Health unit coordinator diploma and certificate programs are available in an online format. While all classes can be completed using online platforms, students must complete clinical experiences in person. This program examines medical terminology, healthcare procedures, and clerical skills. For online study, a student will need various pieces of technology, such as word processing software, speakers, and a printer.
Although certification for health unit coordinators is generally not legally required, some employers prefer to hire those with professional certification. Depending upon the certifying body, professional certification may require passing an exam or having graduated from an accredited postsecondary program.
Health Unit Coordinator Diploma
The job of a health unit coordinator is to relay information between nursing staff, physicians, and patients. Therefore, health unit coordinator diploma programs emphasize oral and written communications skills. Students also learn basic healthcare procedures, such as physician order verification, patient chart maintenance, and order transcription. In addition, they study basic anatomy, medical terminology, computer operating functions, and other clerical skills.
Information and Requirements
For health unit coordinator training, certificate programs and diploma programs are identical - they are the same length and offer the same coursework - though they go by different titles. They are both available entirely online, except for any required clinical experiences. They can be completed in around six months and generally consist of 16 credit-hours. Some programs use a platform called MyHills. MyHills allows students and instructors to communicate directly and incorporates audio and video streams, assignments, and course outlines all into one platform. In addition, students also submit assignments, post on discussion boards, and take tests.
Students must have access to a computer with an adequate Internet connection and a recent version of a Web browser. It should also have basic hardware like speakers and a printer. The computer should have a current operating system and basic word processing software such as Microsoft Office Suite. Additionally, it should be able to play multimedia. Any additional enrollment requirements are listed on the school's website.
There are no general education courses or electives required to complete a health unit coordinator diploma program. They generally consist of between five and ten courses, including the examples outlined below.
Basic Medical Terminology
This course outlines the basic structure of medical terms, covering topics like root words and prefixes. Upon completion of the course, students are able to define, spell, and pronounce a large number of basic medical terms. The course covers surgical, symptomatic, diagnostic, and operative terminology.
Health Unit Procedures
There are often multiple levels of this course available, offering basic through advanced coverage of health unit coordinator job demands. Topics include information management, appointment setting, communication, special unit orders, and medical transcription.
Students gain an understanding of proper customer service techniques when dealing with clients in a healthcare environments. The course covers written and oral communication skills, professional behavior, safety standards, and confidentiality laws.
Career Information for Graduates
Those who complete a diploma program can hold the title of health unit coordinator or clerk. The position is considered entry-level and can be obtained immediately upon graduation. According to Payscale.com, the median annual wage of a health unit coordinator was between $23,276 and $41,850 as of 2016.
Continuing Education Information
Diploma-holders who wish to work in the non-clinical healthcare field can pursue higher education by enrolling in programs like an Associate of Applied Science in Healthcare Administration. This type of degree program is available online and can be pursued at the bachelor's and master's degree levels as well.
Online diploma and certificate programs are available to train health unit coordinators in how to effectively relay information between various parties in health situations. These programs are available mostly online with in-person clinical work, with the option to advance to an associate's degree and higher.