Unit Clerk Certificate Course (Live Online and In-Class)

  • Formats:

    Live Online and In-Class

  • Duration:

    468 hours

  • Application:

    $40 (Domestic)

    $140 (International)

  • Tuition Fee:

    $5,400 (Domestic)

    $7,020 (International)

    + textbook fee

    ~$450

Apply Now

Start Date

Term : Summer/Fall

Live Online live-logo

Full Time: July 18, 2022 – December 20, 2022

 

For the schedule, please refer to the dates section

In-Class

Full Time: September 12, 2022 – February 27, 2023

 

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Testimonials

What was your favourite thing about studying at Ashton College?

Good organization and the program was well organized.

Mogbonjubola Olanipekun

What did you love most about the experience?

The flexible schedule and great people, especially my unit clerk teacher. Thank you! 

Jasser Mercado

Online Info Session on July 13 at 4 pm PST

Online Info Session on July 13 at 4 pm PST

Register for our upcoming online info session with instructor Tina Toal.

Register Here

Program Overview

The Unit Clerk Certificate Course prepares graduates for employment as a Unit Clerk, Health Unit Clerk, Hospital Unit Clerk or Nursing Unit Clerk. Unit Clerks are responsible for looking after the administrative and clerical requirements of a health care unit. Through their expertise and care, they enable the team to function smoothly and effectively.

This career program teaches the skills necessary to communicate effectively with nurses, physicians and other members of the health care team, within a hospital setting. Graduates can also find employment in clinics, extended care facilities, rehabilitation centres or psychiatric hospitals.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the Unit Clerk Certificate Course, the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Communicate professionally with a patient and the members of the healthcare team.
  2. Understand and be comfortable using medical terminology, with a firm grasp on anatomy and physiology.
  3. Understand basic pharmacology, able to identify most common drugs with generic and trade names, and the classification.
  4. Perform role-specific tasks as they are adapted to different practice settings.
  5. Gather, record and manage patient information and appointments accurately and effectively.
  6. Interpret, record and send treatment, diagnostic, laboratory and surgical orders as prescribed.
  7. Complete practicum in a real world setting gaining hands on experience.
  8. *In the event of a shortage of practicum placement spots, students will have the opportunity to complete a capstone project in place of their practicum experience.

NAHUC Certification

Our Unit Clerk Certificate Program is on the Education Partner list of the National Association of Health Unit Coordinators (NAHUC). After completing the Unit Clerk Certificate Program at Ashton College, graduates can apply to join the association and become certified by passing the Health Unit Coordinator Certification Examination. This certification examination can be taken at Ashton Testing Services or any PSI Test Centre. Certification is granted for three years.

The NAHUC provides professional standards of practice, education and ethics for health unit coordinators. They highly encourage certification as certification provides evidence that health unit coordinators are qualified professionals and shows employers, other health professionals, and consumers that health unit clerks are actively participating in professional growth and development to continuously improve their performance. Please note that the NAHUC is not an accrediting body and as such has not accredited this program.

 

Career Opportunities as a Unit Clerk

Graduates of the Unit Clerk Certificate course will be able to obtain a position as a Unit Clerk in either private or public settings. Career options may include: 

  • Unit Clerk 
  • Health Unit Clerk 
  • Hospital Unit Clerk 
  • Nursing Unit Clerk 
  • Emergency Health Service Call Taker 
  • Patient Transfer Network Coordinator 
  • Scheduling Clerk 

 

Course Descriptions

UC01: Unit Clerk Overview, Communication, and Hospital Administration  (40 hours)

Brief Course Description

This course is designed to provide an overview of the program, the skills required to work as a Unit Clerk and an overview of the health care system. During this course, students will be made aware of the standards of conduct and ethics required of a health care professional. Students will become acquainted with how a hospital is organized, the various members of the health care team and the specific role of the Unit Clerk.  Emphasis will be placed on the need to be a good communicator, striving to prevent conflicts in the workplace and focused on concepts such as diversity, inclusivity and cultural awareness.

Course Prerequisites

None.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • Understand and articulate the roles of a Unit Clerk and as a member of the health care team
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the Canadian health care system and the organization of primary work settings of a Unit Clerk, and health information management system
  • Demonstrate an understanding of common health care practice standards, including standards of conduct and ethics of a health care professional
  • Explain the Personal Information and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and its place in Canadian healthcare
  • Effectively organize, identify and locate components of the patient’s medical records
  • Understand the processes and complete the appropriate procedures of patient admission, transfers and discharges
  • Understand the importance of and demonstrate specific knowledge of how to maintain patient confidentiality
  • Communicate effectively through verbal and written formats using appropriate organization, mechanics, and style
  • Understand the importance and exercise the principles and ethics of cross-cultural communication

 

UC02: Medical Terminology (40 hours)

Brief Course Description

During this course, students will be introduced to the medical terminology necessary to allow for effective communication as a health care professional. Students will also learn the basics of anatomy, physiology, pathology as well as the body structure and functions. A variety of disease processes, treatments, surgical terms and applications will be studied.

Course Prerequisites

Completion of UC01 – Unit Clerk Overview, Communication, and Hospital Administration

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to: 

  • Describe the origins and purpose of medical terminology
  • Recognize medical terminology word parts such as root words, prefixes, suffixes, and combining forms
  • Define and correctly utilize medical terminology describing the body, structures, regions, landmarks, functions, conditions, disorders and diseases
  • Define and correctly utilize medical abbreviations and symbols correlated by body system
  • Define and correctly utilize medical terminology of treatments, surgical terms and applications
  • Spell, pronounce and use terminology accurately within written and spoken contexts.

 

UC03: Basic Pharmacology (60 hours)

Brief Course Description

This course allows students to examine the basic information which Unit Clerks need to know about Pharmacology. The focus is on the classification of the most common drugs and the ability to identify them by both generic and trade names. Students will also be introduced to drug administration concepts that use the 24-hour clock.

Course Prerequisites

Completion of UC02 – Medical Terminology

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • Understand the medical terms, nomenclature and common acronyms used in Pharmacology
  • Identify the classification and therapeutic uses of the most common drugs based on both generic and trade names
  • Understand and fluently articulate drug administration concepts using the 24-hour clock
  • Understand dosage and directions for use of prescription drugs
  • Understand and interpret prescriptions

 

UC04: Physician Treatment Orders (80 hours)

Brief Course Description

During this course, students are introduced to several concepts which affect a patient’s treatment and recovery including how to interpret and transcribe physician treatment orders, dietary orders, activity and intravenous orders. Additionally, students will be practicing learned concepts in sessions with charting and case examples.

Course Prerequisites

Completion of UC03 – Basic Pharmacology

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • Understand and interpret physician treatment orders
  • Input physician treatment orders into the system
  • Document physician treatment orders in patients’ charts
  • Explain physician treatment orders in plain language to patient and family members

 

UC05: Laboratory Orders (80 hours)

Brief Course Description

Students are introduced to a variety of hematology and chemistry tests in order to understand their purpose. Students get to study concepts such as microbiology, virology, pathology and blood products. The course places specific emphasis on how patients must be prepared for tests, how specimens should be handled, and how the tests and blood products are processed and analyzed. Additionally, students will be practicing learned concepts in sessions with charting and case examples.

Course Prerequisites

Completion of UC04 – Physician Treatment Orders

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • Understand and interpret laboratory treatment orders
  • Input laboratory treatment orders into the system
  • Document laboratory treatment orders in patients’ charts
  • Explain laboratory treatment orders in plain language to patient and family members

 

UC06: Diagnostic Orders (35 hours)

Brief Course Description

This course reviews a wide variety of diagnostic tests done by different departments which may be required for a patient’s treatment. Students will learn to interpret diagnostic orders, how to order and prepare patients for such tests and communicate with the various departments to ensure that the tests take place. Additionally, students will be practicing learned concepts in sessions with charting and case examples.

Course Prerequisites

Completion of UC05 – Laboratory Orders

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • Understand and interpret diagnostic orders
  • Identify the department to conduct a specific diagnostic order
  • Input diagnostic orders into the system
  • Document diagnostic orders in patients’ charts
  • Explain diagnostic orders in plain language to patient and family members

 

UC07: Surgical Orders (35 hours)

Brief Course Description

In this course, various levels of medical, surgical and maternity orders are discussed. The role of the Unit Clerk is emphasized in pre-operation preparation, and for post-operative follow-ups. Additionally, students will be practicing learned concepts in sessions with charting and case examples.  In this course, students will also develop the skills necessary to processing orders for medication and using electronic medical transcription software (Meditech). Students will get an introductory look at transcribing spoken medication orders into written document format and the consequences of medication transcription errors (MTE). During this course, students will develop an introductory knowledge of transcribing accurately and completely, following proper documentation requirements used throughout the medical field.

Course Prerequisites

Completion of UC06 – Diagnostic Orders

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • Understand and interpret surgical orders
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the stages patient goes through during surgery (pre and post)
  • Input surgical orders into the system.
  • Document surgical orders in patients’ charts
  • Explain surgical orders in plain language to patient and family members
  • Identify the purpose of medication transcription in the healthcare industry
  • Outline the process of transcribing a medication order
  • Explain how medication transcription errors happen and how to mitigate them
  • Transcribe medication reports as prescribed by physicians
  • Explore the Meditech software.
  • Input medication orders into Meditech software

 

UC08: Practicum Orientation (4 hours)

Brief Course Description

In this course, students will be introduced to their Practicum requirements. Students will also get an overview of the working environment by discussing the various levels of medical, surgical and maternity orders. Throughout this course, the role of the Unit Clerk is emphasized as well as the need for post-operative follow-ups. This course is designed to prepare students for their Practicum experience.

Course Prerequisites

Completion of all previous UC Courses

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • Gain awareness of the working environment
  • Understand the purpose of practicum
  • Understand the policies and requirements to complete a practicum
  • Establish communication with Practicum Supervisor

 

UC09: Practicum (90 hours)

Brief Course Description

Students are required to apply their skills and knowledge obtained through coursework in a practical environment. The student must work on the days and times assigned by the instructor. The working hours could involve day, evening or weekend schedules. A minimum of 90 hours in the workplace is required.

*In the event of a shortage of practicum placement spots, students will have the opportunity to complete a capstone project in place of their practicum experience.

Course Prerequisites

Completion of all previous UC Courses and Practicum Orientation

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • Understand the relationship between theoretical knowledge and practical application
  • Apply knowledge to practice
  • Develop practical skills in a real-world setting
  • Interact and build professional working relationships with other members of the health care team
  • Gain experience as a Unit Clerk

 

UC10: Practicum Feedback (4 hours)

Brief Course Description

After completion of the practicum, students must complete a practicum report using the templates provided and hand their report to their instructor for final grading. After all reports have been submitted and graded, a feedback session will be held with the instructor.

Course Prerequisites

Completion of all previous UC Courses and Capstone

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  • Articulate and share learning experiences gained from their practicum with classmates
  • Reflect on experience to identify personal and professional growth
  • Gain perspective from classmates and understand the role and responsibilities of a Unit Clerk among different health care settings

 

Faculty*

Corene Allen

Corene Allen graduated from VCC in 1997 with honours and held a tutor position during her studies. She has held many positions throughout different health authorities including wards such as Emergency, Surgical, Medical, Clinical Trials and Ambulatory Care. She currently works as a Nursing Unit Clerk for Interior Health. In 2011, she worked as the lead instructor for a Nursing Unit Clerk Program at another college. She has distinguished results in having the highest successful graduation rate of any program at the college.

 

KariKari Mardian

Kari Mardian obtained her Masters of Education degree from the University of Lethbridge. Her research focus was examining the effects of stress and teachers in relation to causes, effects and management techniques. She spent the majority of her career as an instructor for a Bachelor of Nursing Degree program as well as an Individualized Study Tutor for Nursing Research.  As a Registered Nurse, she has devoted her career and passion to Public Health and Pediatric Nursing in Southern Alberta Health Regions.

 

Aman Sandhar

Aman graduated in 2006 from VCC with a unit clerk certificate. She also pursued a bachelor’s degree in adult education in 2015 from UFV. Since then, Aman has been working at the BC Cancer Agency as a unit clerk. She has done various unit clerk jobs and also has taught students at CHCA and Kwantlen College. She enjoys teaching, and it has been her passion since she was a child. She loves how rewarding teaching is. In her spare time, Aman loves to spend it with family and friends.

 

Sheila Mae Sia

Sheila is an internationally educated nurse and has a Master of Arts in Education. Her teaching experience includes being a clinical instructor for nine years. She taught varying nursing subjects and facilitated the clinical practice of students in several clinical areas. She also taught medical office administration in one of the private colleges in Toronto. She also works as a curriculum developer for the Pharmacy Assistant Certificate Course at George Brown College in Toronto.

 

Toal, TinaTina Toal

Tina Toal has over 24 years of experience in the health care industry. In 1998, she completed a Unit Clerk course at Vancouver Community College. She then worked over the years specializing in oncology and held various positions from unit clerk to clerical supervisor to medical secretary. She started teaching and realized that it was her passion to help others learn. Her work experience includes working in clinical areas, delivery rooms, neonatal intensive care units and the community.

 

*Subject to change without notice

Admission Requirements

General Admission Requirements for Domestic Students

Are you a domestic student?

You must prove the following:

  • You have successfully completed a B.C. Secondary School diploma or the equivalent of one
  • You are at least 19 years old before the first day of your program

English Language Proficiency Requirements for Domestic Students

Are you a domestic student?

You must show your language proficiency in ONE of the following ways:

  • You achieved a C+ (67%) or higher in BC English Studies 12, English First Peoples 12 or Literary Studies 12 or an equivalent course in Canada
  • You have completed two or more years in a row of full-time post-secondary education in English in one of the approved countries listed below OR you have completed three or more years in a row of full-time secondary school education in English in one of the approved countries listed below
  • You achieved a minimum score on one of the approved tests listed below

Approved Countries

American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Falkland Islands, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guam, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malta, Mauritius, Montserrat, New Zealand, Nigeria, Seychelles, Sierre Leone, Singapore, South Africa, St Helena, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Tanzania, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States of America, US Virgin Islands, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Approved English Language Proficiency Tests and Scores

  • Cambridge English Advanced (CAE): minimum score of 58 or C
  • The Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL): minimum score of 55
  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP): General 6
  • Duolingo: minimum score of 110 (temporary due to COVID)
  • International English Language Testing (IELTS): academic level with a minimum overall score of 6.0
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) internet-based test: academic level with a minimum score of 79-80 and a minimum of 19-20 on each band
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) paper-based test: minimum score of 550 and a minimum of 23 each for reading, writing, and listening

General Admission Requirements for International Students

Are you an international student?

You must prove the following:

  • You have successfully completed a B.C. Secondary School diploma or the equivalent of one
  • You are at least 19 years old before the first day of your program

English Language Proficiency Requirements for International Students

Are you an international student?

You must show your language proficiency in ONE of the following ways:

  • You achieved a C+ (67%) or higher in BC English Studies 12, English First Peoples 12 or Literary Studies 12 or an equivalent course in Canada
  • You have completed two or more years in a row of full-time post-secondary education in English in one of the approved countries listed below OR you have completed three or more years in a row of full-time secondary school education in English in one of the approved countries listed below
  • You achieved a minimum score on one of the approved tests listed below

Approved Countries

American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Falkland Islands, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guam, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malta, Mauritius, Montserrat, New Zealand, Nigeria, Seychelles, Sierre Leone, Singapore, South Africa, St Helena, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Tanzania, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States of America, US Virgin Islands, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Approved English Language Proficiency Tests and Scores

  • Cambridge English Advanced (CAE): minimum score of 58 or C
  • The Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL): minimum score of 55
  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP): General 6
  • Duolingo: minimum score of 110 (temporary due to COVID)
  • International English Language Testing (IELTS): academic level with a minimum overall score of 6.0
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) internet-based test: academic level with a minimum score of 79-80 and a minimum of 19-20 on each band
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) paper-based test: minimum score of 550 and a minimum of 23 each for reading, writing, and listening

General Admission Requirements for Mature Students

Do you identify as a mature student?

To qualify, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You are at least 19 years of age
  • You have not completed a B.C. Secondary School diploma or the equivalent of one

Application Requirements

Mature Students must submit ALL of the following:

  • At least one letter of reference from a person who is not related to you
  • A statement of intent clearly outlining your career goals and your reasons for believing you will succeed in the program
  • A personal profile of 250 words or less

Additional Requirements

You must meet all of the program-specific and non-academic requirements where listed. In some cases, you may need to complete a placement exam to determine academic readiness.

 

Additional Requirements for All Students

Applicants will also need to provide the following additional documents. These additional mandatory requirements apply prior to commencing practicums and not at the time of admission.

  1. Criminal record check.
  2. Up-to-date immunizations.
  3. Students for practicums will need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, regardless of their province, and may have to show proof depending on their province.

Dates

Live Online

Full Time:

  • July 18, 2022 – December 20, 2022
    • Webinars are held Mondays to Thursdays from 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm  PST
    • Students must devote at least 20 – 22 hours per week to attending webinars, seminars, and laboratories online
    • Seminars and laboratory times are decided at the start of the cohort
    • 468 hours, including: 378 hours of instruction, 90 hours of practicum
  • Practicum: November 24, 2022 – December 19, 2022

In-Class

Full Time:

  • September 12, 2022 – February 27, 2023
    • Classes are held Monday to Friday from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm  PST
    • Students must devote at least 20 – 22 hours per week to attending classes, seminars, and laboratories in-person
    • Seminars and laboratory times are decided at the start of the cohort
    • 468 hours, including: 378 hours of instruction, 90 hours of practicum
  • Practicum: January 30, 2023 – February 24, 2023

Fees

Tuition fees for the program are payable in three instalments. The first instalment is due 2 weeks prior to the start date. Students with guaranteed funding arrangements will be exempt from this requirement provided they produce proof of funding before the cohort start date.

All formats of the program are eligible for Canada Student Loans, other forms of government funding, and bank financing. However students are responsible for making their own funding arrangements and are advised to contact the relevant funder well in advance of the start date to make an application.

Application and tuition fees for this program are as follows:

  • Application fee: $40 (Domestic Students) or $140 (International Students)
  • Tuition fee (Online): $5,400 (Domestic Students) and $7,020 (International Students)
  • Note: Tuition fees do not include the cost of the required textbooks. The approximate textbook fee is $450

Technical Requirements

Live Online Students

Ashton College uses web conferencing tools to help instructors and students connect and collaborate live online. For the online classes, students need to have a fully functional computer system with a webcam, speakers and microphone or headset and headphones, along with a reliable high-speed internet connection. Though the classes can be accessed using smartphones and tablets, we recommend using a laptop or desktop computer for a better learning experience.

This program was reviewed and approved by the Registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch of the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training

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