How to Gain Experience and Advance Your Career in Hospital Administration
Hospital administration, health management or hospital administration is the field in relation to management, administration and leadership of public health systems, especially in hospitals, nursing homes, health maintenance organizations, and outpatient care centers. Hospital administrators, also called hospital managers, serve as the chief financial officer of a hospital system. They ensure that the money spent by the hospital on its services is received for the purpose and with the results expected. Hospital administrators, along with other managerial staff, play an important role in the smooth operations of the hospital.
In most medical facilities, there is a great need for hospital administrators. In fact, this is one of the job fields where a degree program can be completed fast. A bachelor’s degree program can usually be finished in two years, which means you’ll graduate in just two years. On top of that, a master’s degree program can take you up to three years, while an MBA can take you up to four years.
Unlike many other health administration positions, bachelor’s degree holders typically have more job opportunities. This is because more medical schools are encouraging their students to go on to earn degrees so they can become eligible for higher-level positions. As well, most master’s degrees require on-the-job work experience. If you have more experience working in the field, you will have a leg up on applying for jobs when you graduate.
There are several types of master’s degrees in healthcare administration. The first is a Bachelor of Science in Hospital Administration. This two-year program covers all the basic requirements for working in a hospital administration position, including courses in management and accounting. The second is a Master of Science Degree in Health Informatics and Management. This three-year degree covers many of the same topics as the bachelor’s degree, but focuses more on information technology and clinical documentation.
There are many different ways to prepare for these advanced degrees. A few of the general education courses you may need to take include mathematics, biology, chemistry, computer skills, humanities, sociology and statistics. You will also need to complete internships or hands-on training in hospitals. These can be completed at community colleges, technical institutes or even at hospitals.
Many graduates go on to become administrators in smaller hospitals, consulting firms that deal with hospitals. These administrators are usually required to take a refresher class every two years. The number of times you may need to take a refresher course depends on the size of your hospital and the number of administrators. However, if you want to climb the ladder of hospital administrators quickly, it would be a good idea to keep a sharp eye on the news, keep yourself informed about industry trends and keep yourself employed in one or two large hospitals.
Most hospital administrators begin their careers in small hospitals that serve rural, niche communities. In most cases, these hospitals require hiring a full-time hospital administrator as opposed to hiring an entry-level nurse. In these types of hospitals, there is a higher ratio of full-time nurses to administrators.
Once you have your four year degree in healthcare administration you can pursue jobs in many different areas. For example, you could get a job as a healthcare administrator at a teaching hospital or medical facility, a facility that serves children or a prison. There is a growing need for hospital administrators nationwide and increasing competition. This means an education in hospital administration will provide you with an edge over other potential employees. There is a lot of competition these days but it doesn’t mean you need to give up your dream of being a hospital administrator.