Health Unit Coordinator Certificate

Health Unit Coordinators are an integral and valuable part of the medical team, providing such services as transcribing physicians’ orders, scheduling diagnostic studies and appointments for follow-up care, ordering and maintaining supplies, and maintaining clerical and patient records. This program prepares students for positions as activity coordinators at nursing unit desks. Students will participate in realistic training in the classroom and clinical settings, practicing the responsibilities of the health unit coordinator. Students learn the competencies needed in communications, human relations, anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, health unit coordinator tasks, and unit management. As the communicator for the hospital unit, it is essential that the student has the ability to read, write, understand, and speak English, along with the ability to speak clearly to communicate instructions, directions, and telephone contacts. Health unit coordinators are sometimes referred to as HUC/monitor technicians, patient access technicians, patient assistance coordinators, administrative support partners, front desk receptionists, or scheduling coordinators.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Health Unit Coordinator certificate, students will be able to:

  • Apply legal and ethical aspects of unit coordinating in order to support a medical team.
  • Use medical terminology in order to communicate effectively with culturally diverse patients and team members.
  • Operate a nursing unit communication system.
  • Use computer skills in support of the nursing unit.
  • Demonstrate leadership skills necessary for unit management.

Physical Activity Requirements

It is essential that Health Unit Coordinator students are able to perform a number of physical activities during the clinical portion of the program. This includes walking up and down stairs, lifting 20 lbs. of office supplies, and carrying office supplies and patient charts. Students must also have the ability to sit 75 percent of the time to perform the majority of duties. The clinical experience places students under considerable mental and emotional stress as they undertake responsibilities and duties that impact patients’ lives. Some hospitals may require a drug test before the student is permitted to practice in the hospital. Most clinical sites enforce a no-smoking policy. Smoking at a clinical site may hinder completion of the program.

Employability Requirements

High School diploma or equivalent, seven-hour HIV/Blood Borne Pathogens training, pass a criminal background check, current immunizations. Some employers also require drug screens and enforce a no-smoking or nicotine-free environment. Employees must pass a typing test with the ability to type 35 words per minute. Physical requirements can vary by employer. Successful graduates are eligible to take the certification exam by the National Association of Health Unit Coordinators. Persons with some types of criminal convictions may not be eligible for licensure.

Program Length

This program is a combination of on-line, classroom, laboratory and clinical experience.  It is approximately two quarters long, depending on the time students need to satisfactorily complete all graduation requirements.

Admission Dates

Fall and spring quarters.

Completion Requirements

Prerequisite(s)

Students must attend mandatory orientation/ advising meeting with instructor. Students are required to display basic computer skills that include, but are not limited to, using email, typing 35 WPM, navigating the Internet, word processing, and inputting data into a spreadsheet and database. Students must obtain a current CPR card for health care providers. In order to participate in the clinical aspect of the program, students must receive during the HUC 108 course a “No Record On File” report from a certified background check related to crimes against persons. A non-refundable fee is charged to each student for the background check. Students must have current immunizations or laboratory verification of immune status. Immunizations could include, but are not limited to, Hepatitis B series, Tetanus/Diphtheria, Tuberculosis Test, Measles/Mumps/Rubella, Varicella, and yearly flu as required by contracts with clinical facilities and CDC recommendations.

Each student is required to carry personal health/medical insurance throughout the program and their clinical rotations. Quarterly-based insurance for students may be purchased; further information is available through the Advising and Counseling Office.

No student will be allowed at clinical sites without proof of insurance, complete immunizations on file, and having successfully passed a drug screen. Proof of immunizations should be submitted the first week of class unless arrangements have been made with the instructor.

Must be a high school graduate or have a high school equivalency diploma by completion of program. Students must be at least 17½ years of age to begin the program.

Program Course List

HUC 106Anatomy & Physiology for Health Unit Coordinator

3

HUC 108Introduction to Health Unit Coordinating

6

HUC 112Unit Coordinator Tasks & Procedures II

4

HUC 113Introduction to Communication in the Health Unit Coordinator Role

1

HUC 114Unit Coordinator Tasks & Procedures I

7

HUC 118Advanced Communications in the Health Unit Coordinator Role

2

HUC 120Unit Management I

3

HUC 122Unit Management II

3

HUC 126Legal/Ethical Aspects of Unit Coordinating

2

HUC 132Clinical Experience

7

HUC 204Electrocardiogram Monitor Technician

3

COLL 102College Success for All

3

Total Credit Hours:44

Highly Recommended Class:

(This class could be taken while waiting to start the program)

CAS 105Keyboarding

3

NOTE: CAS 105 or Orientation to Computers and MS Office