Are you patient and understanding? Do you also have good organizational and computer skills? Can you provide excellent customer service? Then becoming a patient care coordinator could be right up your alley. Entering this exciting career will also bring you squarely within one of the fastest growing industries in the country. Healthcare occupations are expected to add more jobs than any other group this decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook.
A patient care coordinator, also known as a care coordinator, is the health professional who ensures that patients get the best care possible. They listen to patients and their families to ensure needs are being addressed, educate patients on medical procedures or conditions, keep patient records up to date, and act as a liaison between the patient and healthcare personnel by keeping the lines of communication flowing.
These responsibilities can vary widely depending on individual employer needs. Here are some of the responsibilities of patient care coordinators:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical records and health information technicians, who share the administrative roles of patient care coordinators, will see a 13 percent growth in employment between 2016 and 2026. But, the BLS predicts that healthcare employment will increase more than any other group during this decade. Healthcare occupations are expected to grow 18 percent during this time.
Still, you will need something to distinguish you in the job market. A Health Services Administration Assistant Diploma may be just what you need to do so.
A health services assistant diploma will prepare you for an entry-level position as a patient care coordinator. As a graduate of this diploma program, you will be trained to handle multiple roles in the healthcare field through critical thinking and health-related skills. You will have the required management and financial skills to work effectively in both administrative and clerical roles in clinical settings. Recall that many of the functions of a patient care coordinator fall into this category. You will also understand the procedures and terminology in the healthcare industry to allow you to move into an entry-level position in the health care field, and specifically as a patient care coordinator. The patient care coordinator is often called upon to explain procedures to patients. You will be able to comply with administrative healthcare industry standards using the records management and scheduling skills you learn in this diploma program.
Because so many healthcare providers are going to electronic health records (EHRs), it is vital that you have good computer skills. You may also want to take extra courses in health and biology, especially if you can do so in high school. Many employers look for candidates with associate and bachelor’s degrees, but it is not an absolute requirement and depends on the employer’s needs. However, students who wish to further their education can apply their courses and earned credits toward an associate or bachelor’s degree in health services administration at Bryant & Stratton College.
Patient care coordinators should have good analytical skills to be able to understand and then explain medical procedures and diagnoses to patients. You should be compassionate, resourceful, a team player, and emotionally stable as you could easily be working with distraught, confused, or even angry patients. You should be detail oriented and show integrity in your work as you have an obligation to keep patient records confidential.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016, the leading employer of medical records and health information technicians, a related field, was hospitals; state, local and private at 36 percent. Physician’s offices employed these workers at about 19 percent. Administrative and support services employed another 8 percent, while 7 percent were employed by professional, scientific and technical services. Nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities) employed medical records and health information technicians at about 6 percent.
Patient care coordinators can expect similar employment, but also employment by dental offices, clinics and specialty care clinics.
You can expect to work full time and spend quite a bit of time using a computer. Also, if the place where you work is open all the time, like a hospital, it is possible that you could be asked to work the evening, or night shift.
While this information may help you in determining the right career path for you, understand that job market data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook is intended to provide insight into occupational opportunities, and is not to be construed as a guarantee of salary or job title. Bryant & Stratton College cannot guarantee employment in any field.
For insights into a career as a patient care coordinator, please visit the Career Services section of our blog. Here you will find valuable information about health care careers. Explore the website and be sure to visit the Health Services Assistant Diploma Page.