Online Health Unit Coordinator Degrees and Certificate Programs

Online programs for prospective health unit coordinators almost always culminate in a certificate rather than a degree. Certificate programs are readily available, last less than one year and prepare graduates for entry-level positions upon completion. Read on to learn more.

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Essential Information

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.

Related Degrees

Potential students interested in earning a degree that prepares them for clerical positions within a medical facility could also consider programs in fields like medical billing or health technology. Examples of related online programs include:

  • Medical Secretary Transcription Certificate
  • Medical Insurance/Coding Certificate
  • Associate of Applied Science in Medical Coding
  • Associate of Applied Science in Medical Administrative Secretary
  • Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology

Online Health Unit Coordinator Certificate Programs

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 Certificate Program 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.

Medical Transcription Course

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.

Medical Terminology Course

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.

Keyboarding Course

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.

Career Information for Graduates

Graduates of health unit coordinator certificate program can obtain positions such as medical secretary, veterinary receptionist, health unit coordinator and medical records clerk. According to Payscale.com, the average hourly wage of a health unit coordinator or clerk ranges from $11.56 to $15.09. The data was collected in September of 2010 and is subject to change based on location, experience and other factors.

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