Becoming a Medical and Health Services Manager

One of the occupations available for students who hold a Masters of Healthcare Administration is a Medical and Health Services Manager.

Medical and Health Services Managers
Medical and Health Services Managers, also called Healthcare Executives or Healthcare Administrators, are the ones who plan, coordinate and supervise how healthcare is delivered. The title is pretty self-explanatory – these managers manage the way a healthcare department or facility is run. They might be in charge of a single department within a healthcare facility, or might be in charge of the entire facility and system. This job title is more general, and forms the umbrella under which more specific positions (such as Hospital CEO) fall under.

What are the different types of Medical and Health Services Managers?

  1. Health Information Managers – These managers are responsible for securing and maintaining all important hospital records, including private patient records. Since health records have recently begun to be maintained electronically, this profession also requires a good background in computers and technology. (Again, healthcare requires more than just medical knowledge!)
  2. Clinical Managers – These managers are responsible for more specific duties than just general healthcare managers (General wolid mean a broad management position that includes overseeing administrative, financial, operation, personnel and medical operations of an entire facility). Clinical managers usually have strong training and experience in a specific clinical area, and almost always hold either a Bachelors in Health Information, Medical Record Administration or a Masters in Healthcare Administration. Clinical Managers usually oversee their specific department, and work in conjunction with the healthcare facility’s other managers.
  3. Administrators – Administrators handle more of the general daily operations of a healthcare facility. These include watching over the personnel, operations, finances and patient care. The larger a facility is, the more difficlit it is to oversee the numerous departments, so there are Assistant Administrators who aid the top administrator in making daily decisions. The assistant administrators usually watch over the clinical departments, which include surgery, therapy, and nursing.

Medical and Health Services Manager Salaries
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics last year, the median salaries for managers were as follows (according to the type of facility they ran:)

  • General medical & surgical hospitals – $87,040
  • Outpatient care centers – $74,130
  • Physician’s offices – $74,060
  • Home health care services – $71,450
  • Nursing care facilities – $71,190

While it appears that the larger the facility, the higher the salary, it’s important to remember that each type of managerial position has its own pros and cons. Working in a large hospital, for example, can prove to be a sterile but uninviting environment for some, while a nursing care facility provides a friendlier environment, with more opportunities for patient interaction.

How to Become a Medical and Health Services Manager
As with most professions in the healthcare industry, becoming a medical and health services manager means training and education. Most qualified managers hold a Masters in Healthcare Administration, Long term Care Administration, Health Sciences, Public Health or Public Administration. Less frequently, they hold a Masters in Business Administration. For certain managerial positions, such as nursing care administrators, the state requires each candidate to first pass a licensing exam, complete a State training program and hold at least a bachelor’s degree.

As in every profession, the learning never stops either. Medical and health services managers are constantly taking certification programs and training programs that are designed to teach effective decision making, business analysis, leadership skills and communication skills. Since there are so many opportunities for advancement in this career, such as rising to the position of Hospital CEO, managers are constantly pursuing higher education and collecting the valuable years of experience and wisdom it takes to enter a high level position.

The entire health industry is expected to grow 16 percent within the next 9-10 years, and this specific career sector is no exception. The first step that you can take, now, is to start looking into MHA programs and prepare yourself for a challenging, yet rewarding, career as a Medical and Health Services Manager.

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