Schools Training

Healthcare’s Trusted Coordinators: Health Unit Coordination

10 OCT 2012
Career Path : Health Unit Coordinator

The healthcare industry brings together many specialists and skilled practitioners from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds. While this is similar to most other business industries, the healthcare industry does not have the concerns of pure business and profitability as its main goal. Much more importantly, the healthcare industry’s primary concern is the care of patients and the proper administration of health and medical facilities. A regular business will ensure its employees have a good sense of organization in order to be as efficient as possible. But doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals do not always have the capability to put organization as one of their priorities, since their concern is far less a bottom-line numbers game. In order to make sure doctors and nurses can focus on their specialties, the healthcare unit coordinator serves an important role to make sure our hospitals and medical facilities run as smoothly and are as organized as possible.


Essentially, health unit coordinators operate in the background of a health care facility, thereby interfering as little as possible with actual medical work. But while their tasks may go unnoticed by the average patients, they seriously facilitate the work of doctors and nurses. In some ways; however, the education to become a healthcare unit coordinator can overlap with regular medical skills. Healthcare training for this career can include such basic subjects as anatomy, physiology, biology, medical terminology, and pharmacology among other subjects. A healthcare unit coordinator will also be required to get training in other non-medical subjects, such as bookkeeping, customer service, office procedures, and other subjects like basic computer skills, administrative software and internet technology.


Here is a brief description of some of the roles performed by a healthcare unit coordinator in a hospital or other facility:


– Front desk: greeting and checking in new patients, admissions and discharge, bill payment

– Scheduling: appointments between patients and doctors, or making appointments for special procedures

– Supply management: taking inventory of medical supplies, placing orders, equipment management

– Clerical: reviewing patient records, compiling charts, transcribing physicians’ orders and writing birth certificates or death certificates, hospital census management

– Patient care (non-medical): attending to special needs, overseeing dietary concerns, room and bed coordination

– Clinical lab work: processing data, entry of lab test results, filing


It becomes clear from just these few tasks that a healthcare unit coordinator must be able to balance an organizational administrative role with basic medical and healthcare knowledge and procedure. It is quite common for a healthcare unit coordinator to be required to take healthcare courses in emergency services such as CPR and first aid as part of their training as well.


Whether a hospital or a private clinic, a nursing home or mental health facility, a medical supply or even an insurance company, healthcare unit coordinators play a key role in running the administrative side of things. This allows physicians and nurses the time and energy to focus on medical procedures and patient care.


Visit the Academy of Learning for information on other healthcare diplomas.