Overview of Nursing Unit Clerk Courses

Essential Information

Courses for nursing unit clerks are offered at several community colleges as part of health unit coordinator diploma, certificate and associate degree programs. Programs in health information technology may also include courses that prepare students for employment as nursing unit clerks. Courses cover various aspects of the field, including patient record collection and management, medical terminology, scheduling, medications and more.

Here are some common concepts taught in nursing unit clerk courses:

  • Medical environments
  • The human body
  • Diagnoses
  • Laws
  • Responsibility
  • Policies

List of Typical Courses

Health Unit Coordinator Course

This course examines the responsibilities of a health unit coordinator, also known as a nursing unit clerk. Students learn how to perform clerical duties, clinical procedures and manage patient medication schedules. They learn how to admit, transfer and discharge patients, update patient records, follow doctor's orders and maintain supplies and inventories.

Medical Terminology Course

This course discusses the origins of medical terminology by examining the root words, suffixes and prefixes of common words and phrases. Students learn the proper spelling, pronunciation and definition of medical words, including those used in diagnostic, therapeutic and operative settings.

Legal and Ethics in Health Care Course

This course examines the legal aspects of the doctor-patient relationship, informed consent, professional liability, contracts, malpractice and other issues. Patients' rights are discussed. Federal, state and local laws governing health care operations are reviewed, along with legal terminology.

Pharmacology Course

This course explores the interaction between medication and the human body. Students gain a basic understanding of drug classifications, common usages and appropriate dosages. Students discuss the laws that govern drug approval and distribution.

Healthcare Technology Course

This course examines the computer applications used in healthcare environments. Students review the use of common software programs, filing systems, databases and communication systems. Students discuss the use and importance of properly maintained health care records. This course also examines the creation, content and format of medical records and other health information, as well as the responsibilities of those in charge of them. Also discussed are policies governing confidential communications and patient release forms.

Human Anatomy Course

Students explore the function and structure of the human body, including the cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous, sensory, musculoskeletal and reproductive systems in this course. Coursework examines cell and tissue structures. Students also learn how diseases affect the human body.

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