The Role of a Healthcare Manager
A healthcare manager is crucial to the functionality of health or medical services. They plan, direct and coordinate medical services within a healthcare facility. As healthcare continues to be a center of nationwide debate, there is a call for individuals who are dedicated to aiding and implementing reform within health services.
Healthcare managers are also known as healthcare administrators or healthcare executives. A large part of their work consists of communicating with a variety of people, depending on the facility they manage. Interactions with surgeons, physicians, resident nurses, and other healthcare workers are typical. Some even interact with patients or insurance agents.
The responsibilities of healthcare administrators are vast, and require an individual who has strong organizational skills. The expected duties include, but are not limited to:
- Recruit, train, and supervise staff
- Develop departmental goals and objectives
- Work to improve efficiency and quality in delivering healthcare services
- Manage the finances of the facility
- Ensure that the facility is up to date on and compliant with new laws and regulations
- Represent the facility at investor meetings or on governing boards
Where Healthcare Managers Work
When people think of health services, they often think of hospitals. And while hospitals treat a large percentage of the public, there are a variety of other facilities that treat and monitor the health of patients.
Healthcare administrators can be found throughout the medical field and have many different opportunities when searching for a position. Facilities that employ healthcare managers include, but are not limited to:
- Public and private hospitals
- Nursing homes and residential care facilities
- Home healthcare services
- Group medical practices
- Offices of physicians
- Government agencies
- Rehabilitation centers
If you prefer a hands-on approach, then becoming a manager of a facility might be a good route for you. Those who enjoy the academic side can pursue careers as instructors, researchers or product analysts.
The variety of options might be intimidating, but just remember that with so many options you are free to discover the career path that best fits you.
How to Become a Healthcare Manager
Like most occupations today, becoming a healthcare manager requires the proper educational background. However, the educational path to take can be a bit hazy. Your education and experience level will alter what path you take in becoming a healthcare manager.
If you are staring at square one and have no background in the field, a bachelor’s degree is a good place to begin.
There is no specific bachelor’s degree for becoming a healthcare manager. However, you can seek a degree in health administration, health management, nursing, public health administration, or business administration.
The courses that you will take for a degree that combines management and healthcare will span a variety of topics from general business practice to hospital organization. You can expect classes such as:
- Medical terminology
- Health information systems
- Health services management
- Accounting and budgeting
- Human resources administration
- Strategic planning
- Law and ethics
- Health economics
Often, those seeking to become healthcare managers are doing so because of their experience working in the healthcare field. They are resident nurses, medical records and health information technicians, administrative assistants or financial clerks. If this describes you, then continuing your education at the master’s level, might be a good path for you
Master’s degrees can take two to three years to complete, depending on your program. Most master’s programs require up to a year of supervised administrative field experience in a healthcare setting.
While the year of field work may seem daunting, it gives you practical experience that strengthens your resume and widens your network in the healthcare field.
The healthcare field needs more administrators who are dedicated to the success of the healthcare system. By taking the steps to become a healthcare manager, you will learn the skills it takes to make a difference in the lives of your future employees and patients.
Health has always been a cause for concern and, as people age and deal with age-related issues, seek out reliable and accessible healthcare facilities. The push for more accessible facilities promotes growth across the healthcare field.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) predicts employment to increase 20 percent from through 2026. With the average growth rate at seven percent, that means a huge boost for healthcare management.
Expected Salary of a Healthcare Manager
The BLS determined the median annual pay for healthcare managers to be $96,540. That is the equivalent of about $46.41 per hour.
Being a healthcare manager requires different responsibilities depending on the facility you work in. Because of this variant, your salary will depend on what industry you work in. The BLS identifies hospitals as the leading facility for wages, with healthcare executives earning a median $104,340.
No matter what facility you choose to work in, healthcare managers contribute to the successful operation of the healthcare system throughout the country. By overseeing the daily workings of hospitals and other facilities, you will be responsible for ensuring that the healthcare received by patients is up to par. Through training and experience, healthcare administrators are able to promote positive change and make the healthcare system better for everyone.
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