Health care management: merging caring with business acumen


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Not everyone who works in health care has to be a doctor or nurse. Doctors and nurses are the people charged with delivering quality care to those who enter hospitals and clinics on a day-to-day basis. But others are needed to look at the big picture and make sure these facilities are run in a way that puts doctors and nurses in the best position to succeed.

People who work in health care management take care of the business side of health care, making sure health care facilities are meeting the needs of patients in the most efficient way possible. Therefore, people interested in pursuing health care management degrees are often those who have a strong interest in the medical field and strong leadership skills.

There’s also good news for anyone interested in pursuing a career in this field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects faster than average growth in the medical and health service manager field through 2018. Here are a few examples of health care management careers:

Hospital administrator: The hospital administrator is usually the top decision maker when it comes to how a hospital is run. These individuals are in charge of making staffing decisions, as well as large-scale policy decisions. A master’s degree in health management is desirable, as is other experience in the medical field.

Medical office manager: Larger health care providers with multiple divisions have medical office managers that are in charge of the staff and decisions made in specific areas. This job is similar to a hospital administrator, but smaller in scale.

Health service manager: This career is similar to that of a medical office manager, except on a larger scale. While a medical office manager is in charge of running one area of a health care system, a health service manager may be in charge of multiple branches or locations of a health care operation.

Associate administrator: A hospital administrator may have other administrators that manage specific areas of a hospital. For example, one associate administrator may supervise the hospital’s nurses, while another might supervise radiologists. People who become associate administrators must possess good organizational, administrative and leadership skills.

If a career in health care management sounds like something you might be interested in, visit the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management website to learn more about what these types of careers have to offer.