Now is a great time to How to become a Health Care Administrator, as more and more hospitals are seeking qualified professionals to run their facilities.
This is not to say that it is a cake walk to get your education and the proper training, nor that the job itself is easy or stress-free, but for the right person it can be a very fulfilling career. Here are the general steps needed to become a Healthcare Administrator.
Step 1 – Get Started in the Healthcare Field
The best way to determine whether or not a career as a Healthcare Administrator is right for you is to get your feet wet in an allied health profession. This will give you the hands on experience you need, as well as a ground-level look at how hospitals and health systems work. Many of these positions require only an associate degree to get started. You can then apply these credits towards a bachelors degree if you see that it’s something you’d like to do.
As a Health Care Administrator you’ll be on the administrative team.
How to Become a Health Care Administrator:
Step 2 – Get More Education
Once you’ve determined that working behind the scenes in operating a hospital or health care facility as an administrator is something you’d like to do, it’s time for more school. If you have already obtained your bachelor’s degree you can step right in to a masters program in Health Administration. If you only have an associate degree you should take a degree completion program first, and then start the master’s program immediately afterward.
A Master’s in Health Administration is the accepted standard in the industry and will be all you need to be considered for employment. Having a background in healthcare, as we suggest getting in step one, will go a long way in the interview process and allow you to speak confidently about your different experiences, trials, and successes.
Step 3 – Step Into an Administrative Role
It is now time to think like an Administrator. This can be the hardest part for those that have never been in charge of anything monstrous like a hospital. It will be challenging at first as you see all of the interconnected systems functioning as a whole.
Daily crises will fall on your desk and each one will seem more urgent than the next. You’ll have members of the board to answer to as well as others vested in the hospital or facility and it can be very stressful. That’s why it’s important to soak in everything you learn while taking your program, because it will make your future job less stressful, and give you the strength you need to tackle new challenges as they arise.
Step 4 – Specialize and Advance
After being on the job for a good amount of time you may find yourself especially interested in a specific department or area of the hospital. If this occurs you can go back to school for extra education in that area and become the head administrator for that department. In the medical industry specialization is often used as a way to advance in your career and become more in demand. It allows you to become an expert that is sought after for their knowledge and know-how in a finite area.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a Health Care Administrator do?
The most important decisions on how to run a hospital and other healthcare facilities are made by those in administrative roles.
The strategic guidance for the future comes from the administrative team, as well as problems that arise in day-to-day operations. They also oversee the budget and make sure the hospital does not produce a loss.
They are tasked with seeing the bigger picture and making real-world adjustments to maximize the effectiveness of the care provided. There are many more facets of what Health Care Administrators do, and you should do more research before deciding if it’s for you.
How much does a Health Care Administrator make?
The national average for Health Care Administrators in the United States is around $75,000 but you should look more towards the $40,000’s for an entry-level starting salary. There is no point in putting this into an hourly figure because it is a salary. Healthcare Administrators are not paid by the hour nor are they paid overtime. This is not a job to take for the money because it will require an exhausting amount of hours spent at the hospital, as well as work to take home.
High Demand, High Stress
As baby boomers creep into old age there will be an increased need for general health care in hospitals, clinics, and other health facilities. This brings with it an increased demand for competent decision-makers at the upper levels of management. If you think this could be you you should start on the path to become a Health Care Administrator. Just be advised that you’ll have to tackle some of the more ethical and moral dilemmas that arise, and it’s not a job for everyone.
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