Career Development

What Does a Health Unit Coordinator Do?

Find out what a health unit coordinator does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a health unit coordinator.

Health unit coordinators are responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of a health care facility. They commonly work with doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals to ensure that patients receive quality care in a timely manner.

Health unit coordinators may also be responsible for overseeing administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments, handling billing issues, and communicating with insurance companies on behalf of their facility or its patients.

Health Unit Coordinator Job Duties

Health unit coordinators have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Coordinating with other departments, such as admissions, accounting, and human resources, to ensure appropriate follow up with patients or staff members
  • Controlling costs by monitoring inventory levels of supplies and ordering new supplies as needed
  • Performing clerical tasks such as answering phones, filing paperwork, and greeting patients
  • Administering immunizations as required by state laws
  • Performing administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments, handling billing issues, answering phones, and greeting patients
  • Monitoring the health of patients by collecting blood samples, testing for bacteria or viruses, and collecting other diagnostic specimens from patients
  • Coordinating with physicians or other medical professionals to ensure that patients receive appropriate treatment for their conditions
  • Explaining conditions and treatment plans to patients and their families in an understandable manner
  • Preparing reports on patients’ progress or requesting further testing or exams when necessary

Health Unit Coordinator Salary & Outlook

Health unit coordinators’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the size of the company and the geographic location of the job.

  • Median Annual Salary: $52,500 ($25.24/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $122,000 ($58.65/hour)

The employment of health unit coordinators is expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade.

As healthcare providers continue to consolidate, health unit coordinators will be needed to organize and oversee the activities of these health care providers. In addition, as the population ages, more health unit coordinators will be needed to coordinate care for older patients with multiple chronic conditions.

Related: 25 Health Unit Coordinator Interview Questions and Answers

Health Unit Coordinator Job Requirements

A health unit coordinator typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in health administration, health care administration or a related field is often a requirement to become a health unit coordinator. Some employers may prefer a master’s degree in health administration or health care administration. Courses in health care management, health care finance, health care law, health care information systems, health care ethics and health care communication are often included in a health administration program.

Training & Experience: Health unit coordinators typically receive on-the-job training from their new employer. This training may include shadowing current health unit coordinators and performing duties under supervision until they are comfortable enough to complete tasks on their own.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications are not usually a requirement as a health unit coordinator. However, obtaining a health care certification can show an employer that you are a motivated and driven individual. It can also help you develop and enhance the skills you need to be a successful health unit coordinator.

Health Unit Coordinator Skills

Health unit coordinators need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Health unit coordinators communicate with many people on a daily basis, including patients, doctors, nurses, other health care professionals and other support staff. They must be able to communicate clearly and concisely in order to relay messages accurately and efficiently. They also need to be able to listen to and understand the needs of others.

Organization: Health unit coordinators often have excellent organizational skills, which can help them manage multiple tasks and responsibilities at once. This can include keeping track of patient information, scheduling appointments and maintaining records. Health unit coordinators may also be responsible for ordering supplies and maintaining inventory.

Time management: Time management is the ability to plan and execute tasks in a timely manner. Health unit coordinators often have many responsibilities, including managing health records, scheduling appointments and maintaining patient records. Having strong time management skills can help you complete your tasks in a timely manner and ensure that patients receive the care they need in a timely manner.

Teamwork: Health unit coordinators work with many different people, including doctors, nurses, patients and other support staff. They often need to be able to work with others to ensure that the health unit runs smoothly. Health unit coordinators also often work on teams to complete tasks, such as updating patient files or preparing for an inspection.

Medical knowledge: Medical knowledge is the ability to understand medical terminology and procedures. This is an important skill for health unit coordinators, as they may be responsible for scheduling appointments, handling insurance claims and other tasks that require a thorough understanding of medical processes. Health unit coordinators with medical knowledge can also help their team members with medical questions and concerns.

Health Unit Coordinator Work Environment

Health unit coordinators work in hospitals, clinics, and other health care facilities. They typically work a regular 40-hour week, but their hours may vary depending on the needs of the facility. They may be required to work evenings, weekends, and holidays. Health unit coordinators may be on their feet for long periods of time and may have to lift and move patients. They may also be exposed to communicable diseases.

Health Unit Coordinator Trends

Here are three trends influencing how health unit coordinators work. Health unit coordinators will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for Better Communication Between Healthcare Professionals

The healthcare industry is becoming increasingly complex, which is leading to a need for better communication between professionals. This is especially true in the area of patient care, where miscommunication can lead to serious consequences.

Health unit coordinators are in a unique position to address this need, as they are often responsible for coordinating communication between different departments within a hospital. By developing strong communication skills and understanding how to manage information flow, health unit coordinators can help to improve the quality of care that patients receive.

Patient-Centered Care Becomes More Important

As patient-centered care becomes more important, health unit coordinators will need to adapt their roles to meet the needs of patients.

This trend means that health unit coordinators will need to be able to communicate with patients and their families in order to understand their needs. They will also need to be able to provide support and guidance during difficult times. In addition, health unit coordinators will need to be familiar with current medical practices in order to ensure that patients are receiving the best possible care.

More Use of Technology in Healthcare

Healthcare is rapidly changing, and one of the most significant changes is the increasing use of technology. This trend is being driven by the growing demand for convenience from patients, who want to be able to access their medical records and appointments online.

As health unit coordinators, you will need to learn how to use technology to your advantage. This includes learning how to use electronic medical records and scheduling systems, as well as social media platforms to connect with patients.

How to Become a Health Unit Coordinator

A career as a health unit coordinator can be both rewarding and fulfilling. It’s important to consider what you want out of your career before starting down this path. Do you want to work in a hospital setting or in a clinic? Do you want to specialize in a certain area, such as nursing or pharmacy?

No matter which direction you choose, it’s important to have a strong understanding of the healthcare system and its many components. You should also be able to effectively communicate with patients and staff members.

Advancement Prospects

Health unit coordinators (HUCs) typically start out in entry-level positions and advance to positions of greater responsibility over time. With experience, HUCs may move into supervisory or managerial roles, or they may choose to specialize in a particular area of health care, such as surgery or pediatrics. Some HUCs may also become certified in their field, which can lead to higher salaries and more job opportunities.

Health Unit Coordinator Job Description Example

The Health Unit Coordinator (HUC) is responsible for the overall organization, communication, and coordination of the nursing unit. The HUC will act as a liaison between the nursing staff, physicians, patients, and families. He or she will also be responsible for maintaining medical records, scheduling appointments, and coordinating patient care. The ideal candidate will have excellent communication and organizational skills, as well as the ability to multitask and work well under pressure. Prior experience working in a hospital setting is preferred.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Answer all incoming calls in a professional manner, providing accurate information and routing calls as necessary
  • Greet patients, families, and visitors in a warm and welcoming manner
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of hospital policies and procedures
  • Serve as a resource for patients, families, and staff, providing information and direction as needed
  • Update patient records and files in a timely and accurate manner
  • Monitor unit activity and keep staff informed of changes or updates
  • Distribute messages and correspondence to staff in a timely manner
  • Coordinate unit staffing needs, including scheduling and time off requests
  • Assist with the orientation of new staff members
  • Maintain inventory of unit supplies and equipment, ordering as necessary
  • Prepare and maintain various reports and logs as required
  • Participate in unit quality improvement initiatives

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Previous experience in a healthcare setting, preferably in a hospital unit
  • Excellent communication and customer service skills
  • Ability to work independently and with a team
  • Basic computer skills
  • Familiarity with medical terminology

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree in health science or related field
  • Certification as a Health Unit Coordinator from the American Hospital Association
  • Bilingual (English/Spanish) ability
  • Experience with electronic health records (EHRs)


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