Patient Care Coordinator: Job Description and Education Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a patient care coordinator. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and salary expectations to find out if this is the career for you.

Patient care coordinators work with other medical professionals to provide the best healthcare possible to patients. They work in a number of capacities, depending on their employer, and are often registered nurses. Patient care coordinators who aren't already nurses need an associate's or bachelor's degree in healthcare administration or a similar field.

Essential Information

A patient care coordinator's job is to ensure that a medical facility is providing high quality care services. They work with administration, staff and patients to reach healthcare goals and keep the lines of communication open. Some are registered nurses, but this often is not mandatory. Those who aren't nurses often hold associate's or bachelor's degrees in a relevant area.

Required Education Associate's or bachelor's degree in healthcare administration or related area if not a registered nurse
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 10% increase for all types of customer service representatives*
Median Salary (2016) $43,371**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **PayScale.com

Patient Care Coordinator Job Description

In some facilities, a patient care coordinator is also a registered nurse (RN); however, this is not a requirement at all facilities. A patient care coordinator may work in hospitals, physicians' offices, dental offices, clinics, specialty care centers and nursing care facilities. According to Payscale.com, the total annual earnings for most patient care coordinators ranged from $29,300 to $70,296 as of January 2016.

Duties of a patient care coordinator vary widely depending on the facility in which the coordinator works. The main job of a patient care coordinator is to ensure high quality healthcare. A coordinator helps to ensure patients understand every aspect of their care while also working with administration to create policies and make decisions that are in the best interest of patients. Duties may include:

  • Developing and coordinating patient care programs
  • Managing and preparing public relations information
  • Managing human resources
  • Handling patient case management
  • Managing patient care

Patient Care Coordinator Education Requirements

A patient care coordinator has different education options depending on employer requirements. If a nursing degree is not required by an employer, then a student may pursue an associate's or bachelor's degree in a relevant area, such as medical or healthcare administration. These degree programs prepare a student for the administrative side of patient care. A student learns about medical office procedures, medical coding, transcription, management and finance in these types of programs.

For students that want to work for an employer that requires a nursing degree, a bachelor's degree in nursing is a good option. In a nursing program, a student learns about nutrition, human resources, ethics, data management, chemistry and anatomy. After graduation he or she must also be licensed as a nurse in accordance with state law.

According to Monster.com job advertisements from November 2010, employers also prefer a patient care coordinator to have at least two years of experience in healthcare and previous experience in a supervisory position. Some employers prefer candidates to have specific experience in managing patient care.

Patient care coordinators may assist with human resources, medical care, public relations and more, depending on where they work, in order to ensure the best care possible for patients. Some employers require patient care coordinators to have a nursing degree and registered nursing license. Others, however, will take candidates with an associate's or bachelor's degree in in healthcare administration or a related field.

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