Health Unit Coordinator: Career Diploma Summary

Health unit coordinator diploma programs prepare students to work in medical offices. Students learn how to transcribe doctors' orders, maintain medical records and adhere to privacy laws.

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Essential Information

A health unit coordinator diploma curriculum combines classroom study and hands-on experiences. Most diploma programs also provide some technical training in the word processing, database and spreadsheet software used to maintain electronic patient files. These programs can last anywhere from four months to a year, depending on students' enrollment status. Some health unit coordinator diploma programs only require applicants to hold a high school diploma or GED. However, other schools require applicants to earn passing scores on reading and math assessment exams.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Health Care Administration
  • Health Information and Records Admin
  • Health Information Technology
  • Health Management and Clinical Administration
  • Health Unit Coordinator
  • Health Ward Supervisor
  • Medical Administrative Assistant or Secretary
  • Medical Claims Examiner
  • Medical Facilities Management
  • Medical Insurance Billing and Coding
  • Medical Insurance Services
  • Medical Office Computer Technologies
  • Medical Office Management
  • Medical Office Specialist
  • Medical Receptionist
  • Medical Staff Services
  • Medical Transcriptionist

Health Unit Coordinator Diploma

Course topics often develop students' communication and computer skills in addition to familiarizing them with the flow of information in clinical settings. Students learn how to register patients and keep track of their medical records in accordance with patient confidentiality laws. Most programs require students to complete a practicum as well. Coursework can include the following topics:

  • Healthcare computing
  • Transcription procedures
  • Medical terminology
  • Healthcare customer service
  • Keyboarding

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Health unit coordinators can also be referred to as medical secretaries. Information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed that from 2014 to 2024, job opportunities for these professionals were projected to increase 21% (www.bls.gov). As of May 2015, they earned an average salary of $34,330. Those who earned the highest average salaries worked in Washington ($41,790), Massachusetts ($41,090), New Jersey ($40,930), Connecticut ($40,130) and the District of Columbia ($39,700).

Continuing Education Information

Diploma program graduates interested in learning more about the systems used to maintain patient records might consider enrolling in a healthcare information management associate degree programs. Associate degree programs in healthcare administration might be another option for those who would like to eventually pursue bachelor's degrees and entry-level positions as medical or health service managers.

Professionals can also choose to pursue voluntary certification. For example, the National Association of Health Unit Coordinators (NAHUC) offers Health Unit Coordinator Certification to applicants who pass its written exam. Eligibility requirements include a high school diploma or its equivalent and the completion of a health unit coordinator training program. Certified professionals must renew certification every three years by completing 36 hours of approved continuing education or by retaking the exam (www.nahuc.org).

Students who pursue a health unit coordinator diploma learn software and medical records management skills through a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on experience. Upon completion of a diploma program, students have the chance to earn voluntary certification.

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