The Support of a Health Unit Secretary

Health Unit Secretaries are a key asset to our health system’s high-quality and performance

During World War ll, many remember the bravery, the sacrifice, the loss, and how the healthcare industry was booming and in desperate need of workers. As Hospitals were overwhelmed, nurses and providers not only took care of the patients, but managed all administrative duties such as communicating with the families to filing charts. To ensure the physicians and nurses were focused on treating the patients, Health Unit Secretaries were introduced.

Health Unit Secretaries, also referred to as Health Unit Coordinators, take on the administrative role of a Hospital floor. They make sure administrative operations run effectively in a clinical setting and coordinate all nonclinical aspects of patient care, which may vary based on the current situation.

Cassie Henchir, Health Unit Secretary at St. Clair Health said, “As someone who has worked in healthcare for years, the most important advice I could give is to remember to have compassion. Most of the time, you are the first person the patients and their families see and speak with. It can be a very stressful time for them, and being calm and understanding can do a lot to ease the tension.”

Responsibilities a Health Unit Secretary

  • Welcome patients, check-in new patients, and answer phone calls
  • Maintain the appointment calendar, schedules, and medical charts
  • Communicate with patients, families, medical staff, and caregivers to guarantee smooth operations
  • Plan patient procedures and activities
  • Order medical equipment, supplies, and infrastructure for the Hospital
  • Assist patients with important Hospital forms and inform them about the procedures of the Hospital
  • Resolve all patient complaints and collect reviews to help improve functionality
  • Maintain and update patient medical records
  • Work with medical and non-medical employees
  • Train new employees on Hospital processes

As time goes by and healthcare systems continue to grow, Health Unit Secretaries remain important and irreplaceable. This nonclinical role is beneficial for individuals that are considering a lifelong career in healthcare because it’s ideal for an individual wanting to be in the medical field without having direct patient care.

“Candidates should have previous work experience in roles that show their ability to perform responsibilities that include proficient computer skills, knowledge and a high level of accuracy in medical terminology, and the ability to multitask and remain calm and organized at all times,” said Henchir.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), healthcare-related careers are expected to increase by 16 percent and add more than 2.5 million healthcare jobs between years 2020-2030. So if you’re thinking about a future in the healthcare industry, positions will always be in demand. Learn more about health unit secretary positions and other positions offered at S. Clair Health by clicking here.