Healthcare Management Associations
Healthcare is a broad field somehow touches upon (and is touched by) almost every other industry. While clinicians are the driving force of the industry, they need support from accountants, IT professionals, human resources and managers in order to do their jobs well. There is yet another aspect of the healthcare industry that is often overlooked: the healthcare associations that help individual professions grow, develop and conduct the medical research that keeps populations safe. These associations are staffed by dedicated professionals who facilitate conferences, continuing education and even political work at the state and federal level.
Jobs in Healthcare Associations
Just as there are a myriad of professions available in healthcare, the associations that support them also have a need for professionals. You can work as a marketing professional, project manager or in the continuing education area of an association. For instance, the American Health Care Association (AHCA) provides courses that augment and enhance the professional lives of healthcare administrators nationwide.
The AHCA has chapters in every state, and each of those will require support personnel who can organize regional events. You might plan and coordinate a seminar series, for instance. Then, you might need to upload the videos and extra materials from that event so that all of your members have an opportunity to benefit later on.
You’ll need to have a degree in healthcare management to do these types of jobs, and so that you can relate to the needs of your members. When arranging a conference, for example, you may need the skills to assess the very best panel discussions with the most relevant information. Once you’ve determined the best panels for the conference, you will need the expertise to schedule them to maximize everyone’s availability and access.
Qualifications for Work with an Association
Before launching into a job search, assess your resume. The field is open to non-healthcare professionals, but your chances for long-term success increase the more you are focused on the healthcare management industry.
Any specialized knowledge or work experience you have will be relevant. After all, your job will be to cater to the needs of your members. The more knowledge about the profession you have, the better you can serve them. Furthermore, you will have the vocabulary and skill set it takes to ask the right questions, and provide the correct answers needed to effectively communicate with all the different members of the healthcare management professional community.
Let’s take a look at some of the different areas of healthcare management that you might work in:
Marketing and Communications
If you have focused your healthcare management degree on marketing and communications, then you might find a great job with a healthcare association. These organizations often have many different types of materials that they send out to members. If you work in one of these areas, you might be in charge of writing copy for the website or developing feature articles for a quarterly newsletter. It may even help to take a journalistic writing course along the way.
If your job is to communicate with healthcare professionals, your education will pay off enormously. Plus, potential employers will see that your healthcare management degree has equipped you with the sort of insider knowledge and background that you need to reach other professionals in the field. That is, you can speak the language of healthcare.
Part of your job might also entail managing the social media presence for your association. You will need to be current on issues specific to your association. Your followers may rely on you for news regarding legislation and new technologies, on top of information pertaining to upcoming seminars, conferences and membership issues.
Information Technology and Community Building
Associations are using the Internet to create their own social networks. Therefore, larger associations seek IT professionals who have experience working in healthcare. They will also need designers and graphic artists who can help design the front-end of these websites.
Employers will likely need web designers and developers to keep their websites running smoothly, to handle email servers and to ensure that members are able to access special content through members-only portals. Larger associations may even want developers to create mobile apps so members can easily access new stories, research and industry news in a timely fashion.
Healthcare associations are founded to support the specific needs of their member-professionals. This support extends into the political sphere. Associations need professionals who will advocate for their members at the state and federal levels. Employers will place high value on extensive knowledge of healthcare, and the budgetary and regulatory issues at stake. The more you know about the details of healthcare management, the better you can inform an analysis of bills and budget items. That assessment will help you strategize lobbying efforts and produce the best outcomes for the clinicians and other professionals you represent.
While associations don’t often do much research themselves, if your job is to support dues-paying clinicians, you will may need to assess research on some level. For instance, you could be in charge of assessing grant proposals from researchers who seek funds from your association’s endowment. For that task, a deeper knowledge of healthcare and clinical practices will be needed. Alternately, you may be asked to assess research existing in the field and then curate that for your members.
These are just a few examples of where your healthcare management degree can help you find work in the healthcare association network. If you’ve been thinking about starting or returning to school to earn your bachelor’s or master’s degree in healthcare management, we can help you get started researching and selecting the right accredited school program to accomplish your goal. Get started today.
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