What Does A Patient Care Coordinator Do?
Patient Care Coordinators work as patient advocates at social service and healthcare providers like group homes and hospitals. They generally assist patients who may not be able to manage their care on their own, such as disabled or elderly people. The role of a Patient Care Coordinator is to make sure their client is aware of all the responsibilities associated with caring for their health and helping them manage those tasks. They can help the patient pay medical bills, schedule transportation to appointments, pick up medications and follow up with care providers about their condition.
Patient Care Coordinators determine a patient’s eligibility for different community support and financial assistance programs, enabling them to access the care they need. They put together care plans and explain them to the patient and their family, answering questions and carefully documenting each step.
Patient Care Coordinator Skills and Qualifications
Patient Care Coordinators should have a variety of skills relating to the position. Some required skills may include:
- Teamwork to coordinate with Doctors, Nurses and other health care personnel
- Strong verbal communication skills to communicate with patients and the health care team
- People skills to connect emotionally with patients and health care personnel
- Management skills
- Counseling skills
- Time-management skill
Patient Care Coordinator Salary Expectations
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Patient Care Coordinator Education and Training Requirements
A Patient Care Coordinator usually needs to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing or social work. However, education in related fields such as substance abuse counseling, psychology, sociology or criminal justice is useful for the Patient Care Coordinator role and career path. There are Patient Care Coordinator training programs available as well as certificate programs for the profession and professional growth as a Patient Care Coordinator. Health Unit Coordinator and Patient Care Coordinator certificate programs usually last two years and are available at many community colleges. The Patient Care Coordinator examination required to attain the certification is given by the National Association of Health Unit Coordinators. Students taking a two year course in Patient Care Coordinator work will learn how to communicate with patients, communicate physicians’ orders, read medical charts and follow hospital policies and procedures. They will also learn about laws related to the health care profession. If the Patient Care Coordinator pursues a more senior career role as Patient Care Coordinator, then a master’s degree or doctorate is useful.
Patient Care Coordinator Experience Requirements
Employers prefer at least one year of related work experience in a Patient Care Coordinator position for someone with a bachelor’s degree. It is useful to have supervisory experience as a Patient Care Coordinator if the person will be in charge of other staff at a health care facility. However, some health care facilities will substitute a master’s degree for lack of experience.
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