The business of healthcare - as with any business - must adhere to good management practices in order to run smoothly. Healthcare administrators oversee the daily management of various healthcare organizations, departments, and facilities. They are a vital part of the healthcare system and are responsible for handling business and financial decisions.
What does a healthcare administrator do?
Healthcare administrators (also called healthcare executives or health services administrators) either work in a general capacity as a facility manager, or in a more specific role as department manager. They are in charge of planning and supervising the process of healthcare delivery in order to ensure a high quality level of operations. Healthcare administrators have a broad range of responsibilities that largely depend on their specific organization and position.
Those working in healthcare administration jobs in hospitals or nursing homes manage daily tasks that include patient care, finances, personnel, and admissions. Specific duties vary depending on the responsibilities that are focused on their particular specialization. Generally, creating policies, managing budgets, planning activities and assessing employee performance within their department are a large part of healthcare executive jobs.
Healthcare administrators communicate often with the doctors in their practice. They are very skilled in the use of computers and software, and are responsible for securing and maintaining the information stored in a patient database. People in healthcare executive management generally work long shifts and are often called in to manage unexpected issues at all hours of the day or night.
What kind of training does a healthcare administrator need?
Entry-level jobs in healthcare administration can be obtained by candidates with a bachelor degree in healthcare administration. A master degree is required for intermediate and higher-level positions. Healthcare administrators commonly hold a master degree in public health, health services administration, business administration or public administration. These graduate programs include supervised administrative training combined with 2-3 years of coursework.
Healthcare administration jobs in nursing care facilities require licensure in their resident state. The qualifications needed to obtain a license in are a bachelor degree (with plans to further education), completion of a state training program, and a passing score on the licensing exam.
What are the prospects for a career as a healthcare administrator?
Healthcare administration careers are projected to increase at a rate of 16 percent by 2016, resulting in a total of 305,000 jobs in this field. Job prospects will be strongest for those who are skilled in business management and who have work experience in healthcare. (1)
Healthcare Administratory Salary: How much do healthcare administrators make?
Average salary for healthcare administration is around $76,000, with entry level positions beginning around $46,000. Advancement in this field into higher levels can bring salaries of more than $132,000 per year. (2)
People pursuing a career in health services administration need to be good decision-makers with a solid background in finance and technological systems. They should be comfortable in a leadership role and be able to demonstrate effective communication skills.
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