How to Become a Health Unit Coordinator

Are you interested in how to become a health unit coordinator? Here is a practical guide.

In healthcare, various fields and specializations need skilled personnel or a workforce to guarantee optimal functioning.

This article will focus more on professional administrative roles or jobs like health unit coordinators.

Health Unit Coordinator Training

If you’ve ever wanted to pursue an administrative career role in the healthcare industry, then a health unit coordinator might be one you’ll find interesting.

This article will prove highly informative for persons seeking to explore the possibilities inherent for professionals occupying such roles.

Not only have we included comprehensive steps for becoming a health unit coordinator, but we’ve also provided other relevant details that include a general idea of the profession and the roles or responsibilities of a health unit coordinator.

Read on for details on these and more.

  • Health Unit Coordinator Job Description

Before getting into the specifics of becoming a health unit coordinator, it’s necessary first to state what the profession is about.

Also called unit secretary, a health unit coordinator position attracts several primary functions, including a point of contact between patients and health professionals.

A health unit coordinator is saddled with a wide range of administrative tasks. As a medical secretary, you’ll be doing a lot of interaction with patients and health pros.

This includes performing basic administrative tasks like updating medical files and completing forms.

To be effective in your role as a health unit coordinator, you’ll need a wide range of critical skills.

These include excellent customer service skills, exceptional clerical skills, computer skills, orientation & mentoring skills, as well as organizational & communication skills, amongst others.

Becoming a Health Unit Coordinator

Having decided to tow this professional path, there’s a need to have a clear idea of how to realize your desire or goal.

Of course, this will start with getting educated or trained to gain relevant knowledge and skills. Next, you’ll need to obtain certification where necessary.

Now, work experience is crucial for success in this position. As such, you are acquiring expertise will be necessary. Now, you’re a fully-fledged health unit coordinator.

However, to further advance your career, you may consider joining a trade association while also being open to continuing education.

By following these steps, you can fully establish yourself as an administrative professional in healthcare.

Simply stating or mentioning the procedures for becoming a health unit coordinator won’t do justice to our discussion. Let’s get into the meat by explaining each of the points mentioned.

i. Getting Educated or Trained

Training is an essential part of becoming a health unit coordinator.

In other words, you’ll need to enroll in a relevant program to get started. Part of the basic requirements for admission into the program includes a high school diploma or GED certificate.

You’ll need to enroll in a training program if you meet the minimum requirements for formal education or training. There are lots of such programs offered both offline and in-person.

Training typically lasts anywhere from one to two semesters.

The training program covers key areas like medical terminology, health records, communication, and unit management.

Courses include written communication, healthcare culture, digital literacy, health services coordination, and health services applications.

During training, you may be offered additional medical customer service certifications. These are mostly completed concurrently with the health unit program.

By the end of the program, you’re equipped with relevant knowledge to offer solutions to the healthcare system.

ii. Obtaining Certification

Certification for health unit coordinators isn’t compulsory. In other words, it’s a voluntary decision you’ll have to make. So, does that make it essential?

Getting certified is important and recommended as it demonstrates your proficiency in the knowledge and skills necessary for the job.

The National Association of Health Unit Coordinators (NAHUC) is the body saddled with certification for professionals in this field.

Of course, part of the requirements for certification includes completing training. A certification exam or test is administered.

Having passed such a test and obtained certification, you’ll have to renew such certification once every three years.

iii. Licensure

Licensure is another consideration for becoming a health unit coordinator. Now, whether or not you’ll need to obtain a license will largely be determined by your location.

Some states have such requirements, while others don’t. So, you’ll have to check for what applies to your location.

iv. Gaining Experience

Experience is a crucial part of becoming a health unit coordinator. This enables you to gain vital knowledge on how to perform your role.

There are various settings where such experience can be gained. These include rehabilitation facilities, home health agencies, and government agencies.

Others include nursing homes, hospitals, and clinics. By working in any of these settings, you can become more proficient, which in turn, helps you advance your career.

At this point, you’d have become a fully-fledged professional. However, there are more steps to galvanize your position further.

v. Proper Positioning

Proper positioning refers to the need to put yourself in a situation where you can get industry updates. The best way to achieve that is by joining a relevant trade association.

What this action does is that it allows you to network with fellow professionals while also allowing you to continue your education.

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the National Association of Health Unit Coordinators (NAHUC) are some organizations you can join to boost your chances of advancement as a health unit coordinator.

vi. Continuing Education

As stated earlier, continuing education is crucial to consolidating your role as a health sector professional.

This is necessary for recertification and helps keep you updated with industry trends, legislation related to your profession, and best practices.

You can better function as a health unit coordinator by pushing for further learning. You also get to chance to advance your career by taking advantage of any opportunities that come your way.

With the tips provided above, the process of becoming a health unit coordinator has mainly been simplified.

We’ve mentioned these steps, including training, obtaining certification, licensing, gaining experience, proper positioning, and continuing education.