Learn about the Healthcare Coordinator career
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Determining the kind of care a person with disabilities needs can be a difficult and overwhelming task. With this in mind, it is not surprising that families and individuals struggle to care for loved ones with disabilities. Healthcare Coordinators can help alleviate this burden by determining and coordinating the health-care services people with disabilities need to lead healthy lives.
Through the careful assessment of the medical and psychological needs of patients, Healthcare Coordinators design personalized care plans, which are then implemented by health-care support staff, such as nurses or habilitation aides. As a result, Healthcare Coordinators are not only adept at communicating with patients, but also with the individuals that provide direct care to their patients.
Although Healthcare Coordinators communicate directly with their patients, determining the exact care patients need can be a complex task. For example, a patient with Down Syndrome, or other mental disability, may not be able to communicate what kind of care they require. In these situations, Healthcare Coordinators sometimes interview family members, doctors, and spend extra time analyzing their patients’ documented medical history.
Although Healthcare Coordinators carefully evaluate their patients and design comprehensive health care plans, these plans may occasionally need to be adjusted. Adjustments are necessary when patients’ conditions improve, worsen, or if the original plan was not sufficient. In these cases, Habilitation Aides may again need to meet with their patients, and they must also communicate all changes to their patients’ plan for whoever is providing their direct care(such as a family member, nurse, or habilitation aide).
Healthcare Coordinators are compassionate and open-minded. They must use knowledge gained from their experience, but also assess each patient on an individual basis. For example, two patients may have the same disability, but may require divergent care plans because of lifestyle choices or personal goals. Healthcare Coordinators account for these conditions, and act accordingly.
Healthcare Coordinators work for hospitals, assisted living communities, home health-care organizations, and other disability service providers. As the “middle-man” between patients and direct care staff, Healthcare Coordinators enjoy the benefits of working with different populations and using varied skill sets. Most Healthcare Coordinators are required to have a degree in psychology, social work,nursing, rehabilitation, or a related field.
If you think you would like to improve the lives of others through the design and management of individualized care plans, a career as a Healthcare Coordinator may be right for you.
Request information from schools offering Counseling or Psychology degree programs.
1National Organization on Disability