Delta's Health Unit Coordinator course will prepare you to play an instrumental role in the efficient operation of a hospital unit or medical office. You'll perform administrative and clerical tasks such as maintaining medical records, scheduling appointments and medical tests, keeping supplies stocked and communicating with other health care professionals, patients and visitors.
As a health unit coordinator you will be a member of the supporting cast that helps maintain a health care facility’s service and performance. You may also perform other duties such as routine and regulatory checks, patient placement and transfers and specimen labeling. You'll typically work under the supervision of the registered nursing staff or the health information administrator. One of the main responsibilities of this role is to act as a liaison between the patients and staff.
You'll learn the fundamentals of the health unit coordinator role including the opportunity to apply what you have learned in a clinical or internship experience for potential employers in the Great Lakes Bay Region. In addition to a health unit coordinator or medical administrative assistant, you may also be known as a unit clerk, ward clerk, patient admitting clerk, unit secretary, medical office secretary or medical office assistant and will have opportunities to work in either a clinical hospital or a physician’s office setting.
Average pay for health unit coordinator is $29,200 per year. Those just starting out generally earn around $20,700, while highly experienced workers can earn as much as $38,900. This is a great way to get a jump start in the growing field of healthcare.
In this field, it is estimated that you could earn an average of $30,395 per year.
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- Medical Secretary
- Receptionist and Information Clerk
- Medical Records Clerk
Visit LifeLong Learning for dates and times of all upcoming training opportunities.
A health unit coordinator:
- Is also known as a unit clerk, ward clerk, patient admitting, unit secretary, medical office secretary or medical office assistant.
- Works in a variety of health care settings such as hospitals, clinics, public health care agencies and health maintenance organizations (HMOs), nursing homes, home health agencies and government agencies.
- Often serves as liaison between the patients and doctors, nursing and other departments within the facility.
- Must have excellent written and verbal communication skills.
- Communicates accurately and efficiently to patients by phone, in person and in writing.
- Accurately takes and deliver messages from and to medical staff.
- Is often the first point of contact for patients arriving at the facility.
- Greets patients and visitors, completes patient intake on the facility's database system, provides directions and creates a pleasant, welcoming environment.
- Answers phone calls from both external and internal callers and routes them to the appropriate party.
- Must be courteous and concise when assisting patients by phone or in the office and able to remain emotionally neutral when confronted by patients who may be stressed by medical issues.
- Has a team-oriented attitude as they work with medical staff to ensure accurate patient care.
- Possesses excellent office management skills because they often help patients fill out forms, photocopy documents and file patient information. Doctors and nurses may also require them to relay patient discharge instructions (including disease, injury or drug information) or schedule follow-up care.
- Has knowledge of paper filing, charting and Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system with accurate typing skills of 40 words per minute (wpm) and knowledge of medical terminology.
- Pays attention to detail with the ability to keep comprehensive schedules and inventories.
- Orders unit supplies.
- Organizes and assigns rooms by maintaining an accurate room schedule and keeping patient's charts organized.
- Communicates between patients and facility staff, such as doctors, nurses and surgeons.
- Fields many non-emergency patient and visitor questions and determines if they should be referred to a staff member.
- Organizes meal schedules, notifies staff of patient room changes and maintains the flow of nurses' duties to ensure that all patients are attended to as scheduled.
- Performs routine office duties such as sending and receiving faxes; notifying staff of events and schedules via e-mail and memo; making photocopies; scheduling meetings; filing nurses' and physicians' paperwork and maintaining the physical and electronic files of all patients actively being served in the unit to ensure it is easily accessible and organized for staff.
Fundamentals of the Health Unit Coordinator
The first four weeks (75 hours) of the program are spent in a classroom environment learning the fundamentals of the job role including; medical terminology and common abbreviations, customer service and relationship based care, infectious control and universal precautions, working in a team and phone etiquette, HIPPA and patient confidentiality, charting, introduction to EMR systems, specimen labeling, patient placement, unit appearance and unit role play and scenarios. You'll be evaluated through written exams, class participation, punctuality and attendance.
Clinical Site & Systems Orientation
The next two weeks (40 hours) take place in the hospital setting, introducing you to the clinical site essentials including Student Passport Alliance, site tour, safety, security and dress code, workplace orientation, customer service, mission, vision and values, hiring practices, site Electronic Medical Records (EMR) overview, paper charts, consent forms, patient labels, face sheets, customer service, daily regulatory checks, scheduling, filing, telephone, unit stocking and appearance and until role play and scenarios.
You'll spend the next five weeks (100 hours) in the clinical/internship portion of the program. Here you'll gain an invaluable hands-on experience at a local hospital applying the roles and responsibilities you learned within the first six weeks. You'll train with a preceptor (clinical instructor) during this time. You'll perform unit specific duties, coordinate the flow of unit/floor, perform routine chart checks, act as a liaison between physician, nurse and patient, patient call light and caregiver assignments, maintain overall appearance of your unit and review site hiring practices, application process and interview role play. An on-going evaluation by the instructor and the preceptor will be conducted through individual conferences and written examinations.
Students must go through admission to Delta College. There are several ways to apply to Delta College.
a. You may apply online. Select "Non-Academic LifeLong Learning, ND.11000" as your Program of Study.
b. You may also apply in person within the Admissions Office and pick-up the application. Your application will be processed while you are at Delta and you will receive your student number.
2. Program Readiness
a. Potential LifeLong Learning students are exempt from placement testing with an associates degree or higher. If exempt, you must present transcripts to LifeLong Learning prior to registration.
b. You must demonstrate program readiness with the following placement levels prior to registration.
• Writing – Level 4
• Reading – Level 4
• Math – Level 2
c. You may also reach required placement levels by completing academic course work in combination with placement, SAT® or ACT®test scores.
Accessing your Prerequisite Level
Students who have completed placement testing may access their scores through their Portal account. Within the Student menu, click on "Placement Test Summary" to calculate your scores. The placement test summary will calculate completed academic course work in combination with your placement test scores to give you an overall placement level. If your placement level does not meet the required prerequisite levels listed above for this program, you may need to retake one or more of the placement assessments.
For assistance determining your current placement level, please contact LifeLong Learning at 989-686-9444.
3. High School Diploma or GED® Test Credential
It is our recommendation that students who meet the above prerequisites have also attained a high school diploma or GED® test credential (not a high school certificate of completion) prior to participation and/or completion of this program. This recommendation is based on overall student success and hiring standards of many employers in the Great Lakes Bay Region.
Please read this information carefully as the clinical requirements are mandatory for Health Unit Coordinator students and must be reviewed and completed prior to the class start date. Failure to do so may lead to program dismissal.
As a clinical student, it is your responsibility to maintain current health records while in a health care program. For participation in and admission to all clinical agencies, students must have a copy of all enclosed documents on file in the LifeLong Learning Office prior to the class start date. Students who do not have the required documentation will not be allowed to participate at the clinical site and will be dismissed from the program.
Health related forms will be sent to you and must be completed and turn in prior to the first day of class. It is suggested that you call your physician immediately as it may take 4-6 weeks to schedule a physical examination appointment.
- Physical Examination – “Delta College Physical Exam Form”
- Hepatitis B Vaccine – “Hepatitis B Acknowledgment/Release Form”
- Signed “Health and Wellness” Waiver Form
- Documentation of Negative TB Skin Test – a positive skin test requires annual documentation by a physician or by a chest x-ray every two years.
- Documentation of MMR (Measles, Mumps & Rubella) immunization documentation unless you were born before 1957 – you may request a rubella titer drawn by your physician if no documentation is present.
- Documentation of Td (tetanus) immunization documentation, current within 10 years.
- Varicella (Chicken Pox) Vaccination or Immunity Documentation - Provide immunization record showing vaccination or verification of disease (Chicken Pox or Shingles) by a healthcare provider.
- Signed “Current Criminal History Release Form” – Current Criminal History – In accordance with Public Act 303 of 2002, section 20173; if your criminal history includes an instance that will prohibit you from participating as a student in the clinical experience, you will be dropped from the program and no refund will be given. If your background includes criminal history which would prohibit you from working in a healthcare facility, you are advised to drop the program prior to the first day of class.
- CPR/Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers Certification - Please visit LifeLong Learning for classes available at Delta College.
Delta College ID card
Prior to the 1st day of class you'll need to get a Delta College student ID card, available in the Public Safety Office in the N-wing. Bring your valid picture id along with your printed statement of registration in the Medical Administrative Assistant program. This service is free of charge and will be used to create your clinical badge.
A pair of scrubs (top and bottom) is required for the clinical portion of the course. You must dress according to hospital policy – including no piercings.
Clinical Internship Hours
The on site clinical internship requires you to be available for up to an 8 hour shift. If you are currently employed full-time or have other obligations that would hinder your being scheduled for 8 hours shifts, you must speak with the program director prior to registration.
Textbooks are required for this course. You may purchase your books through the Delta
Online: Order your book online at www.bookstore.delta.edu.
By Phone: You can place your textbook order by phone 989-686-9030.
In Person: Purchase textbooks in person in the bookstore.
Funding you may qualify for:
The Board of Trustees Grant: To make an appointment, please call the Financial Aid Office at 989-686-9080. In Midland call 989-495-4000 ext. 9080. Eligibility requirements apply. Download the Board of Trustees Grant Application for complete details.
Michigan Works!: Sixteen Michigan Works! Agencies oversee local Michigan Works! Service Centers, where job seekers and employers can access services. Call Saginaw 989-249-5232, Bay 989-667-0500 or Midland 989-631- 3073 or visit the Michigan Works! website for a complete listing of Michigan Works! One-Stop Service Centers.
Note: The Pell grant does not apply to non credit programs.
Facts & Figures
100% of recent students surveyed strongly agreed the Health Unit Coordinator/Medical Administrative Assistant training met or exceeded their overall expectations!
The Board of Trustees Grant may be available for eligible students enrolling in short-term training programs. If assistance is awarded, it may cover up to 1/3 of the cost of the course not to exceed $692.