assisting

Is SIMTICS the Right Medical Assistant Curriculum for Your CTE Courses?

August 24th, 2021 | 7 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 AES curriculum. His goal is to write content that quickly and effectively answers these questions so you can back to what matters - teaching your students.

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Preparing your students for medical assistant certifications is a challenge. In particular, finding the right resource to supplement or replace your curriculum is key to helping your students feel equipped for their career pathway.

As a health science curriculum provider, many CTE health science instructors come to us with questions about digital curriculums they can use to set their students up for success as future medical professionals.

One educational resource we’re frequently asked about is SIMTICS, and how effective its Medical Assistant course is at preparing students for exams like the NHA CCMA. 

In this article, you’ll find answers to the six most common questions teachers ask about the SIMTICS Medical Assistant curriculum::

  1. What Is SIMTICS?
  2. What Medical Assisting Topics Does SIMTICS Cover?
  3. What Are the Benefits of SIMTICS?
  4. What May Be the Drawbacks of SIMTICS?
  5. How Much Does SIMTICS Cost?
  6. Is SIMTICS Right for You?

After reading this article, you should have a greater understanding of what SIMTICS is and whether or not it’s the right curriculum for your Medical Assistant course.

What Is SIMTICS?

SIMTICS is an online learning platform dedicated to helping future healthcare professionals learn the skills necessary to succeed in their career pathway. 

SIMTICS has an online simulation environment to allow students to perform and observe virtual medical procedures and tests.

It’s intended to give medical assistant students firsthand experience in conducting these procedures no matter where they are, while at the same time mitigating the risks involved with practicing procedures in person.

The SIMTICS curriculum was first developed by medical professionals, and now has over 200 healthcare modules available for training students in topics like Medical Assisting, Dental Assisting, Basic Life Support, Radiography, and more. 

Generally, each SIMTICS topic is divided into modules, and each module goes into the specifics of a particular medical procedure or test. The format of each module includes:

  • An online simulation
  • Text that describes the steps of the procedure being performed
  • A video demonstration of the procedure, conducted by a professional
  • 3D visual representations of the anatomy involved to help students better grasp the physical nature of the procedure

What Medical Assisting Topics Does SIMTICS Cover?

If you want to judge whether SIMTICS is the right curriculum for your Medical Assistant course, it’s important to think about the topics that it contains. 

SIMTICS’ Medical Assistant curriculum is divided into 27 modules, each covering different medical procedures and tests. 

By using each module, aspiring medical assistants will learn and practice the skills necessary for their profession, including how to prepare for and perform procedures, and what equipment or instruments they’ll use for each. 

Some of the key medical assisting topics covered by SIMTICS include:

  • Administering Injections (Intradermal, Intramuscular, Subcutaneous)
  • Obtaining Vital Signs (both Adult and Pediatric)
  • Eye and Ear Procedures (Irrigation and Installation of Medication)
  • Obtaining Swabs for Culture
  • Disinfection and Sterilization
  • Preparation for Minor Surgical Procedures

Each module is divided into the steps and substeps involved in the procedure, to make it easier for students to grasp. Generally, there are about four or five steps per module, with a varying number of substeps involved, depending on the complexity of the procedure.

What Are the Benefits of SIMTICS?

There are three main benefits to choosing SIMTICS as a curriculum for your Medical Assistant course.

Simulated Practice

Performing minor medical procedures is one of the essential functions of being a Medical Assistant, and SIMTICS offers a worthwhile simulated experience that allows students to practice these procedures virtually. 

The simulation is supported by several other forms of media, including videos, text, and 3D anatomical models, to further engage students and help them gain a solid visual representation of the work they’ll be doing.

Convenience

Convenience is another decisive factor in why health science instructors often choose SIMTICS. As long as students possess either a computer or tablet with an internet connection, they should be able to access the bulk of the simulated environment and teach themselves the course material, no matter where they are or what time of day. 

If you’re teaching a remote course where students often have to learn on their own time, then the convenience offered by SIMTICS could make it a valuable resource for you.

Cost-Effectiveness

Another of the most important pros of using SIMTICS is its cost-effectiveness. By allowing students to practice medical procedures within a simulated environment, institutions reduce excessive wear and tear on in-person lab equipment or consumables. 

This saves them money in the long term and is an important point to consider if you want to be economical about how your in-person equipment is used.

What Are Some Drawbacks of SIMTICS?

While SIMTICS is a valuable online resource with a unique way of instructing students, there may be some drawbacks to the platform that you should consider.

Narrow Focus

Though SIMTICS’ simulated procedures focus on helping medical assistant students develop the complex skills necessary for the job, this also means the modules likely won’t have enough content to fill an entire course. 

SIMTICS specializes in helping students practice clinical skills, and that specialization could be a drawback if you’re looking for a more comprehensive curriculum that will cover all your bases. 

If you choose SIMTICS, it might be necessary to supplement it with material pulled from other medical assistant resources to give your students a more well-rounded course that goes beyond hard skills.

Favors Independent Students

Another potential drawback is that SIMTICS is largely intended as a “plug and play” online platform, where students teach themselves the material. This independent form of learning doesn’t leave as much space for the instructor to participate in the process. 

If your teaching style involves keeping a strong presence within the classroom, SIMTICS might not be as valuable a resource as other digital curriculum options.

How Much Does SIMTICS Cost?

When it comes to institutions, SIMTICS is divided into two pricing plans: Academic and Enterprise.

  • 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. 

Contact SIMTICS for specific information on what each of these institution-based plans might cost.

Additionally, there is an Individual pricing plan for those seeking independent training on health science subject matter. The Individual plan is divided into three more specific pricing plans:

  • Basic starts at $9.50/month for each module ($12.50/month for the Medical Imaging module), and is the plan recommended for those who only really need up to 4 modules for their needs.
  • Flexi starts at $45.50/month for a suite of modules ($59.50/month for the Medical Imaging suite), and is the plan recommended for those who need unlimited access to a whole suite of modules. 
  • Comprehensive consists of only a one-time payment ranging from $27-$375 for access to a whole suite of modules for a full year.

Is SIMTICS Right for You?

Whether SIMTICS is the right fit for your classroom depends mainly on what you’re looking for in a medical assistant curriculum.

If you’re looking for a simulation-based curriculum focused on helping your Medical Assistant students practice the hard skills needed to perform procedures on the job, then SIMTICS will be a great choice. 

This is especially the case if you’re teaching remotely or class time is otherwise limited, as SIMTICS places emphasis on convenience and the capacity for students to use the software to teach themselves the material without needing an instructor’s presence.

However, if you need a more comprehensive curriculum capable of covering your entire Medical Assistant course rather than just procedural skills, then SIMTICS might not be the best fit. 

Those looking for a greater breadth of learning material like lesson plans and interactive classroom activities might be dissatisfied with the specialization offered by SIMTICS. This is even more true if teacher-student interaction is an important part of your teaching philosophy. 

If instead you’re looking for a full-fledged digital curriculum to form the core of your course and help prepare your students for Medical Assistant certifications, then consider looking into HealthCenter21. 

HealthCenter21 has helped thousands of health science instructors teach their students valuable career-readiness skills to prepare them for their certifications and give them a solid grounding for their career pathways. 

"For my Medical Micro class, which is a certification class, HealthCenter21 is a great asset for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam."

Regina Jackson
Debakey High School for Health Science Professions, TX

To learn more about preparing your students for medical assistant certification success, click below:

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