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Hospital Unit Secretary: Education Requirements and Career Info

Diagnosis and treatment aren't the only activities that go on in hospitals - administrative tasks are also necessary to keep hospitals functioning. Hospital unit secretaries are administrative professionals responsible for duties like appointment scheduling and patient recordkeeping.

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Hospital Unit Secretary Career Information

Hospital unit secretaries work in an administrative capacity to keep hospital patient care units running efficiently. Though they are not responsible for patient care, these professionals may interact with patients for tasks like scheduling tests and directing patients around the hospital. Hospital unit secretaries are expected to maintain a professional appearance and be willing to provide non-medical assistance to patience and hospital staff.

Hospital unit secretaries can be generally categorized as medical secretaries. However, unit secretaries are specifically characterized by their employment in hospitals and patient care centers, rather than in medical offices. They require specialized training, and can be educated in programs specifically designed to train unit secretaries.

Salary Information and Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical secretaries working in hospitals earned an annual median salary of $31,890 in 2013. From 2012-2022, the BLS predicted much faster than average job growth for medical secretaries of 36%.

Educational Requirements

Certificate and associate degree programs can provide aspiring unit secretaries with the training necessary to enter the profession. There are even some stand-alone, non-degree classes that include hands-on clinical experiences in hospital administrative departments. These programs can refer to the career title in different ways, including hospital nursing unit secretary and medical unit secretary. Depending on the school, it may be possible to take part of your coursework online.

Regardless of specific name of the program, they all focus on preparing students to work as unit secretaries. Topics covered in these programs typically include medical terminology, hospital procedures, office computer use and medical transcription. Many programs also include internships or other means of giving students practical experience in the field.

Certification

Although hospital unit secretaries are not required to earn licensure or certification, a professional organization known as the National Association of Health Unit Coordinators (NAHUC) offers voluntary certification in this field. Certification from the NAHUC can help signify commitment to the profession and can also help plug members into a network of professionals in the field.

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