J Marie Booklets

Are the Health Unit Coordinators Trained Properly?

This is the story of how I became a Health Unit Coordinator.

I applied for the job online and was called in for an interview. Before I did the interview, I was required to take a typing test. I took the test and passed and then I did the interview and got the job. 

For the first two weeks of the job, I and the rest of the new HUCs, were in a room for eight hours learning medical terminology. Once, we passed the medical terminology course we moved on to the unit that we were going to be working on and were put into a room to complete required Computer Based Learning (CBLs) and then we were allowed on the floor to start our orientation.

Now, if you want to be a Unit Clerk, all you have to do is be able to pass a background and drug test. And then you are sent to the floor for a rushed through orientation with multiple people. 

How can a new HUC process all of this information, some of it right and some of it wrong depend on who trained them?

How is that being trained properly?

When a Patient is No Longer in the Hospital, What Do I Tell the Visitors as a Health Unit Coordinator? (Video)

There are times when a patient has been discharged from the hospital, and friends and family are unaware of it.

They'll go to the room that the patient was in and either find another patient in that bed or they will find the room empty. Perplexed, they'll approach you and ask you about the patient that was in room 58. Your answer depends on where the patient was discharged to. 

Watch the video below to find out how you should answer. 

Should I Work on Another Floor as a Health Unit Coordinator? (Video)

There are two advantages of working on another floor as a Health Unit Coordinator.

The first thing is that you learn who the doctors are. In the unit where I work now, I may see a podiatrist or a gastroenterologist once or twice a year. But I see cardiologists all day, every day. 

But when I float to the orthopedics floor, I see the podiatrists. I see the orthopedics. Now, I can put the face to the name.

The second thing is that you increase your medical terminology vocabulary.

How often do you think that I print up a consent for an amputation below the knee? Not often. But if I saw an order for a consent for Right BKA, I know what it means and will get it done.

Have something to add? Put your comments below. 

Letting The Health Unit Coordinator Fail (Video)

About five years ago I was working at the desk as a Health Unit Coordinator when the wife of a patient struck up a conversation with me.

She explained to me that she used to be a HUC many years ago and that she had one foolproof way to guarantee job security.

"Don't teach the new HUCs everything that you know." She went on to explain that if the new HUCs didn't know what they were doing, they would get frustrated and quit. Or appear extremely incompetent and get fired.

More overtime for you.

I just sat there and listened to her, but I was thinking to myself, what kind of person do you have to be to want to see another person fail? Especially someone who has bills, possibly a family, or other responsibilities. What kind of person are you?

I’ve never subscribed to that type of thinking. When I train someone new, I want them to know what I know. I encourage them to take notes. I introduced them to other staff members. I want them to become the Mama Bear of their unit. I want them to be so knowledgeable that they get daily compliments from staff and Outsiders. I want them to be missed when they are not there. I want them to stay. I don't want to be training every six months. A unit/department cannot function properly with a high turnover.

I'm probably the most cheerful, helpful and knowledgeable trainer when a new HUC needs to be orientated. And that’s because I don’t subscribe to the same thinking as the patient’s wife.

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The Rise of the PCA/HUC (Video)

There seems to be a trend in hospitals having one person fill two roles. The role is PUC or a PCA/HUC.

This is when you have a person who is a certified Patient Care Attendant who also works as a Health Unit Coordinator. They can answer the telephones, and input orders into the computer They can also place a patient on the bedside commode and check their blood pressure.

Over the years hospitals have attempted to fill the hole left by not having enough HUCs by having the PCAs cross train to answer the telephones and assemble patient's charts.

A simple Google search brings up multiple job openings for part-time PCA/HUC. At the hospital I work for, there is a job posting for a per diem PCA/HUC right now. Usually, these positions are for smaller units like an ICU or areas where they do procedures. Meaning there is a need for a HUC and a need for a PCA, but not both all of the time.

But with this upward trend of PUCs, will those who have only been HUCs be replaced? Or will they soon be required to become certified PCAs in order to keep their jobs?

So far I think the answer is no. But I do think that hospitals will push for those of us who are Health Unit Coordinators only to the bigger floors and have the PUCs do the ICUs and other smaller units.

So tell me, what do you think is going to happen?

Celebrities and the Health Unit Coordinator (Video)

Whether it's a local celebrity or an international superstar,  if they have a medical emergency,  they still need to be treated like everyone else. 

With their information at our fingertips, we need to remember the HIPAA law and patients privacy. 

Don't forget to follow me on my YouTube channel. 

Death and the Health Unit Coordinator (Video)

There are some Health Unit Coordinators who see death on a daily basis, a weekly basis, a monthly basis, or every now and then. 

Whatever the case, death is something that all HUCs needs to get used to. Death is apart of life for the Health Unit Coordinator. 

Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel to connect with me and to stay up-to-date with the latest information for HUCs.