Q: What's a typical workday like for you?

A: I work on two cardiac step-down units. I'm available to help anyone on the unit who needs help, whether it is answering phones, printing out paperwork for patients moving to another facility, or facilitating patient transportation within the hospital. I set up and maintain a paper chart for each patient, print out reports for the nursing staff, prepare reports on Medicare issues and patient diets, and keep count of equipment such as cardiac telemetry monitors. I also help patient families.

Q: How does your role fit into the bigger healthcare picture?

A: I help the work on the unit flow more easily for the staff. I am also responsible for paperwork that ensures proper billing. In the huge picture of healthcare costs, that's a small piece that I'm a part of.

Q: Who do you interact with during the course of the day?

A: Everyone from physicians to nurses; families; patients; hospital support staff including nursing assistants; laboratory, medical imaging, nutrition, maintenance and transportation, and registration staff; and outside vendors.

Q: Why did you become a health unit coordinator?

A: I worked for 20 years for a business that closed. I was looking for something different and thought something in the health field might be stable. I wasn't interested in actual hands-on patient care, so this fit that very well.

Q: What do you like about your work?

A: I have a lot of variety throughout the day. I can get up and move around. It gives me satisfaction to help other people do their jobs successfully and to be able to help families, too. It's just nice to be able to give them a little comfort. A big part of my job is customer satisfaction.