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Increased Workload as a Health Unit Coordinator

You walk into work and the dread sets in again. It seems like you're the only Health Unit Coordinator who works there.  But instead of getting angry that your fellow HUCs are lazy and feel as if you're getting punished, look at it another way. 

Look at it as you've proven yourself, and that the boss favors you. I'm told all of the time how much they love it when I'm there. We're all being observed and critiqued and when you're appreciated people will say so. 

And look at it this way. The more work that you are doing, the faster time flies and the less gossiping you do. 

In 2008, I worked for a company that handled Workmans Compensation claims, and the recession was starting to set in, so business was starting to slow down. While some of my other coworkers were yelping, I was working. I was still processing the workman's comp. claims (there were some clinics and employers that only I handled), and I was tending to old Accounts Receivable claims. And when I handed in my two weeks notice later that year, I was told that Upper Management was not happy. They knew that they were about to lose a good employee. 

There are times now when we are short a unit coordinator, and they need me to work my unit and another unit (the units are located near each other, as they are sister floors). I've told them that sure, I'd do it on the weekends, if needed, but not during the week. I've proven myself by my work ethic and being a team player so whatever I want they'll go along with it. 

So, instead of getting angry thinking about the situation in another way can be beneficial to you in the long run. 


Do Not Resuscitate and the Health Unit Coordinator (Video)

Did you hear about this story? The story was originally published in The New England Journal of Medicine. 

A man was rushed to the University of Miami with a Do Not Resuscitate tattoo on his upper body. 

The doctors in the Emergency Room were then faced with an ethical dilemma. Do we honor this man's request or do we do everything in our power to save his life? 

They called in an ethical consultant who, after reviewing the case, told them to honor the man's wishes. A written DNR was eventually discovered and the man's wishes were honored. 

Now thankfully, you and I as Health Unit Coordinators don't have to worry about making these types of decisions. All we're responsible for is making sure that if a DNR form, Living Will, or Advanced Directive is available, that it is on the front of the chart. We're also responsible for making sure that a DNR is flagged on the outside of the chart so that all medical personnel who are involved in the case are aware. 


How to Deal with Violent Patients/Visitors as a Health Unit Coordinator (Video)

        This is a subject that anyone who works in a hospital knows well and that is violent patients and in rare cases, violent family members.

    All employers have an obligation to provide for the safety of their patients, employees, visitors, and doctors. With that said, we as employees need to always make sure that we protect ourselves.

   As a Health Unit Coordinator, I don't argue with anyone who is unreasonable and are looking for a fight. I always use my “Chain of Command” and get my immediate supervisor involved (this is usually when the patient/visitor is at the nursing station). If I see that the situation is getting out of hand, I will call security and ask them to come to the unit.

    There was a situation where a visitor was totally out of control for two days and everyone was scared to say anything to him because they were afraid that it would “set him off”. I was off on those two days, but when I came back it had totally escalated to the point that one of my coworkers was calling the police and administration were forced to take it seriously.
    We were so scared that we all had escape routes planned.
   We should not have to live in fear when we clock into work, but we should also be aware of our surroundings and be ready to run if necessary.


How to Handle Being Written Up as a Health Unit Coordinator (Video)

Have you ever been written up at work?
I have.
It was during my first year as a Health Unit Coordinator when a doctor who was upset at me because the person at HIS answering service didn't take all of the necessary information for the consult that I had called in. The doctor had that person at the answering service fired and he wanted me fired too.
My manager instead decided to write me up. That is the only times that I've been written up in the last five years.
Now things like that you just let it roll off of your back.
But when you are getting called into the office and getting multiple write-ups, then it might be time to start looking for a new job or it's time to go on the offense especially if you have not done anything wrong and are being treated unfairly.
I had to do this when I started getting dragged into the office because of “unnamed” coworkers complaining about me.
That's when I started doing my “Chain of Command”.
I would type out everything that was happening on the unit and give a copy to my boss, a copy to their boss and a copy to Human Resources.
Nine times out of ten my boss didn't have any documentation of the allegations against me. It was just “unnamed” coworkers saying that I did this or that I did that.
But when I had dates, times and places of incidents that did happen (all that could be verified) and used the terms “harassment” and “retaliation” Human Resources would intervene and investigate.

A write up I nothing more than a paper trail to defend themselves against you if things go south. That's why you must create a paper trail to defend yourself against them.

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