How do I Become a Unit Coordinator?

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  • Written By: Desi C.
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 09 February 2018
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A hospital unit coordinator is responsible for a wide range of duties, including greeting and directing patients and visitors, answering phones, filing documents, scheduling appointments, and acting as a liaison between patients and health care workers. Because most unit coordinators are also expected to prepare documents such as birth and death certificates as well as maintain patient charts, they need to have knowledge of medical terminology and basic health care procedures. In order to become a unit coordinator it is best to complete a certification program which will prepare a person to work in this field.

A high school diploma or a GED is necessary to become a unit coordinator. A high school student who has a desire to become a unit coordinator might consider taking math and science courses before graduation. It would be beneficial to also take advantage of any health care-related courses, which some high schools offer.

Community colleges and vocational schools offer certificate programs that train those who want to become a unit coordinator. Some schools offer associate degree programs, which generally last about two years. Colleges often offer job placement assistance as well as continuing education courses. Continuing education is not necessarily a job requirement, but can be beneficial for those who want to increase their income potential or work for a specific department or health care specialty.


Another way to become a unit coordinator is to complete an online certificate or degree program. As new online universities and schools start, it is wise to check the credentials and background of a program before enrolling. In the United States and Canada, the National Association of Health Unit Coordinators (NAHUC) is the authority should a person seek certification in this field, and it would be beneficial to check with the NAHUC about the background of an online training program.

Certification through the NAHUC is not a requirement to become a unit coordinator, however it is very helpful to hold a certification because it is an indication of professionalism. To become certified, an applicant must pass a certification exam administered by the association. There is a continued education requirement of 36 hours every three year period to maintain the certification.

Unit coordinators can find employment in a number of health care settings. Hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, private practice offices, as well as health insurance companies all employ unit coordinators. They have the ability to work a flexible schedule, especially when employed by a hospital or clinic that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Unit coordinators typically work full-time, though they are sometimes employed part-time or on an on-call status.



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