Within the medical field, there are literally hundreds of different positions available for people interested in helping the sick and those who are in need of medical care. From clinic assistants to nurses or full-fledged physicians, the job opportunities are endless. Perhaps one of the most important positions within this field is that of the health administrator. In essence, a health administrator is a leader and someone who has a vast knowledge of general health as well as current healthcare laws. Students can obtain a masters of health administration and work in any number of different fields including both private and public hospitals, clinics, schools, nursing homes, large corporations, and insurance companies, to name a few. They can receive an online MHA degree or get their degree in a traditional classroom environment. There are many different MHA programs available for students looking to pursue a masters of health administration. MHA programs are designed to provide students with managerial skills and knowledge in the health care field either by pursuing a traditional MHA degree or an online MHA program.
Health Administrator Responsibilities
It is important to note that a health administrator must have much more knowledge than just that of a doctor or nurse so having a master of health administration degree is important. He or she must be proficient in things like office management, understanding various software programs, a vast grasp on medical filing practices, as well as very good organizational skills. Often, the person in this position must be able to maintain a large database and easily access needed information quickly. Marketing skills are also important, since this person will most likely assist the hospital or doctor’s office in obtaining new patients and maintaining a positive opinion within the community. Understanding things like strategic planning is essential in order to help the employer grow and keep up a good patient base.
Those who participate in getting a MHA degree or online MHA have a wide array of different job opportunities to choose from. A person with a masters in health administration usually works close with the CEO of the hospital or clinic to help maintain good patient relationships as well as good image projection for those who deal with the medical center whether publicly or via other means. Knowing how to handle financial operations within the healthcare sector is also an important responsibility of the health administrator. They must assess the need for updated medical equipment, facility maintenance, and other important aspects of running a healthcare facility. This understanding then helps to translate into how money is spent, and where donation funding goes. In some cases, the administrator’s job goes much further than just the office; it can also branch out into the actual medical setting. Generally health administration jobs require a masters in health care administration degree.
Graduates who have received a masters in health administration will have also often experienced first-hand medical training. This means that they can also perform basic medical practices on people, such as CPR, taking blood tests, and reading blood pressure, to name a few. Depending on depth of knowledge and experience, some healthcare administrators will also oversee clinical practices and supervise various medical procedures. Many doctors rely on the expertise and cool headedness of a health administrator to assist the hospital when they are understaffed or to help new employees get a feel for the overall mission of that particular facility. A very strong ability to exhibit leadership qualities is an absolute must in order to maintain this kind of demanding position. Flexibility in scheduling is also necessary, as hours can often stretch past typical office hours, and many administrators are needed late into the evening hours on many occasions.
For most healthcare facilities, the health administrator plays an important role in hiring various staff members from front desk people all the way up to heart surgeons. They must assess the person’s individual skills, experience, and of course salary requirements. The administrator’s role in securing a solid staff as well as a balanced budget is essential to their overall duties. Most MHA programs will help students to understand the basics of hospital or clinic budgets so they can better assess the need for various upgrades and increases in staff or even rooms for patients. In addition, this position sets the rates for the hospital including the cost of overnight stays, medications, and various services that patients will receive during their stay. In some cases, they will even assist with determining food costs and helping to create healthy menus for patients and guests. The role of a health administrator is very involved and requires a real love for the healthcare industry. This dedication and passion is what helps keeps hospitals running smoothly and patients healthy and happy.
The majority of masters of health administration programs in the US are offered by schools or business, public health, or allied health, and less frequently by medical schools. For those enrolled in masters in health care administration at medical schools, there is more of an applied focus while those enrolled in masters in health care administration programs at other schools with have more of a traditional structure.
For more information about the role and responsibilities of a health administrator and information on masters in health administration degrees, please refer to the following websites: