Healthcare administration professionals manage today’s hospital and healthcare organizations. They are there to ensure that their organization has sufficient medical, operational and financial footing to serve the needs of patients, their families, and the community. They are skilled, trained professionals, who care about the quality of patient care. They work alongside physicians, nurses, and other professionals to provide care. Healthcare administrators help educate the community about health issues, and they also have the opportunity to improve the health of the communities their organizations serve. Many professionals in this field have specialized training in business administration, finance, computer and information technology, clinical laboratory science, and pharmacy.
With growing diversity in the healthcare system, administrators are needed in many settings, including:
- Consulting firms
- Health insurance organizations
- Healthcare Association
- Nursing homes
- Physician practices
- Mental health organizations
- Public health departments
- Rehabilitation centers
- Skilled nursing facilities
- Universities and research institutions
Exposure to the Field, Shadowing, and Volunteering
Interested students should talk to professionals in the field through visits to nearby hospitals and healthcare organizations or participation in a healthcare-focused volunteer program (this is essential to making an informed career decision and some programs require applicants to have work experience in the public sector before applying).
Reading about healthcare is very informative on the dynamics of the field. You can find interesting articles in national magazines such as Newsweek and Time, and trade publications such as Healthcare Executive, Frontiers of Health Service Management, Journal of Healthcare Management, or Modern Healthcare.