Review: Top 6 Principles of Health Science Textbooks for Texas

Principles of Health Science is one of the most popular health science courses in Texas.

With so many students interested in the course, teachers always need resources to teach students the course objectives and prepare them for future healthcare careers.

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

Overall, there are six common textbooks used in Texas Principles of Health Science classes.

The six best principles of health science textbooks (in no particular order) are:

  1. DHO Health Science
  2. Introduction to Health Science: Pathways to Your Future
  3. Health Science Fundamentals: Exploring Career Pathways
  4. Principles of Health Science - Texas Edition
  5. Healthcare Science Technology
  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!

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1. DHO Health Science

  • Authors: Louise Simmers, Karen Simmers-Nartker, and Sharon Simmers-Kobelak
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Published: 2017
  • Retail Price: $180 hardcover, $135 paperback

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 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.

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2. Introduction to Health Science: Pathways to Your Future

  • Authors: Dorothy Winger and Susan Blahnik
  • Publisher: Goodheart-Willcox
  • Published: 2016
  • Retail Price: $120

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.

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3. Health Science Fundamentals: Exploring Career Pathways

  • Authors: Shirley A. Badash and Doreen S. Cheesbro
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Published: 2016
  • Retail Price: Unlisted

Health Science Fundamentals: Exploring Career Pathways 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, because this book was published in 2016, some of the information will be dated (such as using the term mental illness instead of behavioral health).

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

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4. Principles of Health Science - Texas Edition

  • Authors: Shirley A. Badash and Doreen S. Cheesbro
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • 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: Exploring Career Pathways 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.

But that doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for you when it comes to the content provided!

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5. Healthcare Science Technology

  • Author: Kathryn Booth
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill
  • Published: 2013
  • Retail Price: $66

Healthcare Science Technology introduces students to common healthcare skills used in a variety of allied health careers.

This book is made up of 32 chapters, starting with overarching concepts such as the health science career cluster and specific career paths like radiology.

That means Healthcare Science Technology is filled with extremely detailed information any Principles of Health Science teacher would find helpful.

However, it’s important to note that the book was published in 2013. So, while the main healthcare concepts are relevant, the book will lack any healthcare innovations or discoveries from the past six years!

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6. Today’s Health Professions

  • Author: Patricia Lockamy Royal
  • Publisher: B.E. Publishing
  • Published: 2016
  • Retail Price: $99.95

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?

Though it’s not possible to review every textbook that could be used in a Principles of Health Science class, this article can give you some direction!

As you learn more, keep in mind that many health science teachers in Texas use other instructional materials to teach their courses.

In fact, 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 digital curriculum:

“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

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