How to Be a Health Unit Coordinator

A health unit coordinator handles the day-to-day administrative duties of a single section of a medical office, hospital or clinic. They are highly organized people who are able to aid in billing, transcribing, scheduling and customer service. If you are interested in this line of work, you should seek a certification program and an entry-level health administration position. Health unit coordinators are also sometimes known as ward clerks, unit secretaries and hospital service coordinators. They are valued for their experience and dedication. Find out how to be a health unit coordinator.


  1. Image titled Be a Health Unit Coordinator Step 1
    Complete your high school education. You may supply a General Education Development (GED) equivalency certificate in lieu of your diploma before applying for a certificate or degree program.
  2. Image titled Be a Health Unit Coordinator Step 2
    Research and find a health training program at a community college or vocational school. You can find a list of courses that will help you to achieve certification through the National Association of Health Unit Coordinators, In addition to listing schools by state, they also list online programs.
    • Certificate programs are likely to provide information about procedures, medical data processing and coordination duties.
    • Associate degree programs will be more advanced and longer. Coursework may include terminology, electronic health records, pharmacology and management. They may also include a clinical internship.
  3. Image titled Be a Health Unit Coordinator Step 3
    Join an appropriate international or national body. If you live in the U.S., you can join the National Association of Health Unit Coordinators (NAHUC) This will help you to gain access to conferences and certification. This is also the professional organization that certifies coordinators.
    • Once you join, contact the main NAHUC office to receive a certification handbook. This book includes practice tests, so that you can prepare for the certification exam.
  4. Image titled Be a Health Unit Coordinator Step 4
    Apply for professional certification. Contact the NAHUC Certification Board to apply to take the examination. You will need to submit proof of training and high school education.
    • The exam is prepared and proctored by Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP). Exams feature 120 questions and are given at regular intervals throughout the year. You will receive information about your score after you take your test, and proof of your certification after 6 weeks.
  5. Image titled Be a Health Unit Coordinator Step 5
    Apply for an entry-level health unit coordinator position. Health unit coordinators must move up the employment ladder at hospitals, medical offices and clinics. Pay rates, hours and responsibilities may increase with experience.
    • If you have trouble finding an entry-level position in your area, begin by applying for internships and part-time work. Even volunteering in a medical institution can create opportunities for networking and future employment.
  6. Image titled Be a Health Unit Coordinator Step 6
    Earn NAHUC contact hours of relevant. You will need to earn 36 hours every 3 years in order to stay certified. You will gain access to educational opportunities through the NAHUC and other medical trade organizations.

Things You'll Need

  • Diploma/GED
  • Certificate/Associate's degree training program
  • NAHUC membership
  • NAHUC certification handbook
  • AMP certification exam
  • Internship (optional)
  • Entry-level position
  • Continuing education credits

Article Info

Categories: Administrative Careers | Health Care