Health unit coordinators assist nursing staffs with a variety of clerical tasks. They receive new patients, provide information to visitors, schedule tests and appointments, order supplies and maintain patient charts. Health unit coordinators serve as the communications center between patients and hospital staff. They answer phones, deliver messages and transcribe medical orders from physicians.
Health unit coordinators work under the supervision of a registered nurse or health information manager in hospitals, clinics, physician offices, nursing homes, government agencies and public health settings. Someone needs to be at the nurse desk around the clock, so hours and schedules vary among health unit coordinators.
Health unit coordinators can receive on-the-job training, but most employers prefer formal education from a community college or technical school. Programs take from six months to two years and result in a certificate or associate’s degree.
Licensure and Certification
Graduates of health unit coordinator programs can become certified by passing an exam offered by the National Association of Health Unit Coordinators.
Career Outlook Map of Iowa
The outlook is good for health unit coordinators. The expected job growth rate is 13% for the state and approaching 20% in northern Iowa.