Medical Office Administrator Health Unit Clerk with Practicum

This program combines the basic knowledge of a Medical Office Administrator with the specialized knowledge of a Health Unit Clerk.

This program combines the basic knowledge of a Medical Office Administrator with the specialized knowledge of a Health Unit Clerk which will open many more job opportunity doors for the student.

Medical Office Administrators and Health Unit Clerks perform a variety of administrative duties in doctors’ offices, hospitals, medical clinics and other medical settings as well as support of managers and professional employers. They are employed in offices throughout the public and private sectors.

Medical Office Administrators type correspondence, reports, invoices and related material from handwritten copy or machine dictation, using a computer. This may include the preparation of presentation materials. They also prepare routine correspondence and compile data, statistics and other information. Some administrators assist committees by taking minutes.

The duties of Medical Office Administrators also include specialized tasks. They schedule and confirm medical appointments, deliver messages between doctors and patients, type medical records and reports from handwritten notes, and interview patients to complete forms and case histories. They also make sure doctors get paid, by completing insurance as well as other claim forms and handling billing procedures. They may order medical supplies as well as regular office supplies. It should be noted that medical administrators are very often referred to as medical office secretaries, and related training programs in this province may also use that title.

Health Unit Clerks are responsible for managing a variety of clerical and administrative duties. They are responsible for helping manage a patient’s care plan by coordinating diagnostic tests, lab work, and treatment plans for patients including arranging transportation. They are also responsible for maintaining the patient’s electronic medical record and making sure it is kept up-to-date and accurate.

The occupational objective of the Health Unit Clerk program is to prepare the student to gain employment in the settings such as the following: hospitals, clinics, insurance companies, public health care agencies and long-term care facilities where they will perform non-clinical tasks usually under the supervision of nursing staff and provide the link between patients, physicians, nursing staff and other departments. Job duties and environments vary by place of employment. Some Hospital Unit Clerks are employed part-time or work evening or weekend shifts.

The job outlook for qualified unit clerks is very good due to advances in medical technology. According to the Health Careers Center, job opportunities are expected to be plentiful for health unit clerks, with growth mirroring that of all health care professions.

A typing speed of 50-65 words per minute may also be required for employment. Changes in technology, such as the increasing use of electronic medical records (EMR), means these workers must be comfortable adapting to new software programs. Some employers may require specialized training in EMR systems.

This program includes a practicum placement. This experience within a workplace enables Instructional staff to observe the student in a practice situation while providing the student with the opportunity to gain direct exposure to the chosen career field.

Learning Objectives

Upon graduation, students will be able to demonstrate the following competencies:

  • To perform receptionist duties such as greeting and checking in patients
  • To manage and coordinate scheduling of appointments
  • To compile patients’ charts
  • To transcribe physicians’ orders
  • To prepare birth and/or death certificates
  • To record vital signs
  • To order hospital supplies
  • To complete the admission, preoperative, and postoperative procedures

Diploma Program

Total Program Hours:
1108 Hours
Full-Time Program Length:
53 Weeks
(Includes holidays and professional days)
Program content is subject to change.

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Career Opportunities

Health Unit Coordinator
Medical Office Assistant
Medical Transcriptionist
MSP Billing Clerk
Nursing Unit Assistant
Nursing Unit Coordinator
Unit Clerk
Admission Requirements:

Prior to Acceptance:

Grade 12 / GED or mature student status (all transcripts must be “true certified copies” or originals).

Applicants must successfully complete the admissions interview and entrance assessments with a minimum score of 20/40 in the English Assessment and a minimum score of 20/40 in the Math Assessment (with a minimum composite score of 42/80).

Domestic Students:
  • Domestic students that can provide a Canadian transcript showing completion of English 11 or 12 (or equivalent) with a passing grade of ‘C’, will be exempt from having to write the English Entrance Assessment.
  • Domestic students that can provide a Canadian transcript showing completion of Math 10, 11 or 12 (or equivalent) with a passing grade of ‘C’, will be exempt from having to write the Math Entrance Assessment.
International Students:
  •  International students can meet the Math Entrance Assessment requirement by providing an equivalent to Canadian High School Math 10, 11 or 12 with a passing grade of ‘C’. The credential must be evaluated and verified.
  • International students can meet the English requirement by completing or demonstrating one of the following four options: • Sprott Shaw’s English Language Assessment, OR
  • Minimum IELTS Score 5.5 overall or iBT TOEFL Score of 70 or Equivalent Standardized External Assessment, OR
  • Completion of an ESL program from one of SSC’s partnered ESL schools, OR
  • International students that can provide a Canadian transcript (or evaluated credentials) showing completion of English 11 or 12 (or equivalent) with a passing grade of ‘C’, will be exempt from having to write the English Entrance Assessment.
For practicum placement, applicants for this program must also:
  • Have excellent communication skills
  • Submit a criminal record check from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, including clearance to work with vulnerable adults (Schedule B (must be done no more than three months before starting the program)
  • Provide evidence of clear TB testing (must be done no more than one month before the start of the program or no more than six months prior to the start of clinical)
  • Provide evidence of up-to-date Immunizations (Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Polio, Chicken Pox, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Hepatitis B)
  • Influenza and others as required by clinical sites
  • Must adhere to the requirements of the BC Practice Education Guidelines and relevant health authority requirements

Students may be required to meet minimum academic and attendance requirements to qualify for the HUC placement. The minimum standard expected will be:

  • Attendance of at least 95%
  • GPA of at least 86%
  • 5-minute timed typing of 50 WPM or permission of Director.
Diploma Requirements:

60% average upon successful completion of all courses, including courses given a complete. CPR, First Aid and WHMIS will be completed during the program.

* Medical Office Administrator Health Unit Clerk with Practicum was reviewed and approved by the registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training.

Students can expect to complete one to three hours of homework per day.

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Courses List

This 53 week Diploma program requires the student to complete the following courses.

  • Theory & practice of double-entry bookkeeping
  • Complete the Accounting Cycle to closing (GL, AP, AR, Payroll, Year End)
  • Prepare Financial and Business Reports

  • MS Office Certification
  • MS Office Word editing, layout, templates, styles and
    sections, mail merge, tables, charts and desktop publishing

  • MS Office Certification
  • Plan, edit and manage worksheets (formulas/functions)

  • Management of office information (mail, appointments, telephones, meetings, business machines, bank statements)

  • MS Word, electronic files, business documents
  • Develop speed and accuracy

  • Computer basics/file management
  • Goal setting, note-taking, problem-solving, teamwork
  • Overview of policies & procedures
  • Demonstrate the ability to use MS Word and MS PowerPoint

  • Research, prepare and deliver presentations
  • Apply proper use of grammar principles
  • Overview of processes of communication in the workplace
  • Use MS Office PowerPoint

  • Importance of written communication within the
    business environment
  • Memos, email, letters and reports

  • Interview techniques
  • Create a Career Development Marketing Plan
  • Apply aspects of professionalism
  • Identify target markets and employment resources

  • Effective customer service and support
  • Problem-solving theory and applications

  • Describe clinical / non-clinical tasks
  • Communication, interpersonal skills in a health-care setting
  • Responsibilities of a Health Unit Clerk

  • Pharmacological terminology
  • Steps in the drugs cycle, classifications
  • Drug effects, disease states

  • Electronic records
  • Transcription/monitoring doctor’s orders
  • Procedures/process orders

4 weeks, 128 hours

  • Anatomy and physiology as related to the body systems
  • Associate pathological conditions with the body systems
  • Define pharmacology and related terminology
  • Identify all standard medical abbreviations
  • WHMIS Certification

  • Anatomy and physiology as related to the body systems
  • Associate pathological conditions with the body systems
  • Define pharmacology and related terminology
  • Identify all standard medical abbreviations
  • CPR/First Aid
  • Prerequisite: MD400I - Medical Terminology I

  • Patient scheduling, forms, charts
  • Sterilization techniques
  • General office procedures

  • Clinic and physician accounts
  • Billing and diagnostic codes

  • Dictatyping and transcribing
  • Creating/formatting medical documents

  • Simulation designed to provide the learner with practical exposure to activities that may be encountered on the job in a medical office environment

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