Also known as Health Unit Clerks or Health Unit Coordinators, Unit Clerks are responsible for performing various clerical duties and other supportive tasks related to patient care. Typical duties include managing confidential patient history and health records, scheduling staff, organizing and coordinating information within a nursing unit and between other units and departments, processing admission and discharge forms, and documenting patient care services. Some Unit Clerks may also perform reception duties, including answering telephones, greeting visitors, transcribing physician and staff orders, scheduling patient appointments, managing medical supplies and providing additional administrative support. In some cases, Unit Clerks who operate in nurses' stations may also receive training similar to a Nursing Assistant, allowing them to take on non-clinical tasks directly related to patient care.
Unit Clerk Education Requirements
Though various institutions have their own specific criteria, the minimum educational requirement for a Unit Clerk is generally a high school diploma. Proficiency with a computer is also expected, and at least one year of healthcare experience is preferred. Some positions may also require basic knowledge of medical terminology and familiarity with commonly prescribed medications. While generally not a requirement, Unit Clerks with previous training or work experience can become certified through the National Association of Health Unit Coordinators. Certification demonstrates a proficiency with all necessary skills and concepts and can increase employment opportunities. Once certified, Unit Clerks must apply for re-certification every three years.
Unit Clerk Job Market
According to recent statistics, the market for Unit Clerks and other related jobs is growing nationally and is projected to increase by as much as 22 percent over the next decade. Unit Clerks who apply for and maintain certification are especially valuable in the job market as are those who have received medical schooling. Similar jobs that are also growing include Medical Records File Clerk, Hospital Filing Clerk and Medical Secretary.
Unit Clerk Salary
Studies indicate that the median annual salary for a unit clerk is $31,890. The lowest 10 percent average $10.65 per hour while the top 10 percent earn average hourly wages of $22.30.