Online Unit Secretary Course and Training Overview

Online unit secretary courses can provide the didactic portion of a health unit coordinator's education that can lead to a unit secretary or medical administration certificate or associate degree. Coupled with clinical experience, these courses can prepare unit secretaries for voluntary certification exams and employment in the medical field.

Overview of Online Unit Secretary Courses

A few schools offer some or all coursework in a health unit coordination certificate or degree program online. Course topics include basic anatomy, physiology, medical administration, transcription, ethics and terminology. Unit secretaries perform non-medical, clinical duties, such as preparing medical records, inputting patient data, transcribing medical notes and billing patients' insurance. Some programs with online coursework might also include a practical experience component of the curricula.

Course Requirements

To participate in these courses, regular access to a computer with a high-speed Internet connection is required. A sound card with speakers and microphone might be needed for synchronous, instructor-led learning. Students also need an e-mail address, and programs typically require an updated Web browser. Software applications, such as anti-virus, Adobe Acrobat Reader and word processing programs, might also be required.

List of Online Unit Secretary Courses

Medical Administration Course

This course discusses the clerical skills required of a medical unit secretary. These include processing hospital admissions, scheduling appointments and medical accounting procedures, such as coding medical records and billing insurance carriers. Topics in securely storing patient records, assembling medical files and processing charts are also covered.

Medical Terminology Course

Students learn terminology pertaining to the health care field as they focus on the vocabulary associated with medicine, human systems, processes, anatomy and pathology. Students explore how roots, prefixes and suffixes come together to form these words, and breaking down words into their component parts can help determine meaning.

Medical Transcription Course

This course covers basic terminology, spelling, grammar, communication and memory skills related to transcription in the medical field. Students learn how to use a Dictaphone and acquire computer keyboarding skills to transcribe voice-recorded reports dictated by health care professionals into a text format.

Patient Care and Interpersonal Communications Course

This course prepares students to deal with patients and families in the medical setting when greeting patients, scheduling appointments and gathering medical information. Topics include an overview of professional communication when dealing with sensitive information, treating patients with dignity and respect and ensuring confidentiality.

Anatomy and Physiology Course

Students are exposed to the fundamental concepts of anatomy and physiology, including the basics of individual organs, anatomical systems, body functions and structures. Overviews of the effects of aging and major diseases are also provided.

Online Training for Unit Secretaries

Organizations, such as We Care Online and the National Association of Health Unit Coordinators (NAHUC), offer online training programs in instructor-led, synchronous formats or through self-paced study guides. The NAHUC provides those interested in certification an online or mail-in order form for a number of educational programs available in audio or video formats that can prepare for certification exams. We Care Online offers links to fully online training programs, as well as a database of programs offered by state.

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