Some associate degrees are offered specifically in health unit coordination, but individuals may have an easier time finding Associate of Applied Science programs in healthcare services management with a specialization in health unit coordinating. Both degree options offer similar education in the topics necessary to begin a career in this field. Students will learn to coordinate a medical staff and ensure that doctors' orders are understood between all involved parties, including patients. Most programs include a practicum to allow students real-world study in the field.
Enrollment into the programs typically requires a high school diploma or GED certificate. Some schools may require students to complete a physical exam and meet minimum keyboarding requirements before they can be admitted.
Associate's Degrees of Health Unit Coordinating Programs
Students enrolled in these programs will be taught to manage the flow of information throughout a medical team to ensure patients are getting the best possible care. Emphasis is placed on teaching students to perform in a professional environment, as well as helping them to understand the legal requirements and regulations for the healthcare industry. Some topics covered in a program may include:
- Medical terminology
- Customer service
- Healthcare computer systems
Popular Career Options
Graduates may find work in hospitals, nursing care facilities, insurance companies, clinics and other healthcare institutions. Possible job titles include health unit clerk, healthcare office manager, and healthcare business operations specialist.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment growth for medical and health services managers is projected to be 17% from 2014 to 2024, as an aging population is expected to increase demand for healthcare. These workers earned a median annual salary of $94,500 in May 2015, the BLS reports. Highest wages were seen in hospitals, outpatient centers and physicians' offices.
Continuing Education Information
Many programs meet the certification requirements of the National Association of Health Unit Coordinators (NAHUC). Individuals may seek certification from the NAHUC after completing a program with no additional requirements by taking a certification test. Students interested in furthering their education in the administration of healthcare systems may choose to complete a Bachelor of Healthcare Administration.
Students who earn an associate of health unit coordinating will learn more about healthcare information systems and are suited to work in settings such as hospitals, insurance companies, and nursing care facilities. Professional organizations offer students certification after completing the degree and students will likely need further education for managerial positions.