Health Care Careers - Health services administrator
Hospitals and other health care facilities, such as nursing homes, health clinics, HMOs (health maintenance organizations), and group practices are places where people expect to receive good medical care. At these facilities, there is usually one person who makes sure everything is running smoothly. That person is the health services administrator. The job of a health services administrator (also referred to as health services director) involves the many responsibilities that are part of running a health care facility.
Health services administrators oversee the day-to-day operations of the facility, which requires a tremendous amount of planning, and organization, as well as financial management. They ensure that all patients are receiving the best possible health care at all times.
Health services administrators must also supervise a staff of assistant administrators, who are in charge of different areas, from food service and housekeeping to marketing and public relations. Public relations and marketing are important to a health care facility. These departments reach out to the community to learn how to improve the facility for the people who need and use it.
A large part of a health services administrator's job is planning for the future. Health care is always changing as new technologies are constantly being developed. Health services administrators need to stay aware of these changes in order to make improvements in the facility.
They need to decide how to best spend the facility's money, either by hiring more staff, buying new equipment, or expanding the facility. Once a decision is made as to how to spend the money, health services administrators also must be sure that the improvements don't cost more than the facility has to spend.
All health care facilities must follow government regulations. These regulations are enforced to make sure that people are receiving quality health care. Health services administrators must be sure their facilities meet the standards set by government agencies, as well as insurance companies, who routinely check up on facilities and evaluate their performance.
There are many opportunities for health services administrators since there are many different types of health care facilities throughout the United States. Work settings range from small clinics to large hospitals. The amount of responsibility for health services administrators depends on the size of the facility in which they work.
Training to Be a Health Services Administrator
In order to pursue a career as a health services administrator, one should have a bachelor's degree (four-year college degree) with a major in social sciences, health administration, or business administration. A bachelor's degree enables one to apply to a master's program in hospital administration, public health, or health administration. Licensing is not required for all health services administrators. Some states require that those working in nursing homes or long-term care facilities become licensed by passing a written exam.
Health services administrators must be able to deal with people effectively, communicate well, and handle many tasks at once. While there are assistants to take some of the responsibility, health services administrators are usually the only ones able to make important decisions. At a hospital or other health care facility, this can happen at any time, seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day.