Section R & T
Health unit coordinators provide support in areas of the hospital where nursing care is provided to patients. They perform a variety of services to patients, visitors, and hospital management. Health unit coordinators receive new patients and give information and direction to visitors. They have good communication skills to perform the follow tasks: answering the telephone, providing information to the health professional staff, answering patient signals, and taking and delivering messages. Unit coordinators also need a working knowledge of medical terminology for transcribing doctors' orders, copying and compiling information from patients' charts, and scheduling tests and appointments for patients. Other duties include maintenance of records, maintenance and inventories of supplies and equipment. At the direction of nurses or doctors, the unit coordinator also makes emergency code calls. Specialty areas include reception, scheduling, communication, archive maintenance, clerical duties, coordination of non-clinical tasks, and safety. Most health unit coordinators work in hospitals. The work environment is often fast-paced with many activities in progress at any given time. Although health unit coordinators may receive on-the-job training, many hospitals prefer to hire those who graduated from formal education programs. These programs are offered by vocational schools, adult education centers, and community colleges and take a year or less to complete. In training programs, students receive a combination of classroom and clinical training. They learn clerical skills, medical terminology, hospital organization, legal and ethical responsibilities, transcription of doctors' orders, computer operation, and other relevant courses.