A Degree in Healthcare Administration will provide the necessary business and leadership acumen that would allow you to confidently take on a senior leadership role in any hospital or other in-patient care facility. Healthcare Administrators play key roles and work side-by-side with the medical director physicians, nursing, and facility care staff. A healthcare administration credential will sharpen a student’s team leadership and project management skills in ways that are unique to the needs of the healthcare business. This degree also provides the financial and marketing foundations necessary to plan a budget, build a network of providers, and assist with philanthropic and fundraising functions. These essential skills are a good foundation as this degree will require continued specialized training and keeping up to date with healthcare laws and regulations in order to maintain compliance within the facility.
Career Outlook for Healthcare Administration
Healthcare administration is projected to grow a rapid 22% over the next decade. This change is largely due to demographic factors affecting the United States. As more and more members of the Baby Boomer generation prepare for retirement, people of working age will be faced with increased challenges helping their parents and other elderly relatives maintain quality of life. Healthcare administrators provide vital leadership skills to the hospitals, skilled care facilities and medical research labs on which these efforts depend. Those who seize this great opportunity now will be positioned for senior leadership roles well into the future, providing them with high levels of compensation, benefits and job satisfaction.
What Does a Healthcare Administration Degree Entail?
- For the most part, healthcare administration is considered a graduate-level course of study
- You must have an undergraduate degree in order to be accepted into such a program
- No specific background is required, but many healthcare administrators come from a business or financial background
- A small percentage has a background in either scientific or medical training.
Virtually all healthcare administration degrees will include “case studies” that show how certain healthcare facilities overcame business challenges. Students are required to review a case study and the surrounding factors and propose solutions before they learn how the problem was ultimately handled. Like many business degrees, healthcare administration is often founded on a great deal of group work. This helps prepare the student to balance the needs of the many technical experts in a healthcare setting. Thusly, students will often find their programs …
- May also include human psychology courses
- Require continued focus on improving quality and efficiency of facility healthcare while managing costs
- Cover the importance of maintaining accurate up to date and secure patient information and records
- Teach the importance of preventative care as well as health maintenance
Duration of Earning a Healthcare Administration Degree
- Many healthcare administration degrees are offered at the graduate level, it is fairly common for them to take about two years
- There are also “accelerated programs” that can be completed in 12 to 18 months
- The time that any degree program takes will be impacted by a variety of factors, including class availability and format
- Length of study can also be effected by online vs. in class study programs
- In addition a period of hands on mentorship and in field training is required
Skills & Traits Needed to Be Healthcare Administrator
A healthcare administrator must have a keen mind for business, including finances and the “nitty gritty” details of making common healthcare processes run more efficiently. However, he or she must also be humane and empathetic, able to motivate medical professionals and manage all decisions within the human context — all the decisions a healthcare administrator makes can impact hundreds or thousands of lives. Keen negotiation skills are a must as well as flexibility. There will always be continued education as a Healthcare Administrator must keep current with both government and insurance regulations. Ongoing technology and process improvements and adaptations will keep this professional on their toes and striving to stay one step ahead of the curve. If you are up to the challenges of responsibility, strategic thinking, versatility, budgeting, tough decision making, and maintaining the respect and cooperation of diverse interest groups for the welfare of your patients, this is the career path for you.