Where a Nursing Unit Clerk Certificate Can Take You
Career Path : Health Unit Coordinator
Nursing unit clerk training prepares you for an entry level position in a hospital patient care area or medical facility office to provide clerical and administrative support to the health care team. What you learn in this position will prepare you for employment in related occupations such as medical secretary or for promotion into higher level administrative positions.
What is a Nursing Unit Clerk?
If you walk into a hospital ward and find it clean and calm, with an atmosphere of care and efficiency, you know that behind that is a smoothly functioning health care team. An important member of that team is a competent nursing unit clerk (NUC). For, if you put together patients, doctors’ orders, nursing procedures, emergencies, medicines, tests, charts, medical equipment and supplies, etc., what results is chaos unless someone is coordinating all those demands. The NUC provides the support to create a smooth work flow.
The nursing unit clerk is ideally someone who enjoys working in this kind of active environment, who has good people and communication skills, is an effective problem solver, can organize and multitask, and is accurate in record keeping and possesses computer skills. In Canada, there are career colleges that provide NUC training. A graduate with a certificate can find positions in almost any location since the demand is growing as the aging population expands. A median salary of $35,600 can be expected.
Nursing Unit Clerk Training
Training programs run for four to eight months and cover the following areas:
- Health care delivery organization and functions
- Human anatomy
- Medical terminology
- Communication and interpersonal skills
- Processing and transcribing doctors’ orders
- Charts and electronic records
- Medical law and ethics
There are onsite as well as online programs. A practicum or internship at the end provides practical experience under supervision in a health setting.
Duties and Responsibilities
The nursing unit clerk serves as a communications link among health care team members and with patients, families and other medical facilities. The NUC makes sure the doctors’ orders are recorded, communicated, and processed. Having the necessary information and materials ready frees the nursing staff to concentrate on patient care. Beyond these key services, the NUC is also doing the following:
- Performing reception functions
- Transcribing doctors’ orders electronically; keeping complete and updated patient records
- Scheduling diagnostic tests and special treatments
- Managing admissions, transfers and discharges
- Ordering supplies, equipment, repairs
The NUC certificate qualifies you for other patient care areas of the hospital and health facilities such as physician’s offices or walk-in clinics. With experience and proven performance, the NUC may move into positions such as medical receptionist or medical secretary, or eventually be promoted to office manager positions.
A related field with expanding job opportunities is the pharmacy technician occupation. Onsite and online programs are available for pharmacy technician training, taking about eight months to graduate.
If you are a high school graduate seeking entry into the health field, starting as a nursing unit clerk provides experience in a medical setting and with health professionals. It is a relatively quick way to learn about health careers and about your own interests and abilities.
Visit Thompson Career College for more information on nursing unit clerk training.