How do I Become a Health Unit Coordinator?

Carol Francois

The most common way to become a health unit coordinator is to complete three steps: complete required training, obtain experience in a health unit and have excellent written and oral communication skills. A health unit coordinator can find employment in a variety of settings, such as a long-term care facility or a hospital. The primary function of a health unit coordinator is to ensure that all of the administrative tasks required for the efficient and effective operation of the unit are completed correctly. If you enjoy working with others, are an excellent organizer and have intermediate computer skills, you will be more likely to find this type of work satisfying.

Unit coordinators work directly with patients and staff in a health care setting.
Unit coordinators work directly with patients and staff in a health care setting.

The first step required to become a heath unit coordinator is the completion of the necessary training. There are two training options available for this position: nursing and administrative. Nursing programs are available from a wide range of community and career colleges. These programs typically are three to four years in length, and they provide the skills necessary to work in a healthcare setting. This training primarily focuses on providing assistance and service to patients, but it also includes training in the functions required to operate a health unit. If you have nursing training, you will be able to change career paths easily to become a health unit coordinator, if the opportunity arises.

Health unit coordinators typically have experience with patient care.
Health unit coordinators typically have experience with patient care.

An increasing number of colleges are offering a dedicated health unit coordinator or administration program. These two- or three-year programs are focused on the administrative and managerial tasks required to operate a health unit. Training in medical terminology, the unique working environment and the risks involved in a healthcare unit are all incorporated into the training. Included in this program are technology courses to provide intermediate or advanced skills with computer software programs often used in the healthcare industry.

Most employers are looking for candidates who have at least three months' experience working in a health unit or in the healthcare sector. The best way to gain this experience is through a cooperative or internship program completed through your training college. If you want to become a health unit coordinator after working in nursing, you might need experience working in an administrative role in addition to experience in a healthcare setting. If you want to become a health unit coordinator, you will need to have excellent written and oral communication skills. This role is central to the daily operations of the unit, and the ability to effectively coordinate and distribute information is critical to the smooth operation of the unit.

A health unit coordinator spends much of her time on administrative and managerial tasks.
A health unit coordinator spends much of her time on administrative and managerial tasks.

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