Health unit coordinator programs prepare students for non-clinical positions in healthcare facilities. These programs most commonly result in certificates or diplomas. While some schools offer these programs in a fully online format, other schools may require students to complete an internship at a local healthcare facility. Online health unit coordinator programs can typically be completed in 6-12 months, depending on the school. Common course topics include health records, medical terminology, pharmacology and medical transcription.
Health Unit Coordinator Certificate
Health unit coordinators are non-clinical clerks who work closely with the nursing staff and physicians to transcribe medical orders, file medical reports, record doctors' instructions and order medical supplies. Online certificate programs teach the aforementioned skills as well as fundamental medical terminology so that professionals can communicate effectively with patients and other healthcare professionals in person and over the phone.
Program Information and Requirements
Online health unit coordinator certificate programs are generally between 15 and 30 credit hours in length and can be completed in less than one year. Courses are often offered entirely online, but this program may also be available in a hybrid format. Some programs require students to participate in an internship program at a local medical facility.
In addition to coursework, correspondence with instructors is conducted online, via e-mail. Students must have access to a computer that has high-speed Internet. The computer should have a current operating system and browser. Additionally, it should be equipped with a word processing software program. Additional technological requirements vary by school.
Common Health Unit Coordinator Courses
Some online health unit coordinator programs use Blackboard, a commercial platform, to administer courses. There are no general education courses required to earn a certificate. Common courses are outlined below.
Students learn how to transcribe a large variety of medical reports. They work on proofreading skills, spelling and accuracy while practicing on a transcribing machine.
This course goes over the terms that are commonly used to define various body parts and functions as well as medical tools, medicine and diseases. It provides prefix, suffix, abbreviations and root word analysis. Upon completion, students are able to pronounce, define and write various medical terms.
A large portion of health unit coordinating involves communication and data entry on the computer. A keyboarding course covers proper typing technique that focuses on accuracy and speed. Students also learn basic document formatting as well as proofreading skills.
Graduates of health unit coordinator certificate programs can obtain positions such as medical secretary, veterinary receptionist, health unit coordinator and medical records clerk. According to bls.com, the demand for medical records and health information technicians is expected to increase by 11% from 2018 to 2028. The median annual salary for medical records and health information technicians was $40,350 as of May 2018. The data is subject to change based on location, experience and other factors.
Students can typically finish an online health unit coordinator certificate program within one year. Some of the coursework in these programs deals with medical transcription, pharmacology and health records.