To pursue a career in any field we first need to get a basic idea about it. When we hear the word “Health”, the first thing that comes into our mind is the soundness of the body, the overall condition, free from any disease or disorder. “Management” is the art of getting things done.
Health Management is a field concerned with the organizing, leadership, efficiency maximization and management of Health related centers, be it hospitals both government and private, or NGOs, etc., which also contains a unique chance to engage with the community and provide vital services on the municipal/ state level. Hence, making Health Management as one of the smartest careers displaying strong, clear trend towards steady growth by letting you serve the public and build your stable career.
“The ingredients of health and long life are great temperance, open air, easy labor, and little care.”
Sir Philip Sidney
Health Management as a career starts long before you join a job under this huge umbrella. It starts with your own healthy living, by keeping a track of your well-being before you take a job or this Social Responsibility of taking care of the society. It is not confined to doctors, nurses, or pharmacists, but also many other who may often be hidden and work behind the scenes, they have a tremendous effect on the availability, accessibility, and quality of health services in our communities. They help to provide an environment in which physicians, nurses, and other caregivers can practice effectively and efficiently, and they help provide safe, comfortable, and compassionate places for people to receive health services when needed.
Health Management has been and is one of today’s most dynamic and growing careers, with a lot many challenges as well as opportunities. Planning in advance and a good scholastic record is important. Also make sure health management is the right career choice for you. Following things are required:
A Checklist for pursuing a career in Health Management
Before pursuing a career in heath management you need to ensure that healthcare management is the correct choice of career for you. In, order to do this you need to first check on a few things to pursue you career in health management. These include –
Learning more about the careers in healthcare management
You need to talk to the professionals who are already working in this area, you can visit the websites related to career planning, take tour of a healthcare facility located nearby or any other hospital or take part in the volunteer programs that focus on healthcare to get an idea of what the profession is all about.
Read about health management
You should visit the sites of the universities or find articles that are interesting in the local newspapers or national magazines like the Newsweek and Time. You can also go through the trade publications like Modern Healthcare, Journal of Healthcare Management, Frontiers of Healthcare Service Management and Healthcare Executive.
Conduct an investigation of several educational programs
You should also discuss the interest that you have in the career of health management with a counselor who can provide guidance in this field and ask for his help in the identification of the correct colleges. You should also checkout the graduate as well as the undergraduate programs along with the opportunities for financing like financial, aid and scholarships.
Why Pursue a Career in Health Management?
For pursuing a career in health management you will have to contemplate on the following things so that you are clear as to why you should be pursuing your career in health management.
Refining of Your Skills
Health management in a way that is similar to any business concern needs quality management for running in a smooth manner and to provide its crucial services to the society. A health manage handles the entire hospital or the planning, direction, coordination as well as the delivery of the services related to healthcare to the parties who need them.
In a small hospital, a health services manager will act as a sort of general manager who will overlook the activities of the various departments inside the organization. The hospitals that are larger usually have many specialists who compose the team of health managers wherein each specialist serves one particular department in the hospital. The significance of the work of health management along with the quality as well as efficiency improvements in the facilities of healthcare will make sure that you are given hands-on experience in your field in a regular manner.
The best way of giving back to the society of which you are a part is to ensure the speed, quality as well as the consistency of the healthcare services more than before now-a-days, larger institutions of healthcare such as hospice houses, nursing homes, hospitals and other similar institutions require health management that is capable and competent so that the costs can be kept low and the healthcare services standards can meet the high expectations of the industry. Even though healthcare is a business, it provides crucial services at the levels of the state or the municipality.
A trend towards steady growth is displayed in a clear and strong way by the health services industry. The industry is also expected to specialize and expand which will increase the demand for health managers. The number of outpatient care sites and clinics that are increasing in numbers shows that a number of opportunities will be presenting themselves to the industry professionals.
Give Back! Get something in Return
The efforts that you put in the health management field will be rewarded whether you provide the outpatient clinic with the much required logistical support or supervise the internal organization that is complex. The growth of the health sector indicates that there are many chances of advancement in this field and the occupation is highly stable. Health management will help you to not only serve the public but also to build your career.
How to pursue a career in Health Management
- Mental Preparation – Career in Health Management is not about individuality, but societal. Thus, this requires mental preparation as much as physical preparation. Any mistake and your career might come to an end even before taking off. Therefore, the first step towards pursuing a career in health management is to prepare mentally and make sure you do it for the good and well-being of the society.
- Extensive Research–It is always important to research thoroughly about something you plan to take up for your lifetime especially your career. Analyze all the sources of information you can, libraries, journals, internet, documentaries, etc. before you step in. Your research should not be confined to what is visible on-stage, i.e., doctors, nurses, etc. but also behind the camera, i.e., the myriad of people who work in the organizations that support health services delivery organizations, like insurance and managed care companies and government policy-making and regulatory agencies, because they play very important roles in making health services available and accessible.
- Study and Analyze the Scope of the profession– Once you have researched all the possible options available according to your interest, career plan, financial aids, etc. make sure the one you decide to stick to have a wide scope and is flexible in case you want to move horizontally in future.
By checking out these, you are left with a couple of most favorable career options under health management.
- Decide what suits you the best – Health management professionals work as administrators, managers, CEOs, planners and more. Through the efforts of well-trained healthcare managers, best of facilities, compassionate medical treatment, patients are treated to an overall positive experience. Individuals who choose to pursue their career path in this industry tend to be sympathetic and caring with an honest desire to help others.
- Get the required degree/diploma/certification – Once decision about the best option has been made, select the university/college/institute you want to complete the degree from and take the most advantage by doing your best. This includes getting practical exposure with classroom theoretical education alongside.
For gaining entry-level positions in certain positions in health management or some positions of the senior levels in the smaller organizations as well as middle management jobs in the organizations that are large in size, it is essential to have bachelor’s degree bachelor’s degrees. Several of the schools as well as colleges offer degrees of the undergraduate level that focus on the management of health services. For providing initial education for pursuing professional careers in health management, baccalaureate education is very crucial. There are certain certified programs which give undergraduate education pertaining to health management. However, for becoming a health services manager, it is not necessary to have a health services management degree or to enroll you for the graduate program in health administration. Obtaining degrees in certain other fields like liberal arts, nursing or business will also help to qualify you.
For almost all the position in the field of healthcare management, a life master’s degree is needed. A list of graduate programs on health management is provided by “The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education”. In the past, the traditional route of a master’s degree in public health as well as health administration was selected by a majority of the students. Presently, however, a number of other options can be investigated by the students wishing to pursue a career in health management. These consist of the graduate degrees in public and business administration in which the concentration of the course is on health services management.
The students can also go for a joint master’s degree in both public health and business administration or in healthcare management as well as law. For instance, the graduate programs are only for two years and they are followed by a master’s degree. They consist of courses on human resources, healthcare financing, organizational behavior, marketing, policies and laws pertaining to healthcare. Fellowship, residency and supervised internship can also be included in such a program.
As can be seen in every other professional career, you can get a head start in this particular field by joining a professional association which will be providing you the resources that will be help to you throughout your career.
- Internship – Practical exposure/experience is as important as the theoretical base of any subject/field. Thus working as a practitioner while studying gives a hands-on experience as well as a benefit of doubt in case any mistakes or minor faults made initially. However, health management is a sensitive career and making any blunders is not tolerable.
In case, you find that you are more inclined towards the executive/business side of health management, you can opt for a post graduate degree in the specific area of interest may be an MBA, etc.
- Prevention is better than Cure – Health Management is such a field that even minutest of the errors are considered big, thus, ruining a career even before it sets off. So, it becomes the foremost priority to prevent any mistakes than correcting them in the future because this career does not give any such liberty.
For a career in health management you need to start planning as early as you can. It is essential to have a good scholastic record particularly since a graduate program will have to be attended by you for obtaining a doctorate or a master’s degree.
Thus pursuing a career in health management is a decision that should be made by a strong-willed, people’s person, sympathetic and honest to the community/society and the country. This desire also combines with a natural inclination toward leadership as well as the ability to apply organizational methods successfully in order to achieve optimum results. The most effective healthcare professionals keep themselves updated with the shifting trends, new and innovated technologies, and advanced techniques in both health and management fields. They use their knowledge and skills to deliver the most result-oriented positive experience possible.
Every health care facility requires a stable and efficient management of all its resources be it funds, human resource or equipment. As the facility deals with real time situations with very tense time at hand, any minute miscalculation and the results can be severe. A well-organized structure of management can yield better results in health care for the patients and overall reputation of the facility.
As baby boomers age, they require more healthcare services. This demand has led to healthcare business becoming one of the fastest-growing, dynamic and job-creating industries in the world, thus leading to a better economy.
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