Online Hospital Unit Secretary Training Program

As a hospital unit secretary, you interface with many types of people, learn medical terminology and organize confidential medical information. Learn about necessary training, included coursework, potential careers and online programs. Schools offering Administrative Assistant degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Kind of Training is Required to Become a Hospital Unit Secretary?

Hospital unit secretaries, also known as unit coordinators, are responsible for a number of tasks from admitting patients and sending faxes to organizing medical charts. If you're interested in becoming a hospital unit secretary you will need to complete specialized training that can be found through individual courses, continuing education classes and certificate programs at both schools and private organizations. After completing your training, you may also be eligible to take the national certification exam given by the National Association of Health Unit Coordinators (NAHUC).

Alternatively, medical administrative assistant, or medical office assistant, programs are also available online at the certificate and associate's degree level. Both of these programs provide you with the knowledge you need to assume administrative roles in health care facilities. These programs cover general administrative duties, including medical and insurance billing, records management, purchasing and medical ethics.

What Courses Will I Take?

Coursework for hospital unit secretaries and medical secretaries programs cover general administrative tasks, computing, keyboarding and data entry. Programs for hospital unit secretaries may also include clinical work to gain hands-on experience. Associate's degrees for medical assistants cover core medical administrative courses, in addition to providing you with general education courses. The following are some of the core courses you can find in either the hospital unit secretary or medical administrative assistant program:

  • Medical terminology
  • Records management
  • Medical office procedures
  • Business communication
  • Medical insurance coding

What Can I Do with My Training?

With a hospital unit secretary education, you may find administrative career opportunities in settings such as hospitals and nursing facilities. Career opportunities for all secretaries and administrative assistants is expected to grow at an average rate of 11% from 2008-2018, with a faster than average growth for those in the medical field, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). As of 2010, median salaries for unit secretaries ranged from $23,098-$31,604, while median hourly wages for hospital unit secretaries ranged from $10.83-$14.67, according to PayScale.com.

With a background in medical terminology, you may also find opportunities as a medical transcriptionist. This field is also expected to see a growth rate of 11% between 2008-2018, according to the Bureau. PayScale.com reports the median annual salary range for medical transcriptionists in 2010 to be $24,793-$36,099.

How Do I Get Started with the Online Training?

Online programs can typically be completed at your convenience from any location, but also offer you the opportunity to work with instructors and interact with other students using discussion boards and e-mail. Training programs for hospital unit secretaries may consist of a single course, or multiple courses, depending on the program. You will typically also be required to purchase textbooks covering health unit coordinating and may be required to complete clinical experience.

If you're planning on enrolling in an online program, you will need reliable access to a computer with an Internet connection. You may also need to meet specific technical requirements, which can include certain operating systems or browsers. Additionally, you may be required to have software, such as Microsoft Office, in order to complete your coursework.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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