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Health Unit Coordinator

Posted

Hi,

I am thinking of starting a career as a Health Unit Coordinator. I am interested b/c I like the medical field, love clerical work, and want to work 3 12 hour shifts b/c of family. I DO NOT have any interest in nursing, so I wouldn't be using it as a stepping stone. I have a B.A. in History, so I'm not entirely stupid. :bugeyes: I guess I'm just wondering if it would be rewarding enough, challenging enough, pay enough, etc. Also, how are the HUCs treated? (Please be honest!) And, I guess just thoughts in general about it as a career really would be helpful. Thanks in advance!!

michael79

Specializes in LTC. Has 4 years experience.

Health Unit Coordinator can mean a lot of things. What is your job description?

vamedic4, EMT-P

Specializes in Peds Cardiology, Peds Neuro, PICU, IV Jedi. Has 23 years experience.

One of my many responsibilities at my current job is that of HUC. It is often busy and stressful....however, if, as you stated you love clerical work and it suits you, then go for it! Be mindful that your organization knows how busy they are and may try to nickel and dime you - get the best offer you can before committing to anything. They work hard...might as well be better compensated for your trouble.

Okami_CCRN, ADN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 4 years experience.

I like the poster above would tell you to review the job descriptions thoroughly because in my hospital a Unit Health Coordinator has to be an RN and their job is to manage the care of the patients and assisting the RN's with anything they need such as IV insertion, Paging Doctors for orders, transporting, etc.

vamedic4, EMT-P

Specializes in Peds Cardiology, Peds Neuro, PICU, IV Jedi. Has 23 years experience.

Health Unit Coordinator or Healthcare Unit Coordinator is a relatively new term assigned to people in roles traditionally referred to as "secretarial". You can go to the National Associations website (http://www.nahuc.org or nahuc.com) and find out more information on this.

And lest we forget, not all Unit Coordinators are licensed staff...especially if you work outside of a hospital!!

There is a national certification exam, and recertification after (I believe) 2 years.

Health Unit Coordinator is to secretary as Environmental Technician is to housekeeper. Fancy name for the same job. Not trying to put anyone down...no flaming...just the facts.

I went through my local community college's HUC course which was 1 semester long, became certified and worked for a couple months as a HUC before starting my radiography program.

If you like clerical work, don't want to be in nursing yet want to be in a hospital setting, then I think this is a good position to get into. The hospital I worked at still had physical charts so it was my responsibility to keep up with the charts (36 of them!) - as doctors or nurses would write orders and flag them, I had to then go through and place the orders in the computer system. Sometimes I either had to call other doctors for consults or I had to call other facilities for services. If patients had to go to a skilled nursing facility, I had to copy the chart. If the chart became too bulky, it had to be thinned. At the hospital where I did my clinicals, the HUC had to answer the patient call lights and determine who needed to be informed: the tech/PCT/CNA or nurse, but at the place I actually worked all I was responsible for answering was the 12 incoming lines.

Some facilities require that their HUCs also be CNAs. This is is just a little bit of what a HUC ends up doing during their day.

It does get incredibly stressful at times but it was a great job and if I didn't have plans to move on educationally/careerwise, I would have probably stayed in it. As for how HCUs are treated, I really think that how you're treated, whether as a HUC or something else, has a lot to do with how you treat others.

You can get certified by the national organization and renewal is every 3 years. Some places prefer it, others don't seem to care.

The pay was pretty decent but keep in mind that what's decent here may be peanuts elsewhere. At the hospital I was at, starting pay was just over $11/hr. I came in with 3 years' experience in the medical field already, so made $12.40 base pay. Then there are differentials paid for weekend shift, evenings and nights. Pool/PRN HUCs made more but also weren't paid benefits.

Like I said, I went to school to learn this but there are places that will train you.

Hope this answered your question! If you have any others to ask, feel free to PM me.

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