Career Information Bureau Block
Quick Facts :
What Is a Healthcare Administrator?
When people are ill or injured, they hope for and often expect the best medical care they can get. The responsibility of making sure that patients receive quality care often falls to a healthcare management administrator. Professionals in healthcare management typically oversee all aspects of medical care at a particular facility. In a sense, they are like “quality control” for medical facilities. For instance, it is often the responsibility of the healthcare management administrator to ensure that a medical facility is fully staffed with competent professionals, and able to handle a variety of different medical situations.
A healthcare administrator might manage an entire small facility, a ward, or department of a very large facility. Although it’s not absolutely necessary, having some experience as a medical professional, such as a nurse, is helpful when looking to fill a healthcare management position. However, keep in mind that you will not have as much direct patient contact if you pursue this type of career. Instead, you are more likely to communicate with medical personnel, other employees, and board members.
What Does a Healthcare Administrator Do?
To put it simply, a healthcare administrator’s main job is to improve and maintain an excellent quality of care and patient experience at a medical facility.
First of all, they are responsible for recruiting and supervising new and current employees. This often involves hiring competent licensed physicians, nurses, and specialists, as well as reprimanding them. Healthcare management administrators will also usually handle scheduling and finances of a facility to some degree as well.
When hiring, reprimanding, and supervising staff members, healthcare management administrators must also make sure that their facilities and staff members observe and adhere to all laws and regulations in the world of medicine. For example, they must be sure to only hire licensed or certified medical professionals and work hard to protect patient privacy. Since laws and regulations frequently change, it is the job of the healthcare management administrator to keep abreast of these changes and make any necessary adjustments in their own facility.
Healthcare management administrators are also often responsible for looking into patient complaints in an effort to improve the quality of care in their facilities. They may also conduct surveys to find out which areas they could possibly improve.
Where Does a Healthcare Administrator Work?
Nearly all healthcare facilities employ healthcare administrators. This includes
- Trauma Centers,
- Physicians Offices,
- Residential Care Facilities
- Home Healthcare Facilities.
How Do I Become a Healthcare Administrator?
As mentioned above, gaining some experience working in a healthcare setting can help tremendously when working toward a career in healthcare management. Gaining this experience will better equip you to understand the needs and wants of both patients and medical staff members.
You can start out your healthcare management career by becoming a nursing professional, such as a registered nurse (RN) or a nurse practitioner (NP), for instance. However, you will also need to obtain at least a master’s degree in an area such as healthcare management, health services, hospital management, or healthcare administration. Some courses you can expect to take while earning your degree include accounting, management, human resources, ethics, law, and healthcare information systems.
Although not all areas or facilities require it, you should also consider becoming certified through the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM).