What Does a Health Unit Coordinator Do?

A health care unit coordinator keeps their organization running smoothly and handles a variety of administrative tasks. Students wondering 'what is a HUC?' or 'what does a health unit coordinator do?' can explore the job in more detail here. Schools offering Finance and Health Care degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Health Unit Coordinator Duties

A good health unit coordinator job description not only answers 'what is a health unit coordinator?', but explains in detail some key unit coordinator duties. A health care unit coordinator may also be referred to as a medical secretary, but these individuals are responsible for coordinating the communication and organization of their facility. Many of their job responsibilities are office-based, and typically they are supervised by nurses or physicians. A unit coordinator may be responsible for:

  • Transcribing reports
  • Recording medical histories
  • Processing patients' insurance
  • Taking vital signs
  • Ordering supplies
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Preparing forms or certificates
  • Greeting patients
  • Answering telephones
  • Handling mail

Health Unit Coordinator Salary

In May of 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that medical secretaries made an average annual salary of $37,090 for the year. Another website, Payscale.com, reported that an entry-level health unit coordinator made an average annual salary of $39,305, as of June 2019.

The BLS also reported that in 2018 most medical secretaries worked in the offices of physicians and made an average salary of $35,930. The highest paid medical secretaries made an average salary of $47,340 the same year and worked in grantmaking and giving services.

Health Unit Coordinator Education

In order to become a health unit coordinator, students must typically earn at least a high school diploma. It is becoming increasingly popular for aspiring coordinators to complete a health unit coordinator training or certificate program, many of which are available online.

These certificate programs can generally be completed in 1 to 2 semesters. Most training programs include a clinical observation or clinical experience requirement to help students gain some hands-on experience and see what the career is really like. These certificate programs may include courses in subjects like:

  • Medical terminology
  • Health records
  • Unit management
  • Communication
  • Ethics

Professional Certification

Some health unit coordinators may choose to pursue professional certification from the National Association of Health Unit Coordinators (NAHUC). Although this certification is not usually required for employment, it helps individuals stand out as qualified HUC's. The NAHUC's website offers some educational resources and learning modules that can help prepare students to take the certification exam.

Other Skills

In addition to formal education, it is important for health unit coordinators to obtain and/or further develop certain skill sets that are beneficial to the position. Typically, these coordinators need to stay organized as they coordinate patients, schedules, and reports/records. They also need to be able to make good decisions in a timely manner to keep things running smoothly.

In the area of communication, it is important that health unit coordinators have the necessary writing skills to transcribe reports, send out memos, and write emails. Interpersonal skills and communication are also required, as these professionals consistently interact with patients, doctors, nurses, and other support staff members.

Although they may be acquired on the job, most health unit coordinators also need some technology skills. They may work with basic billing software or other accounting software, medical software to work with insurance, and/or database software. It is also fairly standard for these professionals to work with email and word processing software.

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