Steps to Becoming a Healthcare Administrator
Health care administration is one of the fastest-growing occupations in the United States. Many people are choosing to study health sciences and pursue careers as health care administrators. But what is health care administration and what does a health care administrator do?
What Is Healthcare Administration?
Health care administrators, also called health care executives or health care managers, work with other health care and medical professionals in order to maintain the operations of a facility, office or center effectively and efficiently. This includes:
- Improving the quality of health care services and delivery
- Strategizing and planning goals and objectives
- Recruiting, hiring and training staff
- Creating work schedules
- Representing the facility in business meetings, governing boards or fundraising events
- Facilitating communication among different departments, staff and other administrators
The day-to-day role of health care administrators is tied to the size of the facility, department or center where they work. A health care administrator can work in hospitals, independent or group medical offices, health services centers and more. There are also specific kinds of health care administrators including health information managers, clinical managers and nursing home administrators.
Pursue an Undergraduate Degree
Typically, a health care administrator needs a bachelor’s degree in order to acquire an entry-level position. A Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences with a concentration in Health Care Administration, like this one from Touro University Worldwide, provides a solid start to pursue these career opportunities.
A bachelor’s degree in health sciences equips graduates with both a theoretical and practical foundation in the principles of health care management and administration. Coursework combines business and health care. Students learn about health care delivery systems, environmental health and safety, health information systems and more.
Healthcare Administration Certification
Health care administrators may need to meet state requirements for licensure or certification. For managers of small group physician practices, the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM) offers the Certified Medical Manager (CMM) credential. The American College of Health Care Administrators offers certifications for nursing home administrators and assisted living administrators.
Pursue a Graduate Degree
In order to advance in their career as health care administrators, many professionals choose to pursue a graduate degree in health care administration or an online Master of Business Administration with a concentration like health administration management. The best time to pursue a graduate degree is after working professionally as a health care administrator for a few years. Those who earn a master’s degree can pursue higher-paying positions with more responsibilities.
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