Health Unit Clerk: Job Description and Education Requirements
Health unit clerks work under the direction of nursing staff and physicians coordinating patient appointments and performing secretarial duties. In addition, health unit clerks act as receptionists and communicate with patients on the phone and in person.
Job Description of a Health Unit Clerk
Health unit clerks, also known as health unit coordinators and floor clerks, collaborate with physicians, nurses, and other healthcare workers within a secretarial or general office function at a hospital, nursing home, or other medical facility. They answer phones, order supplies, and transcribe orders given by physicians. Health unit clerks handle the majority of a patient's paperwork, such as discharge, admission, and personal information forms. They must possess strong communication skills, including verbal and written, as well as be able to effectively multi-task. Office skills, such as organizing, filing, and scheduling, are also typically required.
Job duties of a health unit clerk may include using a computer to document physician orders, preparing patient treatment charts, updating patient information, and scheduling appointments. They work under the supervision of physicians and nurses, taking direction and accommodating clerical needs. Students must have an understanding of basic nursing procedures, as well as background knowledge in pharmacology. Patient confidentiality is emphasized and health unit clerks must abide by these standards.
Aspiring health unit clerks can acquire training through a diploma, certificate, or associate's degree program. Diploma and certificate programs are generally around 15 credit-hours in length and can be completed in less than a year. The curriculum may include courses in ethics, health information management, medical terminology, pharmacology, and human anatomy. Associate's degree programs have a similar core curriculum with the addition of general education courses. Additionally, many programs typically combine classroom learning with hands-on experience in a medical setting.
Voluntary certification is also available for health unit coordinators through the National Association of Health Unit Coordinators, Inc. (NAHUC). Certification requirements include formal education, training, or experience, as well as a high school diploma or GED.
Salary Info and Job Outlook
According to PayScale.com, health unit coordinators typically earn between $21,916 and $40,858 a year, including overtime and bonuses, in July 2014. Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide information specific to health unit clerks, it did publish a prediction that the employment of medical secretaries, which share many of the same job duties, will likely grow about 36% between 2012 and 2022.
Related to Health Unit Clerk: Job Description and Education Requirements
- Recently Updated
Anything in excess isn't healthy, and alcohol is no exception. If you're a college student who tends to drink regularly, you...
Learn about the top schools for health sciences and services, including areas and levels of study. Read brief summaries of...
Explore a master's degree program in health sciences that also features coursework in public health. Examine the educational...
Read about master's degree studies focusing on emergency and disaster management. Learn what degrees can be earned, what topics...
- Master of Health Science: Degree Overview
- Associate of Health Information: Degree Overview
- Career Information for a Degree in Public Health and Safety
- Top School in Salt Lake City for Multimedia & Digital Communications Degrees
- How to Become a Prison Guard: Education and Career Roadmap
- How to Become an Obstetrician: Education and Career Roadmap
- CSS Programmer: Career Profile