Are you a healthcare worker who has spent one minute too long waiting for your patients to get the treatment they need? Are you baffled by the disparities of available technologies at different health institutions? Are you convinced that the healthcare system can be improved and that you are the person to do it? If so, then you are in luck. By becoming a health administrator, you can expand on your existing knowledge to help hospitals and medical systems become more efficient, more effective, and more successful. Keep reading to learn more about the exciting possibilities of this career.
Becoming a Health Administrator
First things first: How do you become a health administrator? A growing number of universities are offering bachelor’s degrees in health administration. However, if you want to be fully prepared for the demands of the job, a master’s degree is currently the best educational choice. Preexisting knowledge of the healthcare field is a significant asset for the coursework of these programs, which is good news for people who already work in the field and want to go back to school to become health administrators.
When it comes to picking the degree you want to obtain, you have a few different options. The Master of Public Health (MPH), Master of Health Services Administration (MHSA) and the Master of Health Administration (MHA) are all available from several prestigious institutions. All these programs are rigorous and take around three years to complete. University of Southern California even offers an MHA degree online, so students can complete the program while continuing to work at their current jobs. Click here to learn more about their executive MHA program.
Working in Health Administration
Once you have obtained the proper qualifications from your degree program, you can begin working as a health administrator. Your day-to-day responsibilities will vary depending on your areas of interest and expertise. Some health administrators focus on improving the practices and protocols of a single hospital, while others direct entire hospital systems. Most health administrators also oversee their hospitals’ budgets, monitoring each department’s use of its allotted funds and making alterations as necessary.
Healthcare regulations change frequently, so health administrators are responsible for tracking these changes, bringing them to the attention of their staff members, and enforcing them within their hospitals. They also improve the services their facilities provide by approving the purchase of new equipment and planning staff training programs.
As a health administrator, you will collaborate with practitioners to understand what your facility’s greatest needs are, develop plans for meeting these needs, and ultimately present your plans to the hospital board members. These duties require excellent managerial, interpersonal, and organizational skills to carry out effectively. This is a demanding role, but with passion and dedication, you can improve the lives of your workers and your patients.
The Future of Heath Administration
If you are interested in becoming a health administrator, now is an excellent time to get started. In 2014, job openings for health administrators were projected to increase by 17 percent by 2024. This growth rate is much faster than the average occupation, so you are likely to experience a good return on investment for obtaining your health administration degree. Your salary outlook is also noteworthy. In 2016, health administrators earned a median annual salary of $96,540, nearly $60,000 more than the median annual salary for all United States jobs.
Taking the Leap
The decision to go back to school and alter your career is not an easy one. However, doing so could help you take control of your current frustrations as a healthcare worker. By implementing regulations, obtaining the latest technologies, and improving care models, you can improve your patients’ experiences and enrich the entire healthcare system.