Healthcare administrators provide the leadership and management needed to effectively oversee quality delivery and implementation of healthcare services. They must also be astute jugglers, responsible for keeping multiple “balls” in the air at once, such as facilities management services, programs, staff, budgets, public relations, patient rights, financial management and planning.
A rewarding career within a dynamic field with plenty of room for growth, healthcare administration is an exciting opportunity for professionals hoping to move into a management or executive role. Read on for a closer look at what a healthcare administration career involves and where it can take you.
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Healthcare administrators oversee the daily management duties of an entire healthcare organization or department. They are executive-level managers, tasked with decision-making on operations, personnel and finance matters, and are responsible for ensuring the facility runs efficiently and effectively. Because they are expected to wear multiple hats at the same time, administrators must be knowledgeable about many subject areas and be ready to jump in on projects like organizing new construction and expansion improvements, designing specialized employee training programs, advocating for state-of-the-art medical equipment and creating and implementing realistic budgets for their staff and facility stakeholders.
There are two different types of healthcare administration jobs: “generalists,” who focus on the entire organization, and “specialists,” who work in a department within a healthcare facility. Health administration jobs are available in both the private and public sectors, with opportunities in local health departments, pharmaceutical companies, medical supply companies, health insurance providers and private hospitals.
Workers in this profession have a wide variety of environments from which to choose such as hospitals, nursing homes, mental-health facilities, clinics, nonprofits and private medical insurance companies. Healthcare administration positions are ideal for those who desire a career in healthcare without obtaining a clinical degree.
Necessary Skill Sets
Healthcare administrators must be adept at multitasking, have effective analytical and management skills and demonstrate confident leadership to succeed in this role. Many of these qualities overlap desired traits in the non-medical fields of business, finance and technology. For example, a Wall Street executive utilizes the markets to influence his or her financial decisions, similar to how a healthcare administrator views current trends and breakthroughs to dictate their newest training program for staff. A CEO of a large company must make tough personnel decisions and use his or her knowledge of human resources and company financials to guide those decisions. This is a similar line that healthcare administrators walk, while they are working to reduce operational costs with the least impact on critical health positions and staff morale. In a sense, one could argue that healthcare administrators utilize the best of all business-related skills sets — they just specialize in the field of healthcare.
Healthcare administration careers are quickly gaining visibility as an exciting role that fulfills a critical healthcare need across the globe. There’s more good news for today’s job seekers —the outlook for healthcare administration careers is excellent. From the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor and Statistics website:
“Employment of medical and health services managers is expected to grow by 22 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. As the large baby-boom population ages and people remain active later in life, the healthcare industry as a whole will see an increase in the demand for medical services. Managers will be needed to organize and manage medical information and healthcare staffs in all areas of the industry.”
Regardless of the path, a Master of Health Administration (MHA) degree is a foundational tool to help jump-start your healthcare administration career. The field is wide open. Start making an impact today.