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Health Unit Coordinator: Online Training and Certificate Programs

Learn about the training options and courses in those programs for health unit coordinators. Find out about certification and licensure requirements as well as career outlook and salary data.

Can I Earn a Health Unit Coordinator Certificate?

Several schools offer health unit coordinator certificate programs that are designed to train you to handle the non-clinical tasks required of a nursing unit in a hospital or clinic. Health unit coordinators transcribe physicians' orders, prepare and maintain patient charts and complete statistical reports. Most programs are made up of five or six courses and if you study full-time, you can complete the program in as little as one or two semesters.

Program Length One to two semesters
Common Courses Patient care, medical terminology, computer application, processing orders, English composition
Online Availability Online programs are available
Certification Options Certification is required for healthcare professionals
Career Outlook (2016-2026) 22% growth (for all medical secretaries)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Type of Courses Will I Take?

Health unit coordinator programs consist of a combination of medical-related courses and secretarial courses. Your curriculum is likely to include courses like:

  • Medical terminology
  • English composition
  • Computer applications
  • Basic patient care
  • Processing physicians' orders

Some programs may also require you to complete an internship, working alongside nurses and physicians in a clinic, hospital or doctor's office.

Can I Complete This Certificate Program Online?

Some schools do offer health unit coordinator certificate programs online. You will take the same kind of classes as you would on-campus and if you study full-time, you can complete the program in the same amount of time as in a traditional classroom. To complete online coursework, you will need a reliable Internet connection, updated browser and software like Microsoft Office.

Do I Need to Be Certified to Work as a Health Unit Coordinator?

Many states do require health care professionals to be licensed or certified before they begin work in their field. The National Association of Health Unit Coordinators (NAHUC) administers certification exams for prospective health unit coordinators and some certificate programs will prepare you for this exam.

What Is the Career Outlook for Health Unit Coordinators?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), medical secretaries (a closely related career field to health unit coordinators) earned a median annual salary of around $35,760 in 2018. The BLS also projects that employment opportunities for medical secretaries will grow by about 22% from 2016 through 2026.