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Hospital Unit Clerk Training

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Hospital unit clerks ensure the smooth operations of a ward in a busy medical facility. You may want to consider enrolling in hospital unit clerk training if you’re interested in a good health care job but don’t have the time or money to pursue a four-year college degree.

Hospital unit clerk training offered at technical and community colleges can be completed in as little as six months. Many perks come with this hands-on career, including job security, stable income, varied duties and the personal reward that comes from assisting patients and families.

Job Description

In your role as a hospital unit clerk, you would greet visitors, answer the telephone and schedule medical appointments for patients. You would use your exceptional communication skills to convey timely information to doctors, nurses and other members of your health care team. Medical secretarial/clerk duties, such as typing reports, processing invoices and operating office equipment, would also take up much of your time.

Examples of additional duties include filing and retrieving confidential medical records, checking databases, assisting with patient admission and discharge and ordering supplies for the unit.

Education Requirements

A high school degree or GED is the minimum education requirement for landing entry-level unit clerk jobs. Secretarial classes in high school along with knowledge of spreadsheets and databases can help you get your foot in the door. Postsecondary hospital unit clerk classes, certificates and applied science associate degrees are especially attractive to employers.

Many community and technical colleges offer excellent hospital unit clerk courses that qualify graduates to sit for the voluntary National Association of Health Unit Coordinators unit clerk certification exam.

Hospital unit clerk courses in the classroom teach customer relations skills, medical terminology, patient confidentiality, professionalism and patient scheduling. Clinical placement and internships provide students with an opportunity to practice their skills under the supervision of a preceptor responsible for clinical instruction. Many programs, such as the health unit coordinator certificate available through the Community College of Baltimore County, can be completed in six to nine months.


Hospital unit clerk jobs are demanding and sometime stressful. Unit clerks may be required to sit at a desk for long hours concentrating on transcribing, charting, record keeping and billing. Most duties must be performed quickly to stay on schedule. You must be able to remain calm and helpful when an emergency happens on the floor.

Hospital unit clerk jobs are available on a part-time or full-time basis. You may be required to work days, evenings, holidays and rotating shifts. You may be strongly encouraged or required to maintain health care unit certification through professional development activities such as earning continuing education credits and attending professional conferences.

Years of Experience and Salary

Hospital unit clerk jobs vary in responsibility and intensity, but the job is generally considered entry level. Experienced unit clerks can serve as preceptors, which may come with a slight increase in pay. With additional vocational training, unit clerks can boost their earning potential by becoming medical coders or health information technicians in hospitals.

The Bureau of Labor Statistic_s_ places hospital unit clerk jobs in the general category of medical secretaries. As of 2018, medical secretaries overall earned an average annual salary of $37,090, or $17.38 per hour. Those working in general hospitals and surgical centers made $37,680 per year, or $18.11 per hour.

Job Growth Trend

Jobs for medical secretaries, including hospital unit clerk jobs, will be in high demand in the years ahead, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Specifically, the BLS projects 22 percent growth from 2016 to 2026.

Job opportunities are tied to the health care industry, which is expected to expand significantly as baby boomers age and seek medical services. Consequently, hospital unit clerk jobs will be needed to arrange appointments, prepare billing and process insurance or Medicare claims.


Dr. Mary Dowd brings decades of hands-on experience to her writing endeavors. Along with general knowledge of human resources, she has specialized training in affirmative action, investigations and equal opportunity. While working as a dean of students, she advised college students on emerging career trends and job seeking strategies. As director of equal opportunity, she led efforts to diversify the workforce and the student body.

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