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Many students and professionals today are attracted to a career in healthcare management. Healthcare is the biggest industry in the United State, and is currently the second largest employer in the country. Most of the private sector jobs that were created in the last five years were in the healthcare space.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS also reports that healthcare jobs will increase by nearly 20% by 2024, with at least two million new jobs opening up. Many of them will be in the healthcare management specialty.
The decisions that healthcare executives make can improve the lives of thousands of patients every day. Healthcare managers and executives also choose this profession because they have a strong sense of social mission to help those in need.
Healthcare management also offers you plenty of career flexibility. You will be able to work in many different sectors of healthcare and related fields. Some of the best occupations you can choose with a healthcare management degree are:
#1 Healthcare Administrator
Healthcare administrators and healthcare executives are responsible for the planning, directing and coordinating of vital medical and healthcare services. Healthcare administrators may be responsible for managing an entire facility, a certain clinical department, and sometimes a group of doctors in a medical practice.
One of the most important job aspects in this position is to stay abreast of healthcare laws, regulations and technology. Other important duties include the following:
- Improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare service delivery to patients
- Develop service goals and objectives for the healthcare facility and/or department
- Manage the accounting and finances of the healthcare facility to ensure that services are provided within the year’s budget
- Create efficient work schedules to ensure effective patient care
- Monitor and prepare budgets and spending to make sure departments are working within the funds that have been allocated
Healthcare administrators need to work closely with doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to ensure that the facility is run efficiently, and that patient care is provided at a high level of quality.
Employment for healthcare administrators is expected to grow strongly in the coming years. BLS states that jobs in this field will increase by a strong 17% by 2024. This higher demand will likely create more need for doctors and many other healthcare workers. Also, there will be more need for healthcare facilities and managers to run them in an effective manner.
The median salary for healthcare administrators today is $96,500.
#2 Nursing Home Administrator
A nursing home administrator is the leader of a nursing home facility who is not only the director of its operations and its patient care, but also is in charge of setting the tone of the facility’s culture. The nursing home administrator has a wide range of duties, and may report to a number of sources, such as a board of directors, private owners or a vice president. Some of the most common duties in this role are:
- Ensure that the nursing home budget is adhered to
- Develop and implement nursing home policies that lead to effective and efficient patient care
- Direct the activities of all medical, nursing, housekeeping, clerical and maintenance staff
- Prepare detailed reports for stakeholders regarding level of patient care and health outcomes
- Maintain a high occupancy rate while also providing a high level of care
- Provide efficient overall operations for the facility, including hiring and interviewing of staff
Note that if you are interested in being a nursing home administrator, it is required to have a license for the state in which you want to practice.
Job demand in this area should rise by a good amount of 10-15% in the next several years. Americans are getting older and living longer. So it makes sense that there will be a larger need for more nursing homes and administrators to manage them. The median salary according to Payscale.com is $86,700.
#3 Social and Community Service Manager
Social and community service managers are responsible for coordinating and supervising social service programs and various community organizations. Some of these facilities may be related to healthcare and other social services related to healthcare. Social and community service managers are responsible for staff management and ensuring that efficient services are provided to the public.
Some of their typical duties are:
- Work closely with community members and other stakeholders to determine the programs and services that are needed
- Oversee the administrative aspects of social service programs to meet required objectives
- Establish new methods to collect information about how programs are affecting the community
- Develop budgets and ensure that services are being provided within the limits of allocated funds
- Manage and plan activities to reach out to the community
- Write grant proposals to obtain funding for new social service programs
Social and community service managers work for all types of social and human service groups. Some of these entities work with a certain demographic, such as children who need healthcare, or elderly people who have dementia.
The median salary for social and community service managers is $64,600.
#4 Health Educator
A health educator provides education to people about behaviors that lead to a healthier life. They develop and implement innovative strategies to improve the health of communities and individuals. Also, they gather data and discuss health issues with members of at risk populations and communities.
Some of the common duties of health educators are:
- Assess what the health needs are for people in designated communities
- Develop events and programs to educate people about important health topics
- Teach people the best ways to manage their current health conditions
- Offer training programs for people who work on the ground as community healthcare workers
- Collect data and analyze it about a specific at risk community and devise new programs for it
The duties of a health educator can vary a lot depending upon where she works. In a healthcare facility, a health educator may work on a one on one basis with a patient or family. They educate patients about a difficult diagnosis and about possible follow up treatments and procedures.
In a college, a health educator will provide programs and materials for topics that affect younger people, such as abusing alcohol or smoking.
The median salary for health educators is $53,000 per year.
#5 Health Informatics Manager
A health informatics manager is a healthcare executive or administrator who ensures that electronic medical records and other electronic health information is secure and is easily accessible to those who need access to it. One of the most common reasons for healthcare informatics managers being needed today is that the federal government has mandated that electronic health records or EHRs be used by most healthcare facilities.
Common duties in this speciality are:
- Ensure that federal mandates are complied with regarding the security of EHRs and patient information
- Make sure that healthcare records stored electronically are accurate and up to date
- Ensure that EHRs are secure and can be easily shared with other healthcare facilities
The median salary for health informatics managers is $84,700.
- Medical and Health Services Manager. (2015, Dec. 17). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm
- Why Choose a Career in Healthcare Management? (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.human.cornell.edu/pam/sloan/prospectivestudents/why_career.cfm