9 Fields of the Healthcare Industry

The healthcare industry is predicted, by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, to be the industry to generate the most new jobs from now until 2016- a good sign for those of you considering going into healthcare administration. Before pursuing a college or advanced degree in healthcare administration, though, it’s smart to decide which part of the healthcare industry you want to work in.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare industry is divided into the following fields:

1. Hospitals.

Hospitals employ a wide variety of workers who offer different health care services, such as nurses, physicians, therapists, social workers, psychiatrists, building maintenance workers and administrative clerks.

2. Nursing and residential care facilities.

Nurses, psychiatrists, home health aides and other workers in the service field usually work round the clock hours to meet their patients’ needs. These facilities include nursing homes, convalescent homes and rehabilitation centers.

3. Physician’s offices.

Physicians comprise about a third of healthcare businesses. Physicians can either work in a private office or work with other physicians- the latter saves time and overhead costs.

4. Dentist’s offices.

Dentists, too, can work alone or in groups. One third of the jobs in the dental industry are in service jobs, such as dental assistants, administrative clerks and dental hygienists.

5. Home health care.

This industry includes all home health and personal aids/assistants. This would be an alternative to working inside a healthcare facility and instead working with outpatients in their homes.

6. Health practitioners.

This section of the healthcare industry includes physical therapists, chiropractors, optometrists, psychologists and occupational therapists.

7. Outpatient care centers.

They include substance abuse rehab centers, mental health rehab centers and emergency health clinics.

8. Ambulatory services.

These include ambulance drivers, EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians), paramedics and attendants.

9. Medical and Diagnostic laboratories.

Healthcare professions that fall under this segment are radiologists, medical assistants, surgical equipment preparers and medical transcription specialists.

Deciding which segment of the healthcare industry you’re interested in will help you understand the responsibilities you’ll hold as a healthcare administrator. Depending on the size and nature of your particular healthcare industry section, the number of workers and departments you oversee will differ. Being a CEO of a hospital, for example, is much different from being the manager of a convalescent home. Here’s an interesting blog from Paul Levy, President and CEO of a Boston hospital, where he blogs about running a hospital, prominent healthcare issues and provides links to other prominent hospital CEOs’ blogs.
It’s always better to target a specific goal before you pursue the degrees/certifications and training you need to get there. Hopefully this list helps you narrow down your healthcare administration career options.