Career Profile: Healthcare Manager

Nurse Anesthesiologist

See Available Healthcare Manager Schools

Also known as Healthcare Administrator, Healthcare Insurance Administrator, Healthcare Consultant, Healthcare Supervisor or Health Unit Coordinator.

Healthcare managers are responsible for keeping healthcare facilities running smoothly. Healthcare is not just a human service, but also a business, and needs professional guidance in order to maintain it. The occupation of healthcare management encompasses all who plan, direct, coordinate, and supervise healthcare. The duties of healthcare managers vary according to how they are employed. Those employed by hospitals may direct or coordinate activities in the areas of nursing, surgery, therapy, medical records, or health information, while those employed in smaller facilities are more likely to handle day to day operations, such as personnel management, finance, facility operations, and admissions. Those employed in nursing homes will also likely have a large role in resident care. Those who work in insurance administration oversee personnel management, billing and collection, budgeting, planning, and any other day-to-day operations as needed, maintaining integrity while still providing care and assistance to patients. There are even healthcare managers with areas of specialization, such as physical therapy or medical records, and are licensed physical therapists or graduates of a medical records program. The range of jobs available to healthcare management specialists is vast and varied, as well as ever-changing. As healthcare continues to evolve and diversify, healthcare managers will need to evolve with it, always remaining flexible and adaptable.

Earning Potential:

Healthcare Managers and Administrators salaries vary according to their level of financial responsibility. An experienced graduate can earn up to $106,080

Working Environment:

Most healthcare managers work in hospitals, large medical institutions and even in nursing and elderly homes. They may also work in physicians' offices, home healthcare services, Federal government healthcare facilities, State and local government ambulatory services, outpatient care centers, insurance carriers, and community care facilities. It's the role of the Healthcare Manager to ensure that the best possible care is provided to the patients or residents of their facility. It's up to these managers to come up with creative solutions when challenges pop up to the operation or services of their medical facility.

Educational Background:

Healthcare managers usually have a degree in health services administration, long-term care administration, health sciences, public health, public administration, or business administration. Some entry-level positions may be gained with a bachelor's degree, and some physician's offices may substitute on-the-job training for formal education. Those who specialize in certain areas of administration, such as physical therapy, must have a degree in that specialty. They may or may not be required to have a degree in administration, as sometimes they are chosen for their ability to lead. For those who enter nursing home administration, all states and the District of Columbia require them to have a bachelor's degree, pass a licensing examination, complete a State-approved training program, and then pursue continuing education. Those in healthcare consulting may also take an exam to be certified, earning the title of Certified Healthcare Consultant (CHC), a credential of professionalism.

The employment outlook for healthcare management is very good. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2012, especially as the healthcare field continues to grow and evolve. More healthcare professionals will be needed as medical technology advances as well, as more people will survive injuries and illnesses that may have been life-threatening before. The nation's largest population, the baby boom generation, is advancing into old age, which will also cause the need for nursing home facilities and long-term care to increase. As healthcare changes, so will the employment of healthcare managers, and remaining flexible and adaptable will ensure a successful and lengthy career in this area.

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